Thursday, April 27, 2006

I'm a freaking genius

Well, kind of. But the timing is fascinating.

So--last night I blogged that the if the Republicans really cared about lowering gas prices for Americans and keeping the suburban-Hummer-gated community lifestyle viable, they should put their money where their mouth is and simply raise the subsidies for gasoline, rather than namby-pamby around with the Strategic Reserve and other useless measures. Especially since subsidies are already the biggest factor in any discussion of oil and oil price, and already one of the most manipulated markets in the world. I also posted this on the DailyKos, where it made the recommended list, but unfortunately dKos has been down for the last few hours, in the longest outage on the site that I can remember.

I argued that this would put the GOP in the uncomfortable position of admitting that the toxic lifestyle they cherish is just another welfare-state ponzi scheme. And it would leave them vulnerable to critiques that, if we can afford to subsidize gasoline, then why not subsidize healthcare, for instance? After all, in a $2.5 trillion budget, we can afford to pay for what we think is worth it, right?

Well, what do we get this morning but the GOP Senate calling for a national welfare dole of $100 to every taxpayer for gasoline over this summer. See the story here: And in a disgustingly evil but brilliant move, they've added in the poison pill of drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, so that our Senators are left in a great quandary, and their votes used against them in the upcoming election. I can see it now: "the Democrats were too beholden to treehuggers to support gasoline price relief for all Americans." Totally appalling, but very cunning. It'll be interesting to see how out side responds--though in the long run it won't matter, as Republicans who were principled enough to stand against ANWR drilling before, will find making a stand of conscience completely politically unfeasible now--and the vote will pass by majority partisan consent, if nothing else.

Let's see how Democrats respond. If it were me, I'd be saying this:

"This bill is an unaffordable welfare check to all Americans that does nothing to address the REAL source of the problem: record profits by the oil companies who grease the palms of this Republican Party and don't pay their fair share of the tax pie. Furthermore, this bill also contains legislation to allow for drilling in our most precious environmental sanctuaries. I call on Republicans to do something drastic about the REAL source of the problem so that prices will actually come down at the pumps, rather than hand out welfare checks all across America. I further demand that if they are really serious about providing relief at the pumps in the manner they have chosen, that they remove the completely unacceptable provisions to drill in a protected wildlife refuge."

It should be interesting.


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