Wednesday, May 14

Gas price insanity!

In case you haven't noticed, gas prices are up. 44% of Americans say this is their number one economic concern, well ahead of finding a good job or paying for health care. The message is loud and clear: we want our cheap gas back!

Responding to the demands of the American public, politicians everywhere are scrambling to do something about it. But what can they do? Congress is now engaged in a heated debate over whether U.S. strategic oil reserves should be scaled back, as if freeing up this .01% of oil savings will even make a dent in the price. President Bush is about to embark on another mission to Saudi Arabia to plead with King Abdullah to amp up oil production. The Saudi patriarch said "no" back in January, but maybe if we communicate that we really, really, really, really want it he'll relent. How embarrassing? And now some senators want to threaten to cut off arms deals, in order to put some pressure on the Saudis.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York:

"We are saying that we need real relief, and we need it quickly. You need our arms, but we need you to cooperate and not strangle American consumers."

But now Iran might cut oil production. Just to watch us squirm.

Of course, we cannot forget that two out of three of our presidential candidates have actually proposed a temporary elimination of the federal gas tax. Only a year after the Minneapolis bridge collapse, and we already want to drain highway infrastructure of its funding in search of quick relief.

And in the midst of this, most hard-headed economists are actually telling us that gas prices are too low to cover their true costs. But, as Hillary tells us, these "elite" brainiacs don't really care about the American people anyway. And passionate environmentalists see higher gas prices as a way to finally goad us into conserving resources and transitioning into a sustainable society. But don't listen to those wacko tree-huggers.

During the course of any addiction, a person will resort to increasingly desperate measures to get quick relief. First, he'll drain through his savings to buy the drug. He'll lose his job and sell his belongings. Then he'll squeeze every ounce of assistance and compassion out of family and friends. Finally, he reaches a point of desperation when there is an existential decision to make: come clean or self-destruct - enter into the painful process of rehab or break into a convenience store for quick relief.

No comments: