Here's what I don't get: Every serious analyst agrees that the current increase in gas prices is due to the current US policy of getting tough on Iran, and market fears that we, or Israel, may get even tougher. Even the CEO of Exxon has said as much. And yet we are having an absurd political debate about the gas price increases that barely mentions these actual reasons. See for example this story in today's Washington Post which never even mentions Iran.
Yet every single time the President's enemies bring up climate change, they invariably refer to efforts to mitigate climate impacts as some form of "gas tax". Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Urinal has spilled much ink making that connection, just as Sen. Inhofe (R-Oil) has released massive quantities of CO2 calling cap and trade proposals "Cap and Tax."
So why don't we talk about an Iran policy gas tax?
Look, every policy has costs associated with it, and if our political leaders ever treated us as adults, they would talk with us about what those costs are and why we should consider bearing them -- instead of telling us we can have whatever policies we choose while cutting our taxes to the bone.
In the Washington Post, Steve Pearlstein says raising the gas tax by 60 cents last year would've been seen as political suicide. But gas prices have gone up 60 cents just the same, and instead of funding desperately needed repairs to Metro or our crumbling roads & bridges, the money has gone to BP, ExxonMobil, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the list goes on.
And what's been the impact of those gas price hikes?
During that same period, private businesses created 1.2 million jobs and recorded near-record profits, stock prices rose by more than 20 percent and auto sales were brisk enough that General Motors recently handed out $4,000 profit-sharing checks to each of its unionized workers.Doesn't exactly sound like the predicted Armageddon, does it?
History will also record that, during that same time period, not one politician that I am aware of took to the floor of the House or Senate to denounce this "job-killing" 23 percent increase in the price of gasoline.
The episode, titled High Octane, features the Duke family entering an alternative fuel contest sponsored by the Department of Energy. They submit a batch of Uncle Jesse's moonshine whiskey & the judge not only gives him top prize, he pronounces it the best tasting fuel and/or whiskey he's ever had.
But shortly after the episode aired, oil prices came back down, President Reagan took office and slashed incentives for alternative energy & conservation, and vehicle fuels have puttered in neutral ever since. We're still putting gas or the equally-bad corn ethanol in our vehicles. And our cars & trucks don't get much better gas mileage than they did in the days of the General Lee: