Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Buy gas, fuel terrorism

Dear Editor,

Bill O’Reilly provided a great service by first enlightened your readers about the refusal of US oil companies to investment in new refining capacity in our “totally dependent on oil and gas” nation (“Price on ‘full’” May 14, 2007.)

There is little doubt that these greedy companies are focused more on their own short term economic gain than the longer term economic security of our nation. But, Mr. O’Reilly is wrong in stating “The more you pay at the pump, the more money rolls into DC”. If he said the more you ‘buy” at the pump, he would have been correct. But the rise in gas prices currently have nothing to do with more gas taxes going to Washington. They should.

As O’Reilly admits “Appeals to conserve energy…won’t work” given that “we are an immediate gratification society”. That’s why an immediate gas tax is needed. Only when we feel a significant economic pain at the pumps will we take conservation serious. And if Uncle Sam is getting more petro tax dollars to invest in alternative energies the less money the oil companies will be getting. A higher tax could even be levied directly on the oil company profits unless they invest in new oil refinery upgrades. But, it is O’Reilly right wing advocates that have always ranted against the evils of taxes. Here is one case where an increase in taxes is vital to our national security given the propensity of the average American and the typical oil company to think only in the short term.

There is one additional economic factor that Mr. O’Reilly failed to mention that is far more important to “the treatment” of Americans than all the other factors he mentioned. Whatever price anyone pays at the pumps for oil and gas an rather large but indirect contribution is made to those who mean our nation serious harm. When we buy gasoline, we fuel terrorism.

Significantly increasing the federal gas tax may not lead to new oil refineries being built but it could generate the resources needed to wean our nation from our oil dependence, Given our own corporate and personal inability to do so it’s past time our federal government took this matter seriously. Any candidate for US President could demonstrate real political wisdom and courage by advocating such a tax increase in future debates. If they are unwilling to face political suicide for the survival of our nation, then they are unfit to be President in these increasingly troubled times.

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3 Comments:

At Mon May 21, 06:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot on with this post old chap. You Yanks really need to start conserving. We here in the UK have had high gas taxes for decades and our usage is a little below yours. Not much, but a little. And our Muslim problem is nonexistant (Except for those pseky few rabble-rousers that out M-15 cleans out ocasionally.

 
At Tue Jun 12, 06:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Woolery;
Ineresting lack of posts on China. I'd like your opinion on this take.

I read an interesting opinion piece on China recently. I made some inferences from the authors opinion and developed some ideas on my own. It started with her describing different cultural views on cats. It started with descriptions of Japanese use of them in art and literature as beautiful and peaceful companions for Humans. It made similar comparisons for many cultures. Except the Chinese.

It said the Chinese view cats as workers, first and foremost. Killers of rodents. It moved on to talk about theor use of dogs as food where, likewise, other cultures value them as companions.

The authors them moved on to the recent pet food poisoning outbreak originating in China and how their disregard for "life", to grasp for an analogy, in order to make a profit.

I have since further expanded on this theme to link it to their willingness to fire on a peaceful protest of their own people in 1989, killing hundreds (almost 2,000 if memory serves).

I think of it again today when reading of their marketing bad blood (literally blood for transfusions). Again, an ability to disregard human life for profit. Their questionable position in the trade of human organs. Their comlicity, for profit, in the Darfur genocide. Their continued trampling of human rights as their economic machine grinds along, running over anything in it's way.

I now fear a sleeping dragon with a different cultural view on life and decency becoming one of the main superpowers in the world, perhaps soon overtaking the US both economically and militarily. They have been granted legitimacy by the international Olympic comittee and a world more accepting of tryanny if it counters US interests. If economic progress can work in this dictatorshi, they seem to say, what's the big deal w/ a little human rights abuses.

This is a nation that will soon have the means and willingness to force itself on an unsuspecting world. A culture seemingly more willing to use methods for it's own growth that the rest of the world would shun. Perhaps a culture more willing to use WMD for it's own self interests.

I am not an accomplished author such as yourself, so hopofully enough of my point made it through this gibberish to allow you to comment.

Thanks for your time.

 
At Sat Aug 18, 05:31:00 AM, Blogger Chuck Woolery said...

I'm sorry it took so long for me to respond regarding your question on China. I've always followed it but not deeply enough to have new insights.
What I know:
China just surpassed the US in global economic influence.
I just returned from Haiti where I saw a UN Peacekeeping staging area flying two flags. A UN flag and a Chinese flag. We also saw a high level chinese official at a photo op with an armed (and ready) gaurd of about 8 Chinese blue helmeted troops.

What I believe:
China will overcome US military power within a decade.
US should move rapidly to call for a democratic world federation so we will have a more legitimate claim to world leadership...AND have wider appeal to gaining allies in resisting China powers in the future.

 

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