Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Take a Gas-X, Bob

On his campaign website blog, Bob Goodlatte posted the following bit of idiocy:
Virginia’s families are feeling the pinch of rising gas prices and recent talk of $4 a gallon prices are of great concern to me. I believe immediate action needs to be taken to address this issue. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress have failed to show leadership.
His blog continues with colorful charts and graphs, a YouTube video, and other litter straight from the poultry house.
Well, well, Bob.... sounds like you are trying to make campaign chicken salad out of Republican chicken sh*t. How about laying the blame where it more correctly belongs - on your buddy Bush. When Bush took office in 2001, oil prices averaged about $23/barrel. He then invaded Iraq (with your complete support), saying their oil reserves would pay the cost of war and rebuilding - how did that one work out, Bob? Since then, oil prices have risen, and risen - recently trading at $133/barrel.
This spring the CEO of Exxon-Mobil blamed high oil prices on the weakening dollar, geopolitical uncertainty, and speculation. Three reasons that all may be directly traced to failures of your friends in the Bush administration.
A weak dollar makes foreign travel and imports more expensive (it does make U.S. exports cheaper for foreigners, good for businesses involved in exports and for foreigners traveling here). Since much of our oil is imported, our cut-rate dollar is hitting everybody's wallet. So how is the Bush administration to blame? Huge deficits and an outflow of resources caused by the war is part of the problem. Also, the borrowing necessitated by huge trade imbalances. The situation was exacerbated by the failure of the president to lead. The NY Times stated it concisely:
The only lasting way to fix the imbalances — and reduce that borrowing — is to increase America’s savings. But the administration has steadfastly rejected that responsible approach since it would require rolling back excessive tax cuts and engaging in government-led health care reform to rein in looming crushing costs — both, anathema to President Bush. It would also require revamping the nation’s tax incentives so that they create new savings by typical families, instead of new shelters for the existing wealth of affluent families — another nonstarter for this White House.
Stymied by what it won’t do, the administration has gone for a quicker fix — letting the dollar slide. A weaker dollar helps to ease the nation’s imbalances by making American exports more affordable, thus narrowing the trade deficit.
But to be truly effective, a weaker dollar must be paired with higher domestic savings. Otherwise, the need to borrow from abroad remains large, even as a weakening currency makes dollar-based debt less attractive. That’s the trap the nation is slipping into today. Among other ills, it could lead to a deterioration in American living standards as money flows abroad to pay foreign creditors, leaving less to spend at home on critical needs. Or, it could lead to abrupt spikes in interest rates as American debtors are forced to pay whatever it takes to get the loans they need.
In volatile economic times like now, leadership is crucial — and notably absent with this administration. Officials have made no effort to orchestrate a more coordinated and comprehensive realignment of the world’s currencies, in part, it seems, because the administration is unwilling to have America do its part by saving more.
Geopolitical uncertainty is the hallmark of the Bush/Cheney/McCain/Goodlatte foreign policy. The war in Iraq destabilized an entire region and and the off and on saber rattling and threats toward to Iran are keeping friends and foes alike off balance and confused. Our once cherished influence with the Saudis and others is gone. Rumors of war makes the oil markets jumpy giving rise to more speculation.
Cackling about which, wild and uncontrolled speculation, may be the driving force behind the current escalation of gas prices. With supplies up and demand down something has turned the "law" of supply and demand on its head. According to this article in Business Week (pretty Republican read, I'd say) it is all about "unregulated commodities markets and greed." Or another way of saying it - this is what happens when the fox guards the hen house.
So Bob, before you fling chicken litter at Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats who have only "controlled" Congress for a little over a year, you better look at nearly 8 years of Bush administration policies (supported 99.9% of the time by you) that undermined the U.S. position in the world of politics, economics, and morals.
Questions to Bob on the Democrats controlling Congress: how many obstacles have you and your GOP friends erected to block Democratic initiatives? How many procedural delays will the House minority muster? How many filibusters will Republicans threaten in the Senate? How many bills will the president veto? How many times will you support his veto? Don't blame the Democrats until you look in the mirror.
As The Roanoke Times noted in an editorial "Gasbag Politics,"
Goodlatte has an opportunity during this election season to prove he can rise above the fray. So far, he's off to a disappointing, but predictable, start.
There is a choice for common sense leadership in the 6th District this November. It it time to retire Bob. Take a Gas-X - bloat is the only kind of gas with which you can speak on with authority.

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