Saturday, April 29, 2006

Gimmie my rebate!

From The Washington Times:

Republican leaders yesterday proposed giving drivers a $100 tax rebate in the face of record-high gas prices, one element of a broad plan that includes oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

First of all drilling in Alaska is a good idea and it is something that we should have been doing years ago. If Bill Clinton had not vetoed it we would be getting one million barrels of oil per day right now. But what I want to talk about is the silly idea of giving every American a $100.00 tax rebate.

It is a silly idea. If congress wants to give the American public tax relief they should simply lower the massive federal gas tax.

As an aside to that we should note that the federal tax on a gallon of gas is several times higher than the oil companies profit on a gallon of gas. Until congress cuts the gas tax to an amount lower than the oil companies profit any representative or senator who uses language like "obscene profits" or advocates that the oil companies be broken up or that they be saddled with a "windfall profits tax" should be stripped naked and scourged on the Capitol Mall.

And by "scourged" I mean like in The Passion of the Christ where the skin is literally ripped off their bones.

But back to my main topic, which is the public reaction to the proposed gas tax rebate. This past Friday it seemed that every news outlet in the land was doing "man in the street" interviews to get the reaction to the rebate. The universal reaction (or at least the only ones that they chose to show) was to whine that with gas prices so high that $100.00 only amounted to two or three fill-ups.

Listen carefully you nanny-state-dependent, infantilized, free-loading morons. The purpose of the rebate is not to give you free gas. It is to offset the increase in gas prices. Most passenger vehicles in the US hold between 10 and 20 gallons of gas. $100.00 offsets the price increase for somewhere between 8 and 12 fill-ups. For most Americans living in urban or suburban areas that amounts to anything from 3 to 8 weeks of driving. Or it could get you through your summer road trip with a couple weeks communing thrown in.

It is a sad thing that the average American's reaction to something like this is to stick his hand out and bleat for more.

Now a good argument can be made that we have a right to the money. After all high pump prices are the fault of Washington. If the government had not allowed environmentalists (and not-in-our-backyard communities) to block new oil refinery construction and new nuclear power plants. If they had not forbidden drilling in Alaska and off the coasts of California and Florida. If they did not have such a bottomless appetite for tax revenue. If they did not mandate up to 17 different blends of gasoline for different parts of the nation. . .

If they did not do these things and many more gas prices would be at least a dollar cheaper at the pump. However this is not what is in Joe Sixpack's mind (or maybe we should start calling him Joe Babybottle) when he puckers up and cries for a bigger check from Big Daddy in DC.