Wednesday, April 30, 2008

An Energy “Solution” That Taxes Only Our Sanity

There aren’t too many occasions where I have principled disagreements with Patrick Murphy, but this is one of them.

This Courier Times story tells us that both Patrick and Repug U.S. House challenger Tom Manion want to suspend the gas and diesel taxes for the summer. Even though it would be nice to alleviate the pinch on my wallet any way possible when I fill up the Doomsy-mobile, I am honestly concerned by the loss in revenue (approximately $10 billion by some estimates) that would be caused by a meager savings at the pump.

However, it should be noted that Patrick wisely wants to make up that lost revenue by suspending the obscene tax breaks lavished upon our energy companies (and a good start in that process is to try and get this piece of legislation moving).

Barack Obama quite rightly is opposed to suspending the tax for the summer, which has earned him the vilification of both Hillary Clinton and John McCain; “Senator Honor And Virtue” apparently came up with this hare-brained idea. And I have to tell you that Hillary’s umbrage here is positively hilarious, given her one-time opposition to suspending the tax here as well as her numerous flip-flops on ethanol.

And on this subject, I must tell you that it truly pains me to give Little Tommy Friedman credit for anything, but he’s absolutely “on the beam” in his column in the New York Times today (noted here, among others). Even though I think every non-Iraq war topic he writes about for the rest of his life is going to represent an attempt to distance himself from that catastrophe and his morally repugnant cheerleading, he’s right about the fact that we have a ways to go in this country when it comes to funding and developing clean energy and making that the predominant consideration in our energy policy (though if we could use the hot air from what passes for political discourse in this country, we’d achieve energy efficiency for all eternity).

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