Sadie sent me a link to a calculator that shows precisely how Obama’s energy policies are hitting you every time you pump gas. And those are just the costs you see. These increased fuel prices affect every aspect of American life, because oil truly is the liquid that powers the entire United States. Higher fuel prices mean more expensive goods and services (including food), whether at the production or transportation level.
This is the cozy mansion New York Times‘ columnist Tom Friedman calls home:
Judging by its size, it probably has a carbon footprint roughly equal to a small nation’s:
As the July edition of the Washingtonian Magazine notes, Friedman lives in “a palatial 11,400-square-foot house, now valued at $9.3 million, on a 7½-acre parcel just blocks from I-495 and Bethesda Country Club.” He “married into one of the 100 richest families in the country” – the Bucksbaums, whose real-estate Empire is valued at $2.7 billion.
Heating and cleaning the pool alone probably consume enough energy to power a factory. The picture above is somewhat out of date, so things may have changed, but I’ll note that Friedman’s solar panels are, well, conspicuously absent.
All of which makes it screamingly funny when Friedman, after a first paragraph so profoundly ignorant its laughable (I’ll get back to it later), offers the following idea as a means for the Tea Partiers to gain the New York Times‘ seal of approval:
But should the Tea Partiers actually aspire to break out of that range, attract lots of young people and become something more than just entertainment for Fox News, I have a suggestion:
Become the Green Tea Party.
I’d be happy to design the T-shirt logo and write the manifesto. The logo is easy. It would show young Americans throwing barrels of oil imported from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia into Boston Harbor.
The manifesto is easy, too: “We, the Green Tea Party, believe that the most effective way to advance America’s national security and economic vitality would be to impose a $10 “Patriot Fee” on every barrel of imported oil, with all proceeds going to pay down our national debt.”
Friedman is right that America shouldn’t be dependent on foreign oil, but he seems to have forgotten that it’s his own party (and his own paper) that has made it virtually impossible for America (a) to drill, (b) to process oil shale or (c) to produce meaningful nuclear power. Instead, he’s hooked his wagon to solar and wind energy, both of which are incapable of servicing America’s energy needs. This means that Friedman wants to make us economically suffer by taxing us even more, without enabling us to have any viable energy alternatives. (He also thinks a carbon tax is a hunky dory idea.)
A $10 a barrel tax and a carbon tax may be irrelevant to a man living off of “one of the 100 richest families in the country,” but it will destroy America’s industry and, frankly, every thing else but for her wealthiest class. In other words, Friedman has neatly spelled out the recipe for an economic meltdown similar to Zimbabwe’s and one that will leave the same outcome: a poverty stricken nation, centered around a small, fabulously wealthy (and, inevitably, corrupt) ruling class. We already know which niche Friedman has carved out for himself.
But really, what can one expect from a man who shows his profound ignorance and sneering disdain for America — not to mention his shallow intellectual dilettantism — in his very first paragraph. (See, I promised I’d get back to it.) I usually wait until deep within my posts to sound this stupid:
I’ve been trying to understand the Tea Party Movement. Sounds like a lot of angry people who want to get the government out of their lives and cut both taxes and the deficit. Nothing wrong with that — although one does wonder where they were in the Bush years. Never mind. I’m sure like all such protest movements the Tea Partiers will get their 10 to 20 percent of the vote.
That paragraph has just got everything one would expect from someone living and work in the one of the ritziest, and most liberal, parts of the world. In mere sentences, we get oozing condescension for the foolish, impenetrable masses; contempt for the anger that sees people taking to the street, Constitutions in hand, protesting a rapacious federal government; and, of course, the inevitable attack on George Bush.
As to that last point (“where the heck were they during the Bush presidency?”) I think this simple chart is a good starting point for explaining where these same frustrated (as opposed to angry) people were before Obama; or, more accurately, why they weren’t taking to the street to protest government overreach:
Need I say more? No, I don’t think so.
UPDATE: Turns out — no big shock here — that Friedman’s not the only green colored hypocrite.
One post ago, I said I was going to wait and see until Obama does something before I get upset. Now I’m upset. I got around to reading the AP article announcing that one of Obama’s first acts will be to reinstate the ban on offshore and natural gas drilling. That’s the ban that, when in place, saw our gasoline soar to almost $4.00 per gallon. That wasn’t just a hit to every person driving a car. It was a hit to every school district running buses. It was a hit to every grocery store getting food to the shelves. It was a hit to every farm using gasoline powered equipment to harvest food. It was a hit to every flight moving people around the United States and around the world. And on and on, throughout the American economy, at every level and affecting every person.
That same ban was also a huge blessing to OPEC en masse, as well as to its individual members. It also made Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Russia and Venezuela very, very happy. Just as the ban was a bad thing for us at every point in our economy, it was a blessing for those who loath us.
And what happened when Bush let the offshore oil drilling ban lapse in the face of a Democratic Congress afraid to jink the election? Prices plummeted, and quickly too. Even here, in one of the priciest parts of America, you can now get gasoline for less then $2.00 a gallon if you’re willing to drive a few miles from the pricier sections of Marin. My local Safeway has sales on everything. As their shipping costs have dropped, they’re racing to pass the savings on to customers. It’s not beneficence on Safeway’s part. It’s good business. If they can drop their prices faster than their competitors can, they get the customers.
And just as we in America are benefiting hugely from the mere possibility of offshore drilling, the oil producing nations, almost all of which are hostile to us, are worried. OPEC is talking about price fixing to keep those petrodollars flowing into Wahhabi coffers.
So what’s Barack Obama’s first planned move? As I said above, it’s to reinstate the offshore oil ban, as well as to kill domestic natural gas production! I kid you not:
President-elect Barack Obama plans to use his executive powers to make an immediate impact when he takes office, perhaps reversing Bush administration policies on stem cell research and domestic drilling for oil and natural gas.
On drilling, the federal Bureau of Land Management is opening about 360,000 acres of public land in Utah to oil and gas drilling. Bush administration officials argue that the drilling will not harm sensitive areas; environmentalists oppose it.
“They want to have oil and gas drilling in some of the most sensitive, fragile lands in Utah,” Podesta said. “I think that’s a mistake.”
Clearly, one of the things we as conservatives can do is remind hurting consumers every single day that it was President Bush who made gas prices (and therefore all prices) drop when he allowed the ban to lapse, and President Obama who made every aspect of our lives more costly.
And if, God forbid, some Wahhabi extremists launch a deadly, well-funded attack against the U.S. in 2009, it’s up to us to remind the American people that it was the extremist environmental policies espoused by the Democrats (Obama included) that funded that ideology and those attacks.
I was hoping that Obama would govern as a centrist, given his narcissistic need to retain power and popularity. He’s making it clear, though, that he will govern as an ideologue, pandering to the base, and to hell with the best interests of America and her citizens.
In keeping with my prior post, about the callous illogical shown in one of the Times’ most recent articles, I’d like to highlight Obama’s insistence on a “windfall profits tax” — another “bright” idea showing a rather typical Democratic refusal to recognize cause and effect, not to mention a willful refusal to acknowledge historic evidence:
You may also be wondering how a higher tax on energy will lower gas prices. Normally, when you tax something, you get less of it, but Mr. Obama seems to think he can repeal the laws of economics. We tried this windfall profits scheme in 1980. It backfired. The Congressional Research Service found in a 1990 analysis that the tax reduced domestic oil production by 3% to 6% and increased oil imports from OPEC by 8% to 16%. Mr. Obama nonetheless pledges to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, which he says “costs America $800 million a day.” Someone should tell him that oil imports would soar if his tax plan becomes law. The biggest beneficiaries would be OPEC oil ministers.
The WSJ from which the above comes is called “Windfall Profits for Dummies.” I have a bigger question: Are dummies attracted to the current incarnation of the Democratic party, or does being a member of the Democratic party make you dumb?