Thursday, May 04, 2006

More gas price foolishness

Posted by Craig Westover | 2:34 PM |  

I’ve been picking on Mark Kennedy a lot for his economically foolish plan to suspend the federal gas tax for the summer. Well, you knew that sooner or later the Democrats would jump into the fray, but as usual, they do so without making any economic argument, just jumping right to the name calling and spinning meaningless numbers.

New poll shows 64% of Americans blame Big Oil for high gas prices but Kennedy offers no long-term solutions

ST. PAUL (5/02/06) – In his latest election-year stunt, U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kennedy today suggested suspending the gas tax for the summer. The DFL Party called the stunt a "gimmick" and called on Kennedy to start addressing the country's energy crisis with long-term solutions.

"Representative Kennedy's suggestion of temporarily suspending the gas tax is just election-year gimmickry that won't fool anybody," Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez said. "It's an even worse idea than the ridiculous hundred-dollar rebate scheme that Senator Frist proposed last week. Even the other Republicans are ridiculing that idea. But here is Mark Kennedy, putting lipstick on the pig and trying to sell it again.

"Just last week, Representative Kennedy could have done something real about ending unnecessary tax breaks for Big Oil. He talked tough all week, actually claimed that he would vote against the tax breaks – and then broke his word at the first opportunity.

"Mark Kennedy has a bad habit of talking tough at home, then turning around and voting the wrong way in Washington. Just three days after promising that he'd vote against tax breaks for Big Oil, he voted for them. Minnesota deserves legislators that it can trust, not Mark Kennedy's double talk."

Kennedy's latest move comes in the wake of new polling that shows 64% of Americans believe Big Oil is to blame for the soaring price of gas.

"Big Oil has found quite a friend in Mark Kennedy. Even with Minnesota reeling from the soaring gas prices, Mark Kennedy won't risk irritating the Big Oil companies that finance his campaigns," Melendez said.
This DFL press release includes a table showing that Kennedy’s proposal would only save a family with children about $75 over the summer.

Besides the name-calling what’s wrong with this release?

First, nowhere does it make any kind of an argument to defend the “gimmick” charge. “Lipstick on a pig” is not an argument. Neither is saying 64 percent of American’s believe “Big Oil” is to blame for the soaring price of gas. That’s about the same percentage that believed "the National Security Agency [should] be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States," and that believed that history will give the U.S. credit for bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq and that believed that Saddam Hussein had strong links to Al Qaeda.

Why don’t the Democrats make real economic arguments instead of name-calling? Because if they did, then they’d have to supply the same economic rigor to some of the economically ridiculous proposals coming out of the Klobuchar camp concerning ethanol and alternative fuels (see David Strom article here). Hell, I have yet to see any economic justification coming out of Klobuchar’s campaign that can even be analyzed.

I’ve stated before, I don’t like a lot of the negative stuff coming out of the Republican party; were I a Democrat, I’d find this press release insulting to my party and my intelligence.