Republicans in Congress are looking for ways to curb capitalism, at least in one industry. It seems capitalism is cool until it hurts you at the polls. The problem is rising gas prices. As the prices go up, Republican popularity goes down. I guess free enterprise isn't so free, is it fellas?
You've probably heard by now that Hastert and Frist are looking for ways to reduce gas prices before the summer surge hits. According to this Washington Post article, energy experts say it isn't that easy. While no quick fix is given, it does help explain an email sent by Walter Jones discussed yesterday in one of Anglico's diaries.
More on the flip side
It seems old Walt sent out a missive giving directions on conserving gas and saving money. Now we know why. There is no easy way to lower gas prices.
President Bush and congressional Republicans are under mounting public pressure to reduce gasoline prices, but they have few if any policy choices that would cut them over the next few months as family driving reaches its annual peak and as the midterm elections near.
Energy experts agree that almost everything that the president and Congress can do to increase gasoline supplies or trim demand would take years to implement. The few short-term options they have would do little to prevent the price of gasoline from reaching a national average of about $3.25 a gallon this summer.
"This is a long-lead-time business; the investment horizon is five, 10 or 20 years," said Daniel Yergin, chairman of the consulting firm Cambridge Energy Research Associates. "There's no switch to pull."
This just stinks. There are many reasons why my family will be hurt by rising gas prices - just like most other families - but I'm going to look on the bright side. My wallet may be thinner now, but the possible payout at the polls in November will be worth it.
Are the Republicans accusing Democrats of politicizing this? Of course, they are. Are Democrats politicizing this? They damned well better be! They also had better come up with some solutions. One they already have on the table is the windfall-profits tax. According to the article, even Arlen Spector admits this is an option.
It will be entertaining to see Republicans tap dance around their unrelenting love for free enterprise as it inhibits their ability to win votes in the fall. It will also be interesting to see how many ways they find to blame this on the Democrats, because as you know, Republicans have a hard time accepting responsibility for A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.