Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why We Can't Have Nice Things

There are times I wish I could go back in time to grab the country's founders by their necks and to shake them until their eyes spun. This is one of those times. Their idea of a "Senate" to offset the whimsy of the House just hasn't worked out of late.

The Senate has more Democrats than Republicans. That doesn't mean much, and hasn't for quite some time. The Republicans seem to always get their way, whether they have the majority or not. Case in point: the recent vote on getting rid of government tax breaks for oil companies whose profits are through the roof once again. Paul Whitefield had some rather brief but certainly pertinent comments on on the process.

As Time staff writers Lisa Mascaro and Christi Parsons reported Thursday: “The Senate blocked an effort to end billions of dollars in tax breaks for the oil industry, brushing aside President Obama's argument that the five big oil companies were doing ‘just fine’ while consumers were struggling with painfully high gasoline prices.”

Of course, on Capitol Hill, "consumers" are those people who need to be pandered to whenever an election rolls around. Big oil companies, on the other hand, are "providers" -- of lots of campaign contributions.

So I guess that’s how we got to this “free market,” the one in which oil companies are free to charge whatever they want for gasoline, Congress is free to keep giving tax breaks to an industry making huge profits, and you and I are free to walk, or bike, or scrimp on other things so we can put 87-octane into old Bessie.
[Emphasis added]

That article by Mascaro and Parsons to which Whitefield refers is also illuminating.

The measure to kill the industry tax preferences failed on a 51-47 procedural vote Thursday. It needed 60 votes to overcome a Republican-led filibuster that was supported by some Democrats from oil-rich states. [Emphasis added]

Because, of course, the "consumers" in oil-rich states aren't getting gouged by the oil companies, and aren't being affected by the slash-and-burn cutting of other federal programs (such as education, food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, student loans, and so on) so that we can get our deficit under control rather than ending these billion dollar giveaways to the big five oil companies.

The "providers," also known as the "1%" or "our owners," wouldn't have it any other way. And our senators are only too happy to comply.

I swear, one of these days I'm gonna take a hostage.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Florence said...

It doesn't make sense to be talking about cutting Medicare, Medicaid, & Social Security but giving tax breaks to the oil companies. (It might just make one wonder if those campaign donations that oil companies make might, just might, have something to do with it...)

8:53 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Diane says, "I swear, one of these days I'm gonna take a hostage."

Well, you could take yourself hostage.

That would be both ethical and legal. :-)

7:45 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home