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Blaming vs. Fixing

April 27th, 2011

Republicans are eager to blame Obama as much as possible for high gas prices. Boehner, however, messed up when he reflexively tried to defend huge government subsidies for energy corporations already making obscene profits. Obama and the Dems want to target those subsidies as a way to help balance the budget. Good for them.

Boehner hits back that socking the energy corps won’t cut gas prices:

If someone in the administration can show me that raising taxes on American energy production will lower gas prices and create jobs, then I will gladly discuss it. But since nobody can, and the president’s letter to Congress today doesn’t, this is merely an attempt to deflect from the policies of the past two years.

He’s hoping, of course, that nobody will notice that not eliminating the subsidies would have any better an effect–energy corporations don’t need an excuse to hike prices–or that it wasn’t liberal policies that brought up gas prices either. In fact, I am pretty sure that perhaps the only government actions that could bring energy costs down are price controls or stricter regulation of speculation–neither of which I bet Boehner would support.

It looks, however, like Obama is aiming for possibly the better practical policy (if way too little and late): regulation of speculation, elimination of unneeded subsidies, and investment in alternate energy sources. All of which, of course, Republicans will object to. They will instead wish to invest all possible resources into (1) putting even more money into the pockets of big oil, and (2) blaming Obama and the Democrats for everything. Because whining and blaming is so much easier than actually fixing stuff.

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