Obama and the Surge
I was just reading an interview of Sen. Barack Obama by Katie Couric. About a third of the way through the transcript, Ms. Couric struggles to make sense of Sen. Obama’s statement that knowing what he knows now – that the surge was successful in reducing the violence in Iraq – he would still not have supported the troop surge in Iraq.
Sen. Obama is attempting to maintain a delicate balancing act. If he admits that the surge worked, he admits that he was wrong and Sen. John McCain was right. If he refuses to acknowledge that the surge worked, he looks, at best, extremely arrogant, at worst, ignorant of the situation on the ground there.
So, he tries to shift the focus of the conversation from whether or not the surge is working to whether or not we should be in Iraq.
The problem with that is we are in Iraq and we will be if and when Obama takes on his role as president. We need to know what he will do as president, how he will respond to the current situation – the war in Iraq.
We already know that he opposed the war, but the next president will need to deal with the reality that the war is in progress. Given that, are we better served with a president who supported a military maneuver that yielded success or one who not only opposed that successful maneuver, but who cannot even admit that he was wrong?
Oil Prices and Offshore Drilling
I keep hearing that domestic drilling for oil will do nothing to help lower gas prices today. Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics at Harvard, explains in the Wall Street Journal how any steps taken to increase the future supply of oil will decrease the prices today.
So why the conflicting views?
As long as the left can convince Americans that the only way to lower gas prices is to decrease demand (which is one way to affect prices, just not the only way), then we will have no choice but to decrease demand, through conservation and, ultimately, alternative sources.
Replacing oil with an alternative energy source is the main concern for the left – not reducing oil prices. But the only way to get mainstream America on board is by repeating the mantra that there is no other way to reduce prices, until said mantra is accepted as truth.
Enter offshore drilling.
If America was able to increase domestic oil production, thus reducing prices, the support for alternative energy sources would wane.
I have nothing against alternative energy sources, but the issue that most people, myself included, are concerned more about is the rising prices of gas and food.
As long as the left is primarily concerned with promoting alternative energy at the expense of policies that would reduce prices of petroleum products, they are working against the interests of Americans. Period.
I know that sounds harsh, but that is what it boils down to.
We can make changes in our energy policy and work toward alternatives, but in the meantime, our society runs on gas and the current price levels are making life more difficult for many people.
If our government insists on interfering with our economy, as it does, then priority one should be focusing short term policy on lowering gas prices, while making the hunt for energy alternatives a longer term goal.
Windfall Profits and Government Rebates
Speaking of energy, Sen. Barack Obama announced his plan to give Americans an emergency energy rebate of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for families to be paid for by a windfall profits tax on oil companies.
Where to start…
First, any new tax on oil companies will translate to higher prices at the pump. Prices are just now starting to fall, so why would Sen. Obama want to do something to make them go back up?
Second, what’s with this new trend of the government handing out checks to people when the economy gets bumpy? Is that really a function of the federal government? (Hint: no.)
And I have to point out that when oil companies post profits, it is not like one guy is pocketing all that cash. The profits benefit the shareholders, including anyone with oil company stock in their retirement portfolio, which accounts for over 40% of ExxonMobil’s stock.
Finally, do we really want to start down the path where the government decides who is making too much profit? Where do we draw the line at what constitutes “windfall profits”? And in a free country, can we really have a government that tells individuals or companies that they are making too much money? (Again: no.)
This is just an all around bad idea, a gross expansion of government power, and just the beginning of the socialist utopian fantasy that we can expect to see more of in an Obama presidency.
Why did this have to be the year that the GOP is running such a lackluster candidate?
That’s all for this week. In case you missed it, She’s Right is now published every Monday. Thanks for reading and have a great week!