EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for January 27, 2011
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From the President’s State of the Union Address:
“We need to get behind this [green] innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”
Those billions of dollars we “give the oil companies”? Prior Congresses, going back nearly 100 years, purposely tweaked the tax code to encourage drilling. Their “investment” resulted in the stable, secure and affordable energy supply that enabled our nation’s industrial might. By taking those benefits away, drilling becomes less attractive to the investor. Fewer wells will be drilled, and more jobs will be lost. Energy prices will rise, making the U.S. less competitive in international markets and more dependent on foreign energy producers.
Several of the proposed tax breaks available to energy are available to other industry: energy is being singled out.
A point often missed by Democratic policy wonks: You can’t punish oil without punishing natural gas. The two are inextricably linked; what we refer to casually as “oil companies” are also America’s biggest natural gas suppliers. The tax code for drilling is the same for oil and natural gas. Since 80% of America’s domestic drilling targets natural gas, you can’t take away those tax breaks from oil without crippling gas.
I don’t know why he’s bothering to yell at the President over this, though: the question of whether Harry Reid has the ability to get earmarks passed into legislation was abruptly settled last November. The House has banned them, and in case anybody was wondering whether the Republican base considers that ban to encompass the conference process where the differences between the Senate and House versions of a bill are resolved, let me clear that up: the Republican base does so consider it.
And the Republican base will get very, very loud if it even looks like the House GOP is wavering on this issue – which, I hasten to add, it does not currently appear that they are doing. I fully expect them to stay fully righteous on earmarks, in fact. But it’s just best that everything be put on the table, all spelled out and everything, just so that there are no unfortunate misunderstandings later. I’m sure that we all want to avoid unfortunate misunderstandings, don’t we?
The desiccated feminist, Barbara Ehrenreich, poses this question in an op-ed in today’s LA Times:
“Why are Americans such wusses? Threaten the Greeks with job losses and benefit cuts and they tie up Athens, but take away Americans’ jobs, 401(k)s, even their homes, and they pretty much roll over. Tell British students that their tuition is about to go up and they take to the streets; American students just amp up their doses of Prozac.”
Naturally, she has an answer. Too many guns. And the wrong people have them.
I think he should run. While not denigrating the other potential GOP candidates for President in 2012, ask yourself: do any of them really excite you? That should clear out half the field right there, if not three fourths. Then ask yourself who has held true to his or her principles under fire, time and time again? I’m not saying standing up and proclaiming this or that: words mean nothing to me. It’s what you actually do, and Mike Pence’s voting record has shown from No Child Left Behind to Medicare Part D to TARP to the stimulus bill, even taking a stand against the recent tax compromise, he has talked and walked the walk.
Then ask who you think has the ability to excite the base and not alienate independents? Keep asking yourself questions along these lines, and throw in the fact that Mike Pence is a very good communicator of the ideas we hold dear, and you start to realize a Mike Pence for President bid could really take off.