Tuesday, August 5, 2008

American Decline

John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." My, how we have changed. I suppose those ringing, inspirational words just evoke snickers today from a population that clearly does not do sacrifice.

Yes, I know; I'm hard-hearted. Americans are "suffering" from the exorbitant cost of filling their SUV's tank (the cost of filling their tank's tank, one might say) for that dangerous expedition to the office or grocery store. No exaggeration - grocery store parking lots are packed with monstrous SUVs every day; go check out the one near you. One never knows when a sports-utility moment might strike.

So now the man who would bring change wants to borrow from the nation's emergency oil reserve to bribe voters into electing him. The man who would bring change also called America's passion for petroleum an "addiction." I confess to being puzzled. One does not usually offer a drunk another stiff one on the way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

But OK, I'm willing to compromise. Let's pretend the uptick in gas prices is truly a national emergency threatening our security. I'll go along then with using our emergency oil reserves to lower gas prices a bit between now and the end of the emergency (first Tuesday in November), but first do the following (after all, it's an EMERGENCY!):

1. fine any SUV, truck, or sports car, caught exceeding the speed limit $1,000.00, with 90% of the fines to be transferred to low-income people;

2. cancel 2008 income tax for all people earning less than $25,000 per year, to be balanced by a tax on imported oil or those making over $200,000 per year or oil companies or arms manufacturers;

3. return to home ports half of that huge gas-guzzling armada of U.S. naval vessels circling endlessly in the Persian Gulf like hungry sharks;

4. end the economic war against Iran so they can import technology to upgrade their oil production facilities;

4. call by national leaders on Americans to cut consumption to show they can do something for their country.

Then, if a bribe is still needed, pass out the bribe.


dancewater said...

another one: Drive 55

Hey, your speeding ticket price of $1000 - with 90% going to the poor would mean that the local municipality gets less money, since tickets are generally over $150 now - I like the idea, but maybe on 75% should go to the poor - that way the local municipality will get more $$ and be willing to support it.

Anonymous said...

Interesting ideas but...
1: Local/state police use those funds too. Better idea: Ongoing Gas-guzzler taxes, Any G-class vehicle with an EPA rating under 20 MPG highway gets a $150 tax tacked on to their ownership renewal.

2: Sounds good, but I'd drop it to $150K and raise the lower limit to $35K. Give the lower-middle class a break.

3: They're already cutting back.

4: They've stated they want to develop a nuclear weapon, I don't believe that giving them money is a wise idea. Normalizing trade with them may help...

5: Make it worth their while: give tax incentives for people that cut their electrical bill by 5%, and a bigger cut for the 10%, and another for 20-25%... charge no tax on energy star appliances/TVs/computers.