The $100 Pacifier

by Steve on May 1, 2006

When I first read about the proposed plan to send taxpayers a $100 rebate to help ease the pain of higher gas prices I thought, “C’mon, you’ve got to be kidding!” This is the best congress can come up with? Stick your finger in the dike and watch it pour over the top on your head. Kind of like that $400 tax rebate we got a few years back. Nice but now what?

An article in this morning’s NYT offered some insight into the logic(?) behind the offering that I had not heard prior to today.

Under the proposal, $100 checks would be sent late this summer to an estimated 100 million taxpayers, regardless of car ownership. Single taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes above about $146,000 would be ineligible for the checks, as would couples earning more than about $219,000. The $100 figure was determined by Mr. Frist’s office, which calculated that the average driver would pay about $11 per month in federal gas taxes over nine months.

Seems to me that the income thresholds are set somewhat high but at least the rebate as a refund of federal gas taxes makes a little more sense. However, I doubt that this would even be on the table if it were not for the upcoming elections. I would much rather see some substantial legislation designed to address the root problem: our dependence on foreign oil. We elected this group supposedly to tackle important issues that warrant their time and our money. Time to put aside the party gamesmanship and get the job done. Use the money to fund alternative fuel technology research, something that has a realistic chance at a long term solution to the problem. Stop throwing money at the symptoms and attack the real issue.

The price of oil is not going to decline as a result of any action or inaction by our elected representatives. We don’t control enough of this planet’s oil reserves for our government to have that type of effect. As China’s economy continues to grow and consume ever more oil world prices will reflect the basic laws of supply and demand. Drilling/refining capacity cannot keep pace with increasing world demand and the price will continue to increase. Reduce demand and the price will drop. Stop fixating on the price and concentrate on the demand component of the equation.

What’s your opinion? When you get done commenting, copy/paste and include it in an email to your congressman/woman.

{ 1 comment }

Anonymous May 10, 2006 at 13:18

Great Work!

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