Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 27, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

PANDERING FOR DUMMIES....I realize that high gasoline prices bring out the worst in everybody, but Senate Republicans have surely given new meaning to the word "pandering" with today's proposal:

Most American taxpayers would get $100 rebate checks to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote Thursday...."Our plan would give taxpayers a hundred dollar gas tax holiday rebate check to help ease the pain that they're feeling at the pump," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced Thursday.

A hundred dollar rebate! It's bad economics, bad policy, bad optics, and the palpable stink of election-year desperation all rolled into one fetid package. But at least it's means tested!

Frist said the rebates would go to single taxpayers making less than $125,000 per year, and couples making less than $150,000.

Whew. For a minute there I thought they were just being frivolous about this. But as long as Bill Gates doesn't get a rebate check, sign me up.

Kevin Drum 5:38 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (106)

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Comments

PowerLineBlog has some great analysis of the rebate proposal.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on April 27, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

It's now official: Frequency Kenneth is a parody.

Posted by: shortstop on April 27, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

That's class warfare!!!! Why should millionaires be deprived just because, well, they're rich. After all, look at all the taxes they pay. Besides, the Democrats are probably doing something stupid as well.

-tbrosz

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on April 27, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

It's not even pandering. It's to cover the addition of opening ANWR for drilling. When (if?) the dems shoot it down for ANWR, they can say 'See? Weeee wanted to give you all a hundred dollars but the mean ol' dems won't let us.'

Transparent.

The Prairie Angel

Posted by: Arachnae on April 27, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

You don't get it. This is coupled with a provision allowing drilling in ANWAR. The idea is that it will be voted down, then Republican challengers in the November election can broadcast ads saying that the Dem incumbent voted against rebate checks.

Posted by: JR on April 27, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

It's beyond pandering. It's insulting.

Posted by: has407 on April 27, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

And what does Human Events have to say, Ken? Anything up at Stormfront yet? Keep us posted!

Posted by: Tom on April 27, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

I see this as a model for the future. As the mid-terms roll around, Congress can just start mailing checks to people with a little note saying "Who's your buddy?" I mean, they're the government, right? They can just print more money!

Posted by: Steve on April 27, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Actually it makes more sense than the Democrat's proposal to me: people should be encouraged to avoid driving altogether- in the Democratic proposal you only benefit from the tax break if you drive. Perversely, the Democratic proposal encourages energy consumption at a time when we need to conserve.


Granted 100 dollars is not much but it probably equals the Democrats' reduction in gas taxes for many people.

Posted by: Preston on April 27, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

But shouldn't drivers of SUVs get bigger rebates?

Posted by: Ross Best on April 27, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Jinx to JR...

Posted by: Arachnae on April 27, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

But at least it's means tested!

Kevin, sounds like you're angry because the Democrats didn't think of it first!

Posted by: Al on April 27, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

I understand they're going to implement the rebate on voting machines, spitting out your winnings kind of like the slots.

Of course, you do have to pull down the correct lever. You know, the one with the R?

Posted by: frankly0 on April 27, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't this like those tax rebate checks they gave out at the beginning of Bush's first term?
Except this one looks to be even more meaningless.

Posted by: Ringo on April 27, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

But, in order to get that wonderful $100 windfall check, we will agree to let them drill in ANWR. This is the most horrible (well maybe not the most absolutely horribly idea, like nuking Iran) idea the Rethugs have had in a long time, at least since last Sunday.

Posted by: Chief on April 27, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't driven in 15 years. Why do I get a $100 tax rebate for high gas prices?

How about incentives for car pooling, riding bikes, driving more fuel efficient vehicles, manufacturing more fuel efficient vehicles, telecommuting, and anything else that reduces gas usage.

nah, they need a political tool, not something that will actually help the situation.

Posted by: Librul on April 27, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Government checks all around!

I might just suggest that we vote Frist out of office, though if we applied that standard, most Democrats would have to go also.

Government checks all around!

If I get a check for the pain at the pump, can I get a check for the pain in my rump? It is a little sore sitting here waiting for the next bit of nonsense to come from the Republican chowderheads.

Checks all around!

How did this idiot ever get through medical school?

Posted by: Matt on April 27, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's not even pandering. It's to cover the addition of opening ANWR for drilling. When (if?) the dems shoot it down for ANWR, they can say 'See? Weeee wanted to give you all a hundred dollars but the mean ol' dems won't let us.' Transparent. The Prairie Angel

Shades of the $300.00 instant tax rebate from 2001. The Republican's 21st variation on bread and circuses.

Having no choice but to drive to work, that's about a month's worth of gas. That'll make sure the kids get all the way to graduate school!

Why don't they just show real balls and nail the oil companies with a windfall profit tax. Afterall, it's Shrub's fucking Iraq war and sabre rattling over Iran that goosed oil to $75.00/barrel

Posted by: JeffII on April 27, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK


What does Al think?

Posted by: b on April 27, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Let me channel tbrosz's take on this:

All government failures are bipartisan.
All government successes are Republican.

Posted by: craigie on April 27, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Billions for Big Oil and a hundred for us lucky citizens! Please kiss us first.

Posted by: darby1936 on April 27, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see why the Dems don't just give up the ANWR thing. The Caribou are fucked anyway. Look at the massive climate changes going on in the arctic over the past 5 years. Entire towns in Alaska are sinking into the used-to-be-perma-frost. It's too late to save ANWR.

I say we let the Repubs get their drill-on, and when, in 10 years, it doesn't yeild any useful oil, we can say "told ya so (ya stupid jackass moron!)".

If Dems don't drop this, the Repubs are going to use it as a club for every gas-price increase that happens from now until kingdom (KSA) come. As I said before - the Caribou are already fucked. If they're not extinct in 10 years, it'll be 5. It's not worth it.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 27, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

I see this as a model for the future. As the mid-terms roll around, Congress can just start mailing checks to people with a little note saying "Who's your buddy?" I mean, they're the government, right? They can just print more money!

Funniest thing I've read all day. "Who's your buddy?" indeed!

Posted by: craigie on April 27, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

You mean I get $100 dollars just for letting them drill Alaska ugly?

Tell you what... make it $150 and you can pave Yosemite too.

Posted by: The Ugly American on April 27, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II: The Republican's 21st variation on bread and circuses.

Well put.

craigie: Let me channel tbrosz's take on this:

All government failures are bipartisan, but Democratic government failures are twice as failureish.
All government successes are Republican.

That made me smile, but really I think it's:

All government failures are bipartisan.
All private-sector failures are the result of meddling Democrats who just couldn't let the free market go about its fully unbridled business!

Posted by: shortstop on April 27, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Question from the geologically ignorant to OBF:

doesn't the melting permafrost cause problems for ANWR? Or are the pipes laid on (or supported by) bedrock?

Posted by: Librul on April 27, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Unpraying works! Miracle! Miracle!

Posted by: lib on April 27, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Look, a $100 check from the government! My problems are all solved!

Is that what passes for policymaking in Republican circles nowadays? Screw ANWR. The Democrats should veto this because it's complete and utter crap.

How's about investigating price gouging by Exxon and Shell? How's about we invest $35 billion in a Manhattan project for Alternative Energy instead of as a giveaway to oil companies? How's about we move all the tax breaks from SUVs to hybrids? That's just off the top of my head!

That's the modern Republican Party for you. $100 checks and a FEMA trailer.

Posted by: theorajones on April 27, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, hell, I messed that up. Take my amendation to the first item in your brosz quote and move it to the first item in my quote. Then take an aspirin and a nap. Sorry.

Posted by: shortstop on April 27, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Even the Invisible Palm needs to be greased once in a while...

Posted by: koreyel on April 27, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting synopsis in the article:

As outlined by Frist and other GOP senators, the energy package would give taxpayers a $100 rebate, repeal tax incentives for oil companies and allow the Federal Trade Commission to prosecute retailers unlawfully inflating the price of gasoline. [emphasis added]
So I guess the FTC isn't current'y allowed to prosecute for unlawful activity?

Posted by: has407 on April 27, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

The best policy to address the current gasoline prices right now is for the government to do nothing different.

Hearings are no harm, to let verybody vent and for the congresscritters to express dismay and sympathy for their voters. Let every idiotic scheme get proposed and debated. They can re-debate ANWR, the outer continental shelf, and the Nantucket wind farm some more.

Production of ethanol from corn is supposed to increase 50% this year. Sorry I don'thave the source, but private investors are putting real money into ethanol. And that's from corn, which isn't a really good feedstock. Crops more ideally suited to ethanol are being bred by the government-subisdized universities and by private agri-business. that should help eventually, but every short-term intervention is likely to do more harm than good.

Posted by: republicrat on April 27, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Once someone in government, Carter I think, had the idea we should all get a government check for taking a shower togeter.


Posted by: Matt on April 27, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like Dems have succeeded even without trying.

Republicans now agree that the best way to solve a problem is to throw $100 bills at Americans.

Posted by: nut on April 27, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Told you some dumbass ideas were going to come down the pike. Why not just have the guts to put the ANWR thing out there by itself?

BTW, over the years I've seen a lot of proposals to drastically raise gas taxes to reduce consumption.

What was the solution given to help low-income and others squeezed by the higher prices at the pump?

Posted by: tbrosz on April 27, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Steve: As the mid-terms roll around, Congress can just start mailing checks to people with a little note saying "Who's your buddy?"

That isn't the future. that's the whole career of Robert Byrd (and a host of others, too numerous to mention.)

Posted by: republicrat on April 27, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

That's ok, I got it. And I adore
Democratic government failures are twice as failureish.

Posted by: craigie on April 27, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Frist,

Keep this up and in 2,000 years my back taxes will be paid.

Posted by: Matt on April 27, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

What was the solution given to help low-income and others squeezed by the higher prices at the pump?

If I may get serious for just a minute...

If I were king (or just king george), I would combine increases in taxes for energy with tax cuts and credits for the less well-off. I would even concede making the whole thing revenue-neutral. It's not about raising more money, it's about changing behaviour.

And nothing changes behaviour like money, as I'm sure you'll agree.

Posted by: craigie on April 27, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

How about incentives for car pooling, riding bikes, driving more fuel efficient vehicles, manufacturing more fuel efficient vehicles, telecommuting, and anything else that reduces gas usage.

there is a subsidy for buying HEVs. But really, why an incentive for saving money? We already have those in place.

Posted by: republicrat on April 27, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, over the years I've seen a lot of proposals to drastically raise gas taxes to reduce consumption.

What was the solution given to help low-income and others squeezed by the higher prices at the pump?

Well, MY solution was to use the methane constantly emitting from your mouth to power everyone's rides.

Posted by: shortstop on April 27, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

I think Dems should propose tax incentives to employers that allow people to work from home as much as possible. A Non-commuter-employee refund or something like that.

This is a win-win for everyone, and has the potential for reducing consumption substantially.

Posted by: lib on April 27, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry someone already mentioned telecommuting above.

Posted by: lib on April 27, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Shouldn't people out in Wyoming or Idaho get bigger checks since they have to drive 50 miles to put food on their family?

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on April 27, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

We need a tax incentive for dealing with the idiots we elect into office.

Posted by: Matt on April 27, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

As I said before - the Caribou are already fucked. If they're not extinct in 10 years, it'll be 5. It's not worth it. Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten

Mother Caribou!
Father Splendid word.
Mother No dear ... nibbling the hoops.
Father (he fires a shot) Caribou gorn.
Mother (laughs politely)
Father Intercourse.
Mother Later, dear.

Posted by: JeffII on April 27, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Told you some dumbass ideas were going to come down the pike. Why not just have the guts to put the ANWR thing out there by itself? Posted by: tbrosz

And you just listed another one. ANWR isnt' the answer to our consumption woes.

While there isn't an unlimited supply of oil in the world (and next to none in ANWR considering America's current consumption levels), those that can afford it will continue to drive or consume other petroleum products, and everyone else is just out of luck.

Posted by: JeffII on April 27, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Why not just have the guts to put the ANWR thing out there by itself?

Because they know it will fail on its own, even some Republicans oppose it.

At this point, I'm tempted to just let them do it--so everyone can see once and for all that it's a very short term fix for only a part of this country--the equivalent of a band-aid on a broken bone. But hey, Republicans seem to get off on environmental damage and tapping every possible fossil fuel, maybe the release will do them some good.
Then maybe everyone can finally start talking about real solutions.

Posted by: Ringo on April 27, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Frequency Kenneth: PowerLineBlog has some great analysis of the rebate proposal.

I don't know if I'd call it great, but even the base seems to recognize how idiotic and hollow the Republican party has become...

Wasn't There a Time When Republicans Knew Something About Economics?

Bottom line: The Republican Senators' proposal does nothing, other than ANWR drilling, that acknowledges the rules of supply and demand that govern prices. The "Gas Price Relief and Rebate Act" is mostly crude pandering of the kind we used to expect from Democrats, not Republicans.

This whole proposal suggests serious desperation on the part of the Republicans in Congress. It will be interesting to see what the White House reaction is.

Posted by: has407 on April 27, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

And what will that do to the deficit, sending out checks to every taxpayer?

I'll tell you, the only ideas these Republicans have is to throw more money at the problem.

Posted by: Ringo on April 27, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

The "Gas Price Relief and Rebate Act" is mostly crude pandering of the kind we used to expect from Democrats, not Republicans.

That could have been written by tbrosz himself. Like I said, all bad government actions are magically attributable to the Dems... It's just an article of faith with these folks.

Posted by: craigie on April 27, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

This comes to mind:

"The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money."

deToqueville, Democracy in America

Posted by: Alexis on April 27, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps the Republican elephant should be retired in favor of the Republican hyena,

http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/060426_hyena_cubs.html

Posted by: cld on April 27, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz--
Every time this comes up you ask the same question. There's usually a range of decent answers. Craigie's sums it up. It can be revenue neutral. It's about changing behaviour.

Bottom line, you believe the market will make the decisions. We think that sometimes the market needs to be pushed.

Help me. This is all totally a predictable situation but I haven't heard one intelligent comment from a politician all week.

Posted by: notthere on April 27, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

"nah, they need a political tool, not something that will actually help the situation."

Oh, you mean Bush?

Posted by: sheerahkahn on April 27, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Al said: Kevin, sounds like you're angry because the Democrats didn't think of it first!

Al, Al, Al, don't you know, a Democat DID THINK OF IT FIRST!

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced an amendment to repeal oil-company tax breaks and distribute $500 tax rebates to consumers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/26/AR2006042602307_pf.html

Yep. That's right. The Democrat proposed FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR tax rebates, not the piddly little one hundred dollar rebates proposed by the GOP.

Democrats: FIVE TIMES the panderers that Republicans are!

Posted by: Al on April 27, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, Cuba has decided to start drilling for oil on its continental shelf, or at least within its national waters. Only, Cuba doesn't have the skills and tools, or money, so they are contracting with China to do the drilling for them. Do you think China is actually going to ship all that oil to the other side of the globe, or do you think they'll ship it to Houston and Rotterdam?

Soon we'll be buying from Cuba, but not from American companies drilling offshore in US waters. Instead of an American tycoon with a $400M retirement settlement, it will be cash in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.

Posted by: republicrat on April 27, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Alexis--that's the one I was trying to recall.

We've been heading down this road for a while. I'm thinking these pollies believe they've reduced us to the level of the 19th century poor. Our vote can be bought for a tankard of ale and some beef.

Posted by: notthere on April 27, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

$100? That's like a week and half worth of gas? But, hey give the Republicans time to get the whole Roman Empire thing down. Maybe in October they'll give us another $100?

Seriously though, a SUV trade in policy would be a nice idea. Trade in your SUV for a hybrid...no questions asked.

Posted by: idlecrank on April 27, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Shit, let's just attach $100 to every goddamned bill in Congress. Then we can say "See?" so and so voted against giving you free money!

Posted by: Monkey on April 27, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

It continues to baffle me that the so many people take tbrosz seriously.

Posted by: gregor on April 27, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Ringo -- Rough estimate: 125-150M in the labor force; $100/each plus administrative expenses; call it $15B. But undoubtedly it would be classified as taxable income, which would reduce the net cost a bit. (As an aside, that is approximately the same as ExxonMobil's real profit for Q1/06: $15.9B.)

OTOH, if they were serious about this, a better way would be to simply directly subsidize prices. But of course that would eliminate the excuse for sending everyone a direct bribe, and would look too much like the "distorted economic policies" we accuse other countries of engaging in.

Posted by: has407 on April 27, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Arachnae: "It's not even pandering. It's to cover the addition of opening ANWR for drilling. When (if?) the dems shoot it down for ANWR, they can say 'See?'"

Unfortunately, that's a big IF, friend.

I'm embarrassed to say it, but my state's own two senators, Inouye and Akaka, were the only Democrats to vote in favor of drilling in ANWR, and the amendment passed the last time it ccame to the Senate floor, 51-49.

I would therefore urge all progressive Democrats and independents to call, write or e-mail those two old birds, implore them to listen -- for once -- to their own constituency in Hawaii (where opposition to ANWR drilling is about 70%) and please, please supoort their own caucus and party rank-and-file this time around:

INOUYE, Daniel K.
722 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3934
E-Mail Web Form: inouye.senate.gov/abtform.html

AKAKA, Daniel K.
141 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6361
E-Mail Web Form: akaka.senate.gov/email.cfm

Additionally, Sen. Akaka is running for his fourth term this year (at 82 years of age!), and is facing a potentially tough primary race this September with Democratic Congressman Ed Case, so I suppose one could always use the leverage of threatening to send finanical support to his younger and more enlightened challenger (on this issue, anyway).

The crux of the problem is that Alaska GOP Sen. Ted Stevens is chair of the Commmittee on Appropriations, and our two senators are so addicted to securing pork-barrel spending for Hawaii that they would literally sell off ANWR -- and once again sell out a few more of the North Slope's Native American residents in the process -- for that proverbial thirty pieces of silver.

But most island residents would tell you that this particular deal with the devil is just not worth sacrificing ANWR and its indigenous people to the GOP's special energy interests.

Help us out here. It just might make the difference this time.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 27, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

repeal oil-company tax breaks and distribute $500 tax rebates to consumers.

you mean she actually is going to pay for it? no, can't have that.

Posted by: fristy on April 27, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Soon we'll be buying from Cuba, but not from American companies drilling offshore in US waters. Instead of an American tycoon with a $400M retirement settlement, it will be cash in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party."

But isn't that the goal all along, to turn the Communist into Capitalists?
or is it really true that there is nothing in this world a Republican with a dollar fears more is a Chinese man with a nickel.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on April 27, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced an amendment to repeal oil-company tax breaks and distribute $500 tax rebates to consumers. "

Checked out her web site, and sure enough this goofball is running the same old shell game as the rest of the Senators.

At least Michigan voters are just as supid than the rest of us.

Posted by: Matt on April 27, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

But isn't that the goal all along, to turn the Communist into Capitalists? or is it really true that there is nothing in this world a Republican with a dollar fears more is a Chinese man with a nickel. Posted by: sheerahkahn

Bingo! If you can find a communist anymore in China, I suggest you stuff him and put him in a museum.

I mean really. The Red Menace is so 1980s, and '70s, '60s', '50.

Posted by: JeffII on April 27, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Yep. That's right, Al. The Democrat proposed something stupid, which was quickly shot down, as opposed to a group of Republicans, who proposed something equally stupid that is actually being debated.

At least the Democrats recognize and attempt to contain stupidity; Republicans' wallow in it these days.

Posted by: has407 on April 27, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know what the wingnut trolls are on, suggesting Dems would only vote against this because of the "Destroy the Alaska Wildlife Refuge" provision.

No, Dems would vote against it because it's bad policy to begin with. Republicans could remove the Alaska Oil provision and just make it a bill to give Americans $100 checks and it would still be bad policy that should be voted against. Adding in a provision about messing with Alaskan wildlife just makes it double bad.

Posted by: Adam Piontek on April 27, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

It's not a rebate, it's a marriage penalty! Unmarried couples would get $200, married couples would get $100! Waaah! Waaah! Waaah!

Hehe...it would be a small boon for my househould since my wife can't file together and I aren't considered a "couple"!

Posted by: zoe kentucky on April 27, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Why do we bother having John Q Public launder the money, and just mail the checks directly to the oil companies? Don't folks understand this pandering is just corporate welfare?

Posted by: Peter on April 27, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

It's not a rebate, it's a marriage penalty! Unmarried couples would get $200, married couples would get $100!

And, even bigger marriage penalties: Two singles each making $75,000 get a total of $200, a married couple each making $75,000 gets $0.

Why do Republicans hate married couples?

Posted by: cmdicely on April 27, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Fucking no talent assclowns.

Jesus, when are we gonna get some goddamned leadership?

Posted by: angryspittle on April 27, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

I liked Wes Clark's idea. If you make less than a certain amount, then you do not have to deal with these fucking politicians at all. No individual taxes, no individual subsidies.

No more dealing with 'You get a hundred dollars' if you:
1) Ride a bike.
2) Take a shower with your daughter
3) Have the flu
4) Shit in the open
5) Your skin is a special color

whatever, you know, back to basics. I mean there must be a gazillion federal rules about doing this or doing that for a government check.

I am still looking for a government check because I refuse to do yardwork. Has that come about yet?

I mean, who gives a fuck if you sell oil or shoelaces, just tax the shit you of the guy if he is rich or leave him alone otherwise. Why don't the American citizen get that they are the cause of all this nonsense?

Posted by: Matt on April 27, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

I've not read the comments, so if this is a dupe, I apologize--but this SUV tankful is being offered in exchange for ANWR drilling. They just can't dump their cronies, even as their numbers spiral to the 20s.

Posted by: JayAckroyd on April 27, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Fucking no talent assclowns.Posted by: angryspittle

Why does angryspittle hate no talent assclowns?

Posted by: JeffII on April 27, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

If this goes through, i'll just endorse my check over to the Sierra Club.

Posted by: topper on April 27, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Why not just calculate the cost of the $100 and put it in a subsidy that matches the number? Then, the people who drive most will benefit the most. Of course I realize that's much less visible than the GOP-controlled Congress sending Ben Franklins to everyone in the nation.

Posted by: Jimm on April 27, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

This is terribly offtopic, but is this not extraordinary?

http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/060415_cell_division.html

Scientists have reversed the process cell division, causing the duplicated dna to return to the cell it originated in, as if unwinding time.

Posted by: cld on April 27, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

I feel sick. Is this actually a real legislative proposal? The GOP congress can't come up with an energy plan that would focus on developing new energy sources like solar, wind etc? 80% of the public would love a bill like this plus it makes economic, social and military sense and they still can't even come close to proposing anything substantial.

Posted by: D. on April 27, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK


Snoop Arrested After Fracas at London Airport

Posted by: felix on April 27, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm -- Agree (see my previous post).

However, when you run the numbers, it's clear just how much of a pathetic token that $100/person turns out to be...

Given (rough numbers): $15B rebate and 370M gal/day gasoline consumption; then a $0.25/gal subsidy lasts for about 162 days, a $0.50/gal subsidy lasts for about 81 days, etc.

Posted by: has407 on April 27, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Pandering? Some people would call it a bribe.

Posted by: BB on April 27, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

In NYC we just went through something remarkably similar to this. The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), after complaining that they could not afford to give raises to their workers (and forcing the union into a three day strike), decided to give all the riders a fare discount around Christmastime. Didn't do much for the actual financial solvency of the MTA, much less address the long term structural problems in its finances...but hey, look at that bright shiny rebate!

Posted by: moderleft on April 27, 2006 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see.
I get $100.
The deficit get $100 bigger.
I get to pay off the deficit, with interest, while my capital holding buddy points and laughs at my sorry working ass and basks in the glow of his hard won 'savings'!
Is Australia accepting immigrants?

Posted by: mawado on April 27, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

So, let's see: $100 worth of gas at $3.00/gallon: 33 gallons or so: two, maybe three fillups: enough for about 650-750 miles driving: about two, maybe three weeks' worth?

Wow. awesomely generous!

And what next, another rebate when gas gets to $4.00/gallon retail?

Feh.

Posted by: Jay C on April 27, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

With WIN buttons and now, $100 "rebate" checks because of high gasoline prices, the GOP has proven itself to be the most brain-dead political party in American history.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 27, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Is Australia accepting immigrants?

Yes, indeedy, but they want you to go live in the middle of nowhere. They don't want you in downtown Sydney.

Posted by: shortstop has checked this out on April 27, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

It's not a rebate, it's a marriage penalty! Unmarried couples would get $200, married couples would get $100!

My sources tell me that it's not even a rebate check, but an Entertainment(R) Coupon Book, worth $100 if you buy a lot of 2-for-1 dinners at IHOP and Dairy Queen.

Posted by: tbonz on April 27, 2006 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

Is Australia accepting immigrants?

Yes, they are. Now please go, and take your left-wing voting habits with you.

Posted by: Al on April 28, 2006 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, they are. Now please go, and take your left-wing voting habits with you.

Well, I would Al, but I'm just a little concerned that if a sufficient number of liberals move to Australia Bush will construe it as cassus belli.

Posted by: obscure on April 28, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Is Australia accepting immigrants?

Yes, indeedy, but they want you to go live in the middle of nowhere. They don't want you in downtown Sydney.Posted by: shortstop has checked this out

There you go "projecting" again. Just because they don't want you in Sydney because of your last "incident" doesn't mean the rest of us can live there.

Posted by: JeffII on April 28, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Jeff II: There you go "projecting" again. Just because they don't want you in Sydney because of your last "incident" doesn't mean the rest of us can live there.

What, the six-beer bribe and you still couldn't keep that to yourself?

Posted by: shortstop on April 28, 2006 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

The conservative genius Kurthammer tells us in Washington Post that the prices are high becuase the supply is low and demand is high.

What brilliance!

Posted by: lib on April 28, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

And I suppose someone here has given some thought to where this $100 would be spent? On more gasoline at higher prices!!!! This is nothing but another windfall for the oil companies.

Republicans = Bastards

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on April 28, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

Its great economics! The benefit goes to you whether or not you drive a car. Anyone other benefit would not reward guys who drive a bicycle.....Any benefit linked to gas use, rewards humvee users more than hybrid drivers.

Posted by: McA on April 28, 2006 at 3:33 AM | PERMALINK

If I get a rebate I'm gonna write "fuck you" on that $100 bill and send it to dear ol' Kay Bailey. Shameful.

Posted by: roo roo on April 28, 2006 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

I have a question for the Tree huggers. Where can we drill for oil? The hundred bucks insults my inteligence.

Posted by: Dave on April 28, 2006 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

What if you aren't a taxpayer?

Shouldn't the gas cost rebate be going to registered vehicle owners instead of taxpayers? Do couples making more than 100K really need $100 to help?

Pandering nicely describes the foolishness and manipulation which are apparent in this bill.

Posted by: LowIncomeWatchdog on April 28, 2006 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Dave,

The question of where "we" can drill for oil is not at issue. Only the $100 bribe is.

The question of energy sources is another issue, altogether separate from the first.

Sincerely,
your proud arboreal embracers

Posted by: Adam Piontek on April 28, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

A really, really, really stupid proposal. Why in the hell do almost no politicians stand up and say so?

Posted by: Yancey Ward on April 28, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

It's not unknown for governments in Ukraine and Belarus to increase payments to pensioners shortly before elections. Lukashenko has got to be happy that he's inspiring our Republicans -- who are, after all, his spiritual understudies.

Posted by: sglover on April 28, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

PANDERING FOR DUMMIES

I predict it will work like a charm for the Republicans.

Posted by: ckelly on April 28, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

There it is again, another Republican, drinking too much Kool Aid, and wanting to dole out govt's money. What a waste?! Don't they learn enough already.

The only possible way to stabilize the price of oil is to attack and colonize Iran. We have God on our side, with Him anything is possible. We can save this world of high oil gas prices forever by attacking Iran. Attack Iran now !!!


Posted by: Mini Al on April 28, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Um, if anybody thinks this is a good idea-IT'S YOUR MONEY YOU'RE BEING BRIBED WITH!

Posted by: doug r on April 28, 2006 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

Why do we bother having John Q Public launder the money, and just mail the checks directly to the oil companies? Don't folks understand this pandering is just corporate welfare?

Bingo.

Best analysis I've read all day on this Peter.

Posted by: Night Owl on April 29, 2006 at 2:48 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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