Why $3.29 Gas? Because they can!

           

by Jack E. Lohman

Follow the money, if you can.

It would make sense that if we are going to stay in Iraq, Iraq should offset our costs by paying us in oil. Not overpaying us, just fairly paying us. Our presence wouldn’t have to cost us a penny and, since our Iraq efforts helped trash our economy, they can help us out of our mess.

Of course ExxonMobil wouldn’t like that because the Iraqi oil would be competing with their oil, and their prices couldn’t remain at $3.29 a gallon.

And guys like U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner wouldn’t like it because he owns roughly $1 million in ExxonMobil stock and gets campaign contributions from oil industry executives. He even voted against the recent bill to eliminate tax breaks and subsidies for the oil industry, and he refused to support a non-conflict-of-interest bill by U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders. Good goin’ Jim. Your loyalties are showing through.

And other politicians that own oil stocks and receive oil industry contributions won’t like it either. And most certainly the congressmen that plan to retire and become industry lobbyists won’t like it. Nor will George Bush.

That leaves just you and me and 300 million other Americans that would like it.

But we don’t count for all the obvious reasons. Otherwise they’d not only make Iraq pay us in oil, they’d implement a competitive system like we have between the post office and the UPS/FedEx crowd. Delivering packages today would likely be double the cost were it not for the U.S. Mail providing competitive services.

We need a U.S. Oil Service too. We should commission the Army Corp of Engineers to drill for oil in the deep gulf, or wherever. Or even subcontract it to a private entity as we have with Medicare.

But this oil exploration must be taxpayer funded and publicly controlled. Actually we are already paying for this in tax breaks and subsidies and price gouging, so let’s formalize the deal and benefit from it.

Let’s replace the so-called free market oil industry that isn’t a free market at all. It’s controlled by the OPEC conspiracy and has a willing co-conspirator in ExxonMobil, who is making $38 Billion a year in profits and feeding a portion back to the politicians that make it all happen.

The Republicans should know all of this and should be mad as hell, because “free market” is supposedly their thing.

But they aren’t, because they and most Democrats are in on the deal. They not only take money from companies that pay them cash dollars to write or block laws, they make investment profits on these same companies that they should regulate but instead de-regulate.

In the business world we call this corruption. In politics we call it normal. In November we must call it over.

                   

What’s that old saying? Be careful of what you ask for?

Well, U.S. automakers got what they wanted, no tightened C.A.F.E. standards. Which left the Japanese to overtake American automakers in gas efficiency, and now the Big Three honchos are wishing for a do-over. Duh!

And I sure hope I’m wrong, but this recession may be our Great Awakening. We had a war to help us out of the 1929 crash, and we can surely muster another one of those. But this time we have globalization and any new jobs we create will go to other countries. Except perhaps for defence jobs, and even there we can’t be sure.

Isn’t the free market great? How are you liking it so far?

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