Stanley's blog

Coulda, woulda, shoulda

I commend to you Tom Friedman’s op-ed piece in today’s International Herald Tribune. Let me just offer some quotes:

“Two dates – two numbers. Read them and weep for what could have, and should have, been. On Sept. 11, 2001, the OPEC basket oil price was $25.50 a barrel. On Nov. 13, 2007, the OPEC basket price was around $90 a barrel. In the wake of 9/11, some of us pleaded for a “patriot tax” on gasoline of $1 or more a gallon…”

But no, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had a better idea. And the Democrats went along for the ride. They were all going to let the market work and not let our government shape that market – like OPEC does.

You’d think that one person, just one, running for Congress or the Senate would take a flier and say: “Oh, what the heck. I’m going to lose anyway. Why not tell the truth? I’ll support a gasoline tax.”

Not one. Everyone just runs away from the “T-word” and watches our wealth run away to Russia, Venezuela and Iran.

“The Harvard University economist and former Bush adviser N. Gregory Mankiw has argued: ‘the price of oil would fall in world markets. As a result, the price of gas to (U.S.) consumers would rise by less than the increase in the tax. Some of the tax would in effect be paid by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

President George W. Bush squandered a historic opportunity to put America on a radically different energy course after 9/11. But considering how few Democrats or Republicans are ready to tell the people the truth on this issue, maybe we have the president we deserve. I refuse to believe that, but I’m starting to doubt myself.”

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