Depending on which member of the Pax Arcana defamation defense team you ask, I may or may not have labeled Tom Friedman an overrated gasbag back in October.
I stand by that assertion, if I ever made it in the first place (wink!). But I’d be remiss if I didn’t pass along this Op-Ed from last week, in which the billionaire walrus-man completely and totally nails the ridiculousness of the “gas tax holiday” supported by Hillary Clinton and John McCain.
Here’s the lede:
It is great to see that we finally have some national unity on energy policy. Unfortunately, the unifying idea is so ridiculous, so unworthy of the people aspiring to lead our nation, it takes your breath away.
But what’s so bad about suspending the 18.4 cents/gallon federal excise tax for the summer? Won’t it give us all the ability to cruise around solo in our 16-passenger heavy trucks just like in the 90s? What’s the problem?
But here’s what’s scary: our problem is so much worse than you think. We have no energy strategy. If you are going to use tax policy to shape energy strategy then you want to raise taxes on the things you want to discourage — gasoline consumption and gas-guzzling cars — and you want to lower taxes on the things you want to encourage — new, renewable energy technologies. We are doing just the opposite.
While other countries, like Germany and Japan, are pumping tons of money into development programs for the rapidly growing market of cleaner resources, our leaders are tossing a “gas tax holiday” down from the parapet — ignoring the greater problem for short-term political expediency.
To be clear, this is not about some hippie-dippie crusade to save the environment (though that would be nice). This is about protecting our nation’s vital interests and preeminence in the global economy:
While all the presidential candidates were railing about lost manufacturing jobs in Ohio, no one noticed that America’s premier solar company, First Solar, from Toledo, Ohio, was opening its newest factory in the former East Germany — 540 high-paying engineering jobs — because Germany has created a booming solar market and America has not.
Sweet. Now I have to teach my kids math and German. As if they don’t get enough of that from television.
Dumb as We Wanna Be [New York Times]