This Modern Age

David Freddoso on Democratic Position on Gas Prices

with 8 comments

At NRO, David Freddoso tidily sums up the current Liberal Democrat position on gas prices:

Idea Number One: High gasoline prices are good. A high price, imposed through federal carbon taxes or carbon caps, is precisely the mechanism by which Democrats hope to curb carbon emissions. We know that this mechanism works because it is already working: As gas prices rise, American consumption is down right now, year over year (a historical rarity). CO2 emissions from gasoline are down from 2007 by a modest 84,000 tons, or roughly 2 percent.

Idea Number Two: High gasoline prices are bad. With constituents irate over gasoline prices that are pushing $5 a gallon, Democrats complain that high prices are a bad thing. They have dreamed up a number of boogie men responsible for high prices and drafted silver-bullet bills to kill them off.

This is more a case of cynicism than irrationality, however. Democrats only pretend to believe in Idea Number Two. Their presidential nominee, Barack Obama, lamented in mid-June that high gasoline prices have hurt Americans, but he later gave a much more accurate representation of the party line: “I think that I would have preferred a more gradual adjustment,” he said in an MSNBC interview.

Have fun sorting that out with the voters…

Written by thismodernage

July 17, 2008 at 5:06 pm

8 Responses

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  1. The only people who care about Obama’s position on this issue are not the ones that are supporting him. That’s because the people supporting him don’t know what his position on the issues are and when you point his positions out, they label it as Right-wing propaganda.

    Even when using direct quotes, it goes in one ear and out the other. The rainbow colored cloud in the middle stops nothing.


    July 18, 2008 at 11:25 pm

  2. I support Obama and I’m very familiar with his policy and I think it’s far better than McCain’s. It’s possible for Obama supporters to have the capacity to understand this stuff, regardless of what you may believe, scotty.

    With that said, I think the above article is, for the most part, correct. The high gas prices are both good and bad. It hurts short-term, but it can have a good impact from a long-term perspective. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention and hopefully with higher energy prices, our national ingenuity will get us to some higher ground with alternative energy technologies. Not to mention that our consumption will decrease.

    I would take issue with the point towards the end of the excerpt. If Democrats came out and tried to make a case to the American people that the higher gas prices are good, they would get totally slammed by partisan conservative folks who talk about “rose colored clouds”. I think both Democrats and Republicans alike, if they were intellectually honest, could agree on the fact that these higher energy costs are a mixed bag, some bad, some good. But we can’t afford to have bipartisan consensus at a time like this right? (sarcsasm) The wingers in both parties heads would explode.


    August 6, 2008 at 1:44 am

  3. Zach –

    Interesting point you make on the relationship between necessity and invention. But the problem is that manufacturing necessity (inflating gas prices through price controls and taxes) is absolutely different than actual necessity so you won’t get the same benefits of invention.

    And as a Conservative, I don’t have any argument for the benefit of high gas prices. I’m for as much of the cheapest energy source as we can possibly get our hands on – just being honest.


    August 6, 2008 at 2:49 am

  4. Who are you referring to that supports artificially inflating gas prices? I’d like to know the name of any politician who is pushing to tax gasoline in order to make it more expensive.

    Either way, take away the possibility of any kind of price control or additional tax on gas, the price of gasoline is still much, much higher than we have been used to and that has absolutely nothing to do with the actions of our government officials.

    I don’t think anyone is arguing for higher prices, but just pointing out that the higher price of gas, regardless of how we try to manipulate it, can lead to some benefits. It can motivate consumers to buy smaller, more efficient automobiles. It can trigger more private investments in alternative energy solutions. For example, 10 years ago hardly anyone was talking about how we are addicted to oil and how we are funding oppresive governments in order to fill our tanks. Now we are talking about it. Even our president, who is an oil man himself, concedes these points.

    With that said, the higher prices create real burdens on the lives of our poorest citizens and all government leaders should be sensitive to that.


    August 6, 2008 at 7:32 pm

  5. Zack – By advocating a “windfall profits tax” Senator Obama is supporting a policy that will artificially increase the price of gas.

    The oil companies have stockholders to consider (who are, by in large, the American public). They will have to increase their prices by an amount commensurate with whatever percentage those who support a “windfall profits tax” would implement.
    The oil companies will still make the same dollar amount of profit, the gas will just cost more for the American consumer in order to pay for the tax that is passed down to them.

    Democrats have been supporting higher prices for years in order to force feed the views of their environmentalist lobbiests down the throats of the American public. Al Gore has said that he wants the price of gasoline to reach $5.00 per gallon and even Barack Obama seems to have a similar opinion when he said that he just wished the price hadn’t risen as fast as it did.


    August 7, 2008 at 6:35 am

  6. That’s a tax of the oil company’s record setting profits, not a tax on the actual gasoline at the pump. I realize to some this may be one in the same, but I believe it’s not. Why should the American public shell out cash out of their pockets for 4$ a gallon while the oil companies continue to break records with their profit? Why should we just blindly trust the oil companies that they are innocent while we distrust our government leaders who want to stop subsidizing our oil companies with major tax breaks? i.e. McCain plan to cut the taxes for oil companies.

    And Barack didn’t say he wanted higher gas prices. He just said that he wished the change in price wouldn’t have risen so sharply. Let’s be honest about who’s saying what here. I’m sure McCain would agree that for the sake of the American public, he as well would have not wanted to prices to go up so rapidly as they did.

    On a side note, the folks who own stock in oil companies are probably not all that concerned with the price of gas. They have the money to cover the added cost. Those who suffer the most are folks who live check to check and can’t afford to invest in stocks.


    August 7, 2008 at 11:35 am

  7. Jeesh Zach,

    You sure make an awful lot of assumptions and generalizations. You are very naive to think that taxing a company’s profits won’t result in even higher prices to consumers, whether you believe it or not. Why stop at the oil companies, who have an average net profit percentage that is less than the rest of American corporate profit percentage combines (if you factor out the failing automotive industry). Let’s tax Google, Microsoft, your Internet service provider,

    You are “sure McCain … would not have wanted prices to go up so [sic] rapidly as they did.” A hell of an assumption you make there. Of course McCain didn’t want prices to go up so rapidly. In fact, he did not want them to go up at all! That is the sole reason that McCain gave for changing his position on drilling off the coast of the U.S.

    The major difference with Obama is that Obama didn’t give a reason for his change of position, as usual, except to say that he would agree with “limited drilling” if it was necessary to get a comprehensive energy plan put together. Obama has no intention of allowing drilling. He knows that there is a good chance of a veto-proof Democratic majority in Congress and that he will never have to agree to drilling if things go as planned. It does, however, cover his ass, since so many Americans want us to drill (75%). The stupid ones (which I fear may be a major percentage) actually think that Obama said he supports drilling.

    There are plenty of people out there who are struggling, but who also are smart enough to look at their futures and invest in stocks, either directly, or through their 401K’s. Once again, the liberal position is that those who are smart enough to plan for their futures should be supporting the dumb-asses that are hoping that their government will take care of them. Why not? The government is already providing them with food stamps and welfare checks. The just would like some more, please!


    August 10, 2008 at 8:55 pm

  8. “Once again, the liberal position is that those who are smart enough to plan for their futures should be supporting the dumb-asses that are hoping that their government will take care of them. Why not? The government is already providing them with food stamps and welfare checks. The just would like some more, please!”

    ha, and I’m making generalizations? classy.

    Nice chattin’ with you, Scotty. You’ve totally changed my thinking in all this. 😉 I hope it all works out for you, brother.


    August 10, 2008 at 9:28 pm

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