"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Democrats’ “Political Gesture” To “Shift Americans’ Frustration w/ High Gasoline Prices From” Obama Fails‏

March 30th, 2012 by Mark Truman · No Comments

The Wall Street Journal wrote yesterday, “The White House and its Democratic allies are doing what they can to shift Americans’ frustration with high gasoline prices from President Barack Obama to another group: oil and gasoline companies. Senate Democrats pressed for a vote Thursday to end some $20 billion in federal subsidies to the largest oil and gas companies. The vote failed, as Democrats knew it would. The effort was a political gesture . . . .” ABC News added, “A last minute entreaty by President Obama wasn’t enough to convince senators to strip the oil and gas industry of billions in tax incentives.” And The Hill noted, “Four Democrats — Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Mary Landrieu (La.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Jim Webb (Va.) — voted against the bill. The outcome of the vote was not a surprise, given that a similar plan failed 52-48 last May. But the decision to take another shot at passing the bill— and the decision by the White House to wade into the fight — underscore the political salience of rising gasoline prices in an election year. Obama has sought to deflect blame for high gas prices, in part by casting Republicans as allies of big oil companies.”

Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News last night, “I think any objective observer would look at what the president said today in the Rose Garden on this and conclude as I did: it is truly staggering cynicism.” Indeed, Senate Democrats have repeatedly acknowledged that their attempts to raise taxes on American energy producers would have “no impact on gasoline prices” and “will not reduce gasoline prices by one penny.” Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) lamented this week, “We should have a real energy debate, not this show and tell for campaigning purposes.” And previously Begich and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) have called this tax proposal “a gimmick” and “laughable,” respectively.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that “the price of gas has risen for 20 consecutive days” and yet the president and Democrats put forward this tax hike that news reports called “a political gesture.” As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday, “Is this really the best we can do? Is this the best we have to offer folks who are staring at $4 a gallon gasoline?  A bill that even Democrats admit won’t do anything to lower the price of gas? And a process that blocks any other idea from even coming to the floor for a vote? Does anybody think the Senate’s really done its job on this issue?”

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