Two unconnected developments were announced this past week. President Obama is releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, despite the absence of a global embargo or horrific natural disaster — and despite a litany of assertions from 2008 that drilling and increased supply might only have a marginal effect on prices.
Like the sudden Afghan withdrawal announcement, the tapping is largely explained by political worries about reelection, as in increasing oil supplies to lower gas prices by election time — and thus avoiding campaign ads equating Obama’s opposition to drilling with high prices at the 2012 pump.
In a second piece of news, the Europeans seem to be winning far more plane orders than Boeing. One wonders whether that fact is remotely connected with airlines’ collective worries about obtaining orders on time and as specified — as in uncertainty whether Obama’s NLRB ruling that attempted to shut down a nearly $1 billion new aircraft line in South Carolina translates into something like “who knows what those Americans are doing next?”
All this raises some questions. The strangest things about the global statist crack-up are socialists’ unhappiness with their socialist utopia, and their subsequent efforts to avoid the consequences of the very redistributive state that they themselves once so gladly crafted.
Greece is the locus classicus. Why are the Greeks protesting? Against whom? They obtained long ago the promised bloated sector and high taxes that all schemed to avoid. Their alma mater EU is hardly a demonic capitalist-run plutocracy, but a kindred socialist state. Is Greece an oil producer, industrial powerhouse, high-tech innovator — anything that might explain the sort of upscale life, modern infrastructure, legions of Mercedeses, and plush second homes that one began to see in Greece after 1985?
In truth, socialist Greeks are furious that they have impoverished themselves and demand that private money and far harder-working Germans bail them out — but why so, when socialism should not need outside capitalist-generated dollars? Could not the Greeks, Soviet style, set up a Cuban collective, and adjust their lifestyles (there goes Kolonaki culture) to their means, living in an opportunity of result utopia with a huge public sector, more siestas, high but ignored taxes — with a collective good riddance to those awful intrusive German bankers?
Here at home, Obama got his ObamaCare. Why, then, did he grant hundreds of exemptions — many to northern California liberals? Should they instead not have lined up to volunteer to implement such a wonderful, long-needed entitlement?
He said energy would rightly sky-rocket, given his determination to curb fossil fuel production (cf. “bankrupt” coal companies). Why then is Obama concerned that gas hit $4; is not such a high price a welcomed retardant to burning hot fuels? The higher the gas prices, the more that subsidized wind and solar power, and electric cars are attractive, and thus the more we enjoy “sustainable” power. Right? Am I missing something about this desire within our grasp of “living within our means”?
Obama enjoyed big majorities in both houses of Congress; and on the campaign trail he had promised a de facto amnesty under the euphemism of “comprehensive immigration reform.” So why did he not grant such exemptions, and absorb 11, 15, or 20 million new “citizens” from Oaxaca? Is not that the point of amnesty, to welcome in new constituencies who will remember a benefactor at the polls?
We have heard that taxes, more taxes, and more taxes are the cure for the massive deficits, run up by out of control spending. OK, fine. But why then does multimillionaire John Kerry go to great lengths to avoid taxes on his yacht (why a luxury yacht when so many have so little?); why are redistributive overseers like Timothy Geithner, Eric Holder, Tom Daschle, Charles Rangel, and Hilda Solis either late or delinquent in paying the federal, state, or local governments what they owe? Were not high taxes on the upper incomes like themselves the point of it all? Should not they pay all they can to ensure that their brethren receive needed entitlements? I thought Bono would lead an international effort of multimillionaire rock stars to relocate to socialist states like Ireland or Greece, so that they might gladly pay 75% of their incomes (which at “some point” they had enough of) to help others closer to home. Why instead is he fleeing to low-tax nations? Did not such socialists have enough money by now without undermining the socialist state?