Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Alone, in my car, screaming...

Okay, it's true I spent the last two hours in stop-and-crawl traffic on the Long Island Expressway, but that's not the worst of it. While I was out there, you see, I was listening to the news.

Granted, it was not as awful as it might have been. The Fed cut the overnight rate only a quarter of a percent, and seemed to suggest further cuts would not happen any time soon. The Jeremiah Wright brouhaha seems to have peaked, although it's far from gone.

The problem, as usual, was taxation.

Pander-bear John McCain, as we all know, already had called for a "gasoline tax holiday" this summer -- as if eighteen cents a gallon made a real difference. I have to say I was somewhat surprised when I learned that Hillary Clinton had jumped on that pandering bandwagon, and I thought better of Barack Obama, briefly, for opposing the asinine election-year tax break.

(Bear in mind that I was stuck in traffic, inhaling the fumes of Explorers and Escalades. Would it be that bad if we couldn't afford to drive as much?)

Then I heard the details.

Hillary modulated her call for tax relief with a call for a Congressional investigation of the spike in oil prices, suggesting the possibility of hanky-panky on the part of the oil companies. Remembering Enron, we must admit that hanky-panky is a real possibility -- but we also should remember that investigations tend to drag on and on until they accomplish nothing. (Case in point: the Enron investigation.)

As for Barack, my better thoughts of him evaporated when I heard he'd called for a "middle-class" tax break that would average out to about $1000 a year. Bear in mind that Barack's recent definition of "middle class" includes any household with an adjusted gross income of less that a quarter-million bucks per annum -- and that our outrageous national debt and the concomitant sinking dollar are largely responsible for the recent spike in oil prices.

My second hour on the LIE, happily, was spent listening to a Bloomberg News analyst interviewing former New York Governor Mario Cuomo -- in my book, the best Democratic orator since FDR. If I had my way, Cuomo would deliver the keynote address at this year's Democratic convention -- and it would be exactly the same address he delivered at the convention of 1984. If you don't remember his "Tale of Two Cities" speech, check it out here. Democrats were, indeed, Democrats back then.

Sadly, it's been all downhill since then.

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