I’ve heard the politicians talk about everything for sniper fire, to denouncing what their pastor said, to drinking shots with the locals, and everything in between. Does the public really care if you drink a beer or shots to make yourself appear like common folk, or how you disagree with your pastor? Well, probably a few do or they wouldn’t stoop to such things, but I think there is one topic that should be at the top of this year’s election and I don’t hear anyone talking about it much.
The Southwest Florida real estate market, the SW Florida economy, and the US economy is basically on edge and is being held hostage. We are being held hostage by gas prices which put pressure on inflation. It’s to the point where our economy is being hurt and perhaps our national security too. Senator McCain has proposed a gas tax holiday until the end of the year to help drivers, but I don’t think that will do any good.
The reason is we could wipe out all federal sales tax, and the producers of oil could just cutback on production a corresponding amount and prices would stay the same, and our government would be the only losers due to falling revenue and increasing profits to our suppliers.
The sad truth is our suppliers, like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and others are not our true friends. They have their own vested interests, and America isn’t among it’s highest priorities. We really need to rely less heavily on outside suppliers to the extent we can.
I recently saw a Walmart ad that said just one energy saving light bulb can save an awesome amount of oil due to conservation. I’m all for conservation. However, I don’t believe we can conserve our way out of this completely. Oil consumption is increasing in China and other developing countries, and even if we cut back oil is more sought after and we are in competition for it. And even if we cut back 20%, OPEC can cut back production 20% and make just as much money, so why wouldn’t they?
I believe we need to do a number of things:
1. Drill for oil in Alaska. I’ve been told ANWAR is in a remote area and will not affect animals. Even if it did somewhat, people are just as high on the food chain as animals and we need relief too. No reason not to get this done
2. We may need to consider drilling in Gulf of Mexico. I know states like mine (Florida) and other gulf states oppose this, but we have our own oil and won’t drill for it.
3. Nuclear. We haven’t built a plant in decades. Other countries want to build them, why not us? If nuclear can save millions of barrels of oil each year, why not? We use many now, why not add a few more?
4. Refineries. We haven’t built one of these in decades either. We need to invest in our own infrastructure, and let’s do it soon.
5. Grades of Gas. Each area has its own standards, and makes gasoline expensive as the refineries have to shutdown to retool each season. Let’s end this practice.
6. Ethanol. What a joke. It’s made corn and food more expensive, and it costs as much to haul the corn around as it does with the savings you achieve. Now we have corn shortages and it’s done nothing for gas prices. Nice idea, but may turn out to be more of a subsidy to farmers than savings to consumers.
7. Oil Reserves. I’ve heard we’ve found major reserves in Montana, and Cuba has found big reserves in International waters off Cuba. Wonder why Chavez has become such friends with Cuba. Maybe it’s time to see what capitalism would do for Cuba instead of an Embargo. How long has that embargo lasted. Yes, we don’t get Cuban cigars, but it didn’t get rid of Castro. Maybe a little capitalism and hope for the Cuban people would oust a bad leader quicker than oppression would. I really don’t know, I just pose the question and let those smarter than me figure that one out.
Bottom line is nobody is policing the supplies, and we’re not doing anything to control our own security. I understand why we go to Afghanistan or Iraq, to keep the terrorism over there before it could easily come over here. But why do we let something much bigger control our own destiny? Terrorists could shutoff oil supplies to US and shut us down much faster than any single Trade Center bombing ever could. Why aren’t our politicians talking about what they would do for gas prices, supply, and demand? That makes more sense than who’s drinking a shot with the locals in PA, or who took more sniper fire.