Thursday, June 19, 2008

Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less

It is strange how quickly things change in presidential politics. Early on it looked like Hillary was a shoe in and the war was going to be the main issue. The Hillary got in trouble and she changed the message to food and fuel. Her answer to the high cost of energy was to suspend the Federal Gas tax for the summer and tax “Big Oil” profits to pay for the tax reduction. Hillary finally concedes to Obama and oil prices hit $140 a barrel and gas at the pump went through $4.00.

The presidential campaign will now focus on $4.00 gas prices and rising food prices. I do not believe that the war in Iraq or any other issue is more important to the American consumer than the cost to fill their cars and feed their families. The next big shock to the household budget will be the cost to heat the home this winter. Higher fuel oil and natural gas prices could almost double the cost of heating a home this year over next year.

The former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has a non-profit organization called American Solutions. The have developed a theme that seems to be catching on like wild fire. The phrase is “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less”, the web address is www.americansolutions.com. In a very short period, they have collected over 1,000,000 signatures to their petition for the congress with a goal of over 7,000,000 by January 20, 2009.

I am reminded of the old movie “Broadcast News” when the actor says, “I’m feed up and I not going to take it anymore.” I think when gas went over $4.00 a gallon things changed dramatically. One of the concepts about want is happening with higher food and fuel prices are the question what is the demand destruction point? I think for most Americans $4.00 was that point.

I think the Democrats have backed themselves into a corner and may well fin--that come the fall campaign there may only be one issue that unites most Americans, food and fuel. By all accounts we have the oil and natural gas within our own borders to help us through the transition to alternative fuels the environmentalist have prevented the development. Remember the people who were voting for Hillary in the big states? The when given a choice to the blue collar, non-college educated white voters between for $5 or $6 dollars a gallon for gas and protecting the environment or Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less, how do you think they will vote?

How do you think they would vote if they could choose to stop using corn to generate fuel and make more food at lower prices? The big challenge for the Democrats is how they will deal with their voting records on energy exploration. Every Republican who is running against a Democrat incumbent should stay with one theme Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less. What does the incumbents voting record say about his or hers position on energy independence? I find it hard to believe that if the Republican party were to adopt this concept that the outcome of the fall election different than the slam dunk everybody thought it was just a few month ago.

Dan Perkins

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