Watching Bill Maher Friday night, Garry Shandling was discussing how he didn't want to even think about politics anymore as he was so confused. He had gone from following it all to not wanting to see any of it. One might ask what he was doing on a political talk humor program; but if he's confused, maybe that accounts for it. Still he was expressing what a lot of us feel-- including me. We are sick of it and yet...
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
These famous words by Robert Frost say it all. We're not done. We are just begun if we want our country turned back to the right path. It will not be easy to change direction, to get enough people to pay attention when people are so easily distracted by something new and sometimes unbelievably shallow.
My thoughts in the night were about John McCain and his recent suggestion (which evidently Hillary said she'd go along with) that the federal gas tax be suspended for the summer; so Americans can vacation without that tax on top of their fuel costs.
McCain blamed Obama for being an elitist when he disagreed with the idea. Paraphrased, he said Obama just doesn't understand ordinary people and the poor like he does. Oh yes, McCain knows so much about being poor. Do people think about whether that is true or do they only hear the latest 30-second, sound-bite?
In a practical sense, how much help would it be to lift the federal gasoline tax of 18.4 cents a gallon? How long would the help last even if it seemed good for a week? The oil companies sometimes jack fuel prices up that much overnight. One article says gasoline might eventually go to $10 a gallon [in the NY Sun]. We just think we have seen the limits if where it might end. The oil corporations will charge what they can; and if the gas tax is removed, there is just that much more for them.
Once again, we have Obama being the daddy (which isn't all that popular), as he gets practical and says we need decisions that really help. Will a temporary gas tax removal actually do anything to help with grocery bills and trucking costs? If it's oriented purely to summer, it must be intended to encourage vacation trips. How many poor can afford such trips? Then there is facing the piper when the summer is over. Once again McCain offers placebos and not solutions.
Consider this, before you go Count me in! I want those taxes lifted, for what do federal gasoline taxes pay? They build interstate freeways and fix their worn road surfaces. They plan overpasses and enlarge existing roads. Recently in Oregon, they have been retrofitting a lot of bridges to hopefully withstand the earthquake that is overdue.
Is it McCain's plan (assuming anything he suggests lately is a plan) that this summer all that work will be temporarily suspended (a season in many states when most freeway work is done because of weather)? Or is he talking about taking the money for that planning and work from some other tax pot, possibly borrowing it? You know the answer. Hillary at least has a plan for replacing it-- windfall profits on oil companies. Uh who exactly do you think will eventually pay that?
From what he has been saying since he got the nomination, it's obvious McCain has no money sense, and it's logical he wouldn't. Four years ago the Republicans put down John Kerry as being a kept man. If he was, isn't McCain more so. McCain divorced a disabled wife in order to marry a beautiful, wealthy, younger woman. If Kerry was disgusting to people, should not McCain be more so? Everybody says what a man of character he is. Where are they getting this information?
Putting aside the moral aspect of his marital decisions (because nobody knows he really divorced one wife just because she wasn't perfect anymore nor that he married another because she was rich and gorgeous), doesn't it relate to his policy positions? Being married to an heiress, a woman who supplies all their living costs (as he donates anything he earns), a woman who can give him a private plane to use anytime he needs it, buys his homes, does McCain have any concept of what money even is? He has never needed to know for his own life. He was born into a family of admirals and a well-to-do mother; and other than his time as a POW, he has been privileged his whole life from what I can tell.
So given that, we are supposed to trust this man for the next four years to run the country's economic policy? You might take that risk if you hadn't had eight years of complete economic irresponsibility. Does McCain even understand cause and effect? Never mind. We know the answer to that. The only effect he appears to understand relates to getting the vote however it takes to do it.
Really, no more political posts for awhile (I hope). I have other things I wanted to write about. The coves along the coast and shearing our sheep, aging, but a dream is a dream. Can't deny them or if I did, wouldn't I lose them as the gift that they are? And the next one might actually be a fun dream. :)
The photo at the top is a teaser for the shearing blog to eventually come, but it is also apropos. Christ talked of humans being like sheep. Unlike these sheep, in a pen waiting to be shorn, we have the option of changing our situation-- for now! With the threat to the public educational system, to the media, to our rights as citizens, that window may not stay open forever. This is no time to sleep.