The Times Journal & Russell County News
Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
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Thoughts from the Lower 40: I'm not with stupid
In Jan. 10 Issue
Russell County News
By Wade Daffron, Columnist

A few weeks ago, I was listening to some guy on talk radio predicting what would happen with our economy both before and after the holidays.

This pundit said before Christmas, we would see gas prices drop well below $2 a gallon-in hopes people would begin spending money-thus stimulating the economy.

“Cheaper gas will create a ‘feel good’ scenario,” the pundit said.

Yeah, right, whatever…

He also predicted there would possibly be a situation “created,” or “blame” will be placed on some event or events which would cause the price of gas to begin rising just after the start of the new year.

Yeah, right, whatever…

I never thought we would ever see gas below $2 a gallon, but sure enough, it happened.

And people did start “feeling good” about the lower prices.

The new year arrives…and what happens?

Yep, gas starts going up.

Why?

Depends on who you listen to.

Some say it’s because OPEC is cutting back on production.

Others blame some kind of “dispute” in Russia.

I’ve also heard that old stand-by about “changing mixtures” for the winter, blah, blah, blah.

Oh, bet you’ve heard this one, too…

“There’s a conflict in (insert random country), and that’s where most of our oil comes from.”

Yeah, right, whatever.

So, which is it?

And what do you think our government’s response to all this is?

On January, 2, (which hadn’t even given people enough time to recover from their New Year’s hangover), it was announced “federal legislators are looking at a possible increase in the federal gas tax.”

Why?

OK, (and I am NOT making this up…)  “(B)ecause people are driving less and buying less gas…”

Wait…it gets better.

Congress is being urged to raise federal gas and diesel taxes by…(Ready for it?)…(Are you sitting down?)...50 FRIGGIN’ PERCENT!

So, if this goes through, you can add at least 10 cents per gallon to the present cost of gas. (FYI-We’re presently paying nearly 20 cents per gallon in federal gas taxes.)

The government, in their (SACRASM ALERT) infinite wisdom, thinks people are “used to paying higher prices for fuel,” so it’s OK to increase the gas tax.

Is there a word beyond “stupid?”

It is perplexing (and pretty darn frustrating) to attempt to understand this line of thought.

Yes, people have cut back on gasoline consumption… BECAUSE IT BECAME UNAFFORDABLE!

And if the price goes back up, people will continue to cut back.

So, how in the world does that “logic” make any sense?

The tax increase is supposedly needed because when people use less gas, the government gets less tax money, and that tax money is needed for “roads…bridges…highways…infrastructure.”

Hmmm, OK, let’s see, if gas is unaffordable, then people will be driving less, right?

Then, if they’re driving less, they sure won’t be using “roads…bridges…highways.”

The tax increase kind of cancels itself out then, doesn’t it?

Sad thing is, the people obviously don’t have a “voice” anymore.

Did the government listen to us when we rose in opposition to the recent “Wall Street Bail-Out?”

No.

They went ahead and did whatever they (or more importantly the big-money lobbyists)  wanted.

And by the way, do you know anybody (and by that I mean a “common person”) the “bail out” has helped?

Has anyone’s home been saved from foreclosure?

Has anyone been assisted with their debts?

Nah, I can’t think of any, either.

However, it seems like all these multi-million/billion dollars companies I’ve never heard need only ask, and they receive unfathomable amounts of money.

Again, I ask, how is that helping the “common man?”

Whew, I’m getting dizzy up here on the soapbox, so…

If you think it would do any good, it would probably be a good time to call, write, email your congressman and say a resounding “NO!” to the proposed gas tax increase.

After all, aren’t our elected office-holders supposed to listen to the people who put them there?

Yeah, right, whatever...

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