American Elephants

The Democrat Congress Blew it Again. by The Elephant's Child

Democrats in Congress, and remember that this is a Democrat-controlled Congress, have been desperately searching for a fall-guy to blame for rising gasoline prices. They certainly don’t intend to accept any blame for refusing to allow drilling offshore or onshore, or new refineries, or nuclear plants; no, not their fault. Don’t blame them — it’s the evil speculators who are manipulating the futures markets.  Speculators were everywhere!

Oops! Unfortunately there is no evidence to support the conspiracy theories.  The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in one of the most authoritative studies ever done, has presented hard statistical data that clearly indicates that financial trading has not been driving price moves.  The federal regulators looked at millions of transactions worth billions of dollars between January and June this year.

Congress held more than 40 hearings on “Speculators” over the summer, if you wondered what they were doing.  Something useful as usual.  The CTFC notes that the expansion of commodities indexing can be partially explained by investors seeking to protect themselves from inflation.  Which has been driven up — at least in part, by Congress’ refusal to allow drilling for oil.

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I am so angry with Congress, but not just with the Democratically controlled congress, which has only been in power for about a year and a half, but with Congress in general.

The Republicans with their control for 6 years have stacked the deck in favor of economic problems. How did we go from a record surplus under a Clinton administration to a record deficit underneath Bush?

I am so angry at Congress it is not funny. They need to get to work and stop taking vacations. I mean when someone can miss 44% of the votes (like Obama) or 67% (like McCain) how can they still have a job? Throw them all out I say!

Please don’t put all the blame on the Democrats though, remember that the republicans had control for 6 years. Remember that economics on the national level take time to roll through.

Of course according to McCain the economy is sound. How is 6.1% unemplyment the highest in 15 years, and banks collapsing “sound?”

Thanks for the post.


Comment by endithinks

In the case of energy, most of the blame IS due to the Democrat refusal to allow drilling. See my previous post: A few Republicans unfortunately also went along.

The problem is not that Congress is taking vacations, it’s what they are doing with the time they are there. Actually, it would be far better if they took much longer vacations.

The underlying economy IS sound. The mortage crisis, which was caused by a Democrat insistence that requirements be eased so that lower-income people could qualify to buy homes. Big financial firms bought packages of mortgages which offered high interest rates but have gone bad.

The job losses are mostly in 1) housing construction and the connected trades which are are a result of the mortgage crisis, and in 2)the auto industry which is being decimated by Congress’ legislation telling the industry how to build cars. Global warming is not the result of tailpipe emissions, but the environmental organizations want to get rid of oil, and Democrats will not go against the enviros.

Republicans did spend too much, and they are properly chastened. The real damage has been done by a Congress that wants to control everything. They want to regulate without understanding the consequences of what they do. They act on what is politically expedient, and refuse to learn from experts, and do not know how to recognize who is expert and who is a blowhard.

We need to take much harder looks at the qualifications of those we elect to office.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

I do disagree with the drilling as a solution to our addiction to foreign (besides Canada, Mexico, where we get the majority of our oil) oil since even if we drilled all the areas we have we still only have 3% of the oil reserves in the world and we consume 25%.

So drilling along won’t solve our problems.

I do think that the mortage crisis is so tied to many many different industries that we cannot ignore it. As the banks have shown without stepping in we will continue to see banks suffering.

Now I don’t think that the credit crunch can be laid directly at the Democrats feet as the Republicans have controlled the Congress for the last 6 years out of 8.

Global warming is not caused by automobiles but it is enhanced by our burning of fossil fuels. Also our addiction to beef is another large factor of the climate crisis. (In fact if people gave up beef a few times a week they would not have to worry about their car. Methane is more damaging than Co2.)

I do think also that some regulation is necesary. Government is not supposed to control everything on that I agree, but without some regulation we would still have child labor, twelve hour workdays, unequal pay for women, and so on and so forth.

I do think Congress tries to control it too much. I’m actually a fiscal conservative in regards to government economic spending, but I do also think that the free market cannot do it all alone.

Thank you for the civil answer. I appreciate you responding.


Comment by endithinks

You misunderstand. There is no such thing as an “addiction” to oil. Our economy runs on oil, and for the forseeable future there is no alternative. Wind and solar are simply wishful thinking, cannot exist without vast subsidies, and are incapable of producing a significant amount of energy.

You are quoting a number of Democrat talking points that are false. An estimated 37 billion barrels of conventional recoverable oil and 171 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are believed to be on lands currently ruled off-limits for production by the federal government. That’s enough to fuel nearly 12 million cars and heat 25 million homes for 100 years. The Rocky Mountain shale oil reserves are believed to amount to as much as 2 trillion barrels.The Arctic is believed to hold up to 22% of the world’s untapped energy reserves.

Global warming ended over 10 years ago, and in the last 7 years the world has been cooling. It is not due to our burning of fossil fuels, for increases in CO2 follow warming by as much as 100 years. Such warming as there is (less than 1 degree in a century) is a natural process that is determined by the activity of the sun. You don’t have to worry about the cows either.

The Clinton Administration, obsessed with multiculturalism , dictated where mortgage lenders could lend, and helped create the market for the subprime, high-risk mortgages that are damaging the market. Tough new regulations forced lenders into high-risk areas where they had no choice but to lower standards or face stiff government penalties.

Of course we need some regulation, but Congress isn’t very good at it. Democrats have a long history of caring about the intent of their regulation and ignoring the consequences.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

The future does not lie in fossil fuels. I agree with the need for a hold over until the Solar and Wind can be used more efficiently. One of the major problems is the capacity of our power grids need to be modernized. Also with regards to Wind power we have to be able to have some sort of back up when the wind is not blowing, whether that be batteries or some such.

Our economy is flexible and the newer technologies we can invest in willnot only allow us to have alternatives to just oil, but wil also create new jobs that will get those people out of work back on their feet.

Natural gas is a great alternative as a holdover fuel while we reinvest in research and development. I do think that it is in the best interest of our economy to move forward with these new technologies.

Also with regards to subsidies that is the nature of research and development. We have to pay a price up front for a benefit later. Now I am not for straight monies paid to anyone “researching” how to make Solar Panels more cost efficient, but I do believe that tax breaks for innovation is a price I am willing to pay for a more economically secure future.

The mortage crisis of course was not caused only by Democrats. I think that is being a bit over the top. I do hold Congress to task for making decisions that went against the natural order, but it was not and exclusive Clintonian phenomenon. The deregulation of not only the mortage business but investment banking has been happening for decades through both parties control of Congress.

We need to hold Congress accountable as well as the Executive branch. I am not one to point out blame on one party or the other they are both at fault.

Thank you you’ve given me lots to think about.


Comment by endithinks

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