Should police ticket under-inflated tires?

I’ve already said I won’t vote for Sen. Clinton when if she runs for president in 2008, so this entry is really just piling on. However, it’s important to highlight examples of why she’s every other hack politician, except she had the good fortune to be First Lady before entering public office. She gets more acceptance than she should. Her new energy plan proves it.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) said yesterday that the United States should cut its consumption of foreign oil in half by 2025, and outlined a national strategy of tax incentives, an oil-profits tax and more funds for research aimed at spurring conservation and development of alternative sources of energy.

“Our present system of energy is weakening our national security, hurting our pocketbooks, violating our common values and threatening our children’s future,” Clinton said in a speech at the National Press Club. “Right now, instead of national security dictating our energy policy, our failed energy policy dictates our national security.”

How creative. She managed to include fear of death, poverty, and morality, with a nod to the children. Classy leadership. At least she’s learned her trade well, no matter how despicable its current tradesmen may be.

Clinton said she plans to introduce legislation to create a strategic energy fund, largely paid for by an excess profits tax on big oil companies, who she noted earned a combined $113 billion in profits last year.

She estimated that the profits tax and a repeal of other tax breaks for the oil industry could pump $50 billion into the energy fund over two years and pay for an array of tax incentives and for $9 billion in new research initiatives for wind, solar and other alternative energy resources. Oil companies could escape the tax if they reinvested profits into similar programs.

Theft, redistribution, and bribery are admirable public policy goals. And what will the good senator say to the investors whose stock portfolios get hammered because the major oil companies will no longer earn windfall average profits? Take one for the team, maybe? It’s for the children?

Or economic decline could be her goal. If we’re all a little bit poorer, we can’t afford so many vacations and wasteful trips in our gas guzzlers. (Don’t tell House Speaker Hastert.) Hence, we’ll use fewer barrels of oil. Conservation works, she’ll say. And we’ll all be thankful that she’s in charge.

Maybe, but it’ll be without my vote.