I’ve been pre-occupied the last few days, so I haven’t caught up on my blogging duties the way I should. Refunds will be processed upon request. To discourage you from seeking that refund, here are a few stories stuck in my queue:
Courtesy of a Robert Novak column from last week:
Addressing a Republican fundraising dinner at the Washington Convention Center on Wednesday night, President Bush declared: “If the Democrats want to test us, that’s why they give the president the veto. I’m looking forward to vetoing excessive spending, and I’m looking forward to having the United States Congress support my veto.” That was more than blather for a political pep rally. Bush plans to veto the homeland security appropriations bill nearing final passage, followed by vetoes of eight more money bills sent him by the Democratic-controlled Congress.
Better late than never would be how I’d like to analyze that. Unfortunately, we’re mostly discussing a 14% increase versus a 7% increase and a 30% increase versus a 22% increase. This isn’t fiscal conservatism. Consolation from the lesser of two evils, anyone?
Next, government understanding of economics always achieves its predictable unintended consequences:
Beef prices are up. So are the costs of milk, cereal, eggs, chicken and pork.
And corn is getting the blame. President Bush’s call for the nation to cure its addiction to oil stoked a growing demand for ethanol, which is mostly made from corn. Greater demand for corn has inflated prices from a historically stable $2 per bushel to about $4.
Economic laws are inviolable, not suggestions open to the good intentions of government policy-makers.
Continuing on a similar theme, that politicians believe reality is subject to the whims of the United States government and can simply be legislated into existence, this:
“America deserves more-fuel-efficient cars,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington. But she added that “the only way consumers are going to get more out of a tank of gas is if the president and his party help deliver votes in a narrowly divided Congress.”
“America’s strength lies in our ability to invent new and better ways of doing things,” she said. “The challenge we face now is transforming America’s energy policy — one that is well over 50 years old and too reliant of fossil fuels — to one that will make America a global leader again in energy technology and get us off our overdependence on foreign oil.”
Congress (and the president) can legislate creativity and innovation. And it comes with a centrally planned national energy policy. That should work out well. Just look at corn and ethanol.