A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Gouging Inquiry

This week, President Bush ordered the Justice and Energy Departments to investigate price gouging by the oil companies. This is his response to the cries from Congress to alleviate the high prices, which are rising by the day. The investigation will probably accomplish a few goals, but nothing that the American consumer/voter will see.

First, there is the announcement itself. People will now believe that the President DOES care about rising gas prices, they'll approve his handling of the crisis, and his overall approval rating will spike. We should note that his job approval rating is currently at 32%. I don't condone making light of someone else's misfortune, but I noticed that my wife, Anne Marie, and one of our cats, Meredith, started a conga line when they heard his latest poll numbers.

This is probably all that the investigation will do. The President’s announcement seems to be nothing more than a call to the fire department when your house catches fire. So what if gouging is found? What will the administration do? My guess is that they will send an elderly nun with the infamous steel ruler to smack the oil companies on the wrist. Oh, sure, there will be a fine, but it won't make a dent in their profits, and the consumers will never see a dime of it.

Of course, the oil companies themselves could own up to their avarice:

“Dear Mr. President,

Thank you for investigating our price-gouging policies. We don’t know what came over us. We just thought it was our God-given right to be greedy. Please pass along the enclosed check to the Republican National Committee. They can use it to take everyone living in a red state to lunch. Ha! Ha! Ha!”

I’m not holding my breath for this letter to be mailed.

There have been calls for a capital windfall tax from Congress against the oil companies. The proceeds from the tax could put a drop or two against the federal deficit, or otherwise be used for the common good. Taxes and common good…what am I thinking? The administration will never go for this idea!

I’m not getting my hopes up for this gouging inquiry. His intentions may be good, but his ultimate result will only satisfy himself and no one else. So for us it looks like higher prices at the pump, and more hot air from Washington for the foreseeable future.

Cha cha cha!


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