Scene: Jordan alone in office working on the paper for POTUS. Earlier POTUS asked Jordan for ideas how to convince politicians and the public that it would be a good idea to fund rebuilding US infrastructure by fixing the price for gas and diesel fuel. The paper is overdue, POTUS is frustrated and Jordan struggling to finish. Original conversation with POTUS Entries #104, #105.
Jordan (mumbling to himself): Need to get this draft finished. The Super Bowl starts in a few hours. Usually not a great football game but fun to watch. Besides I’m supposed to meet some friends at a party. Get out of here for a while and relax.
The entire project now seems to make sense. I mean, can you think of a better and more equitable way to fund rebuilding infrastructure than having a fixed price for fuel? Everyone shares in the funding. The higher fuel prices are an incentive to increase fuel efficiency on cars and trucks…plus the lower fuel consumption reduces emissions.
So what can sidetrack a perfectly logical, practical plan that should have widespread support among the voters, private industry and the Congress? Should be relatively easy to implement…right? We’ll be lucky if it flies.
A major question is whether POTUS has the passion to turn the idea into a reality. No doubt the Republicant diehards will resist the idea. For Republicants, having private industry lead rebuilding infrastructure would be considered a smart investment and Republicants would support it. But the very same plan, if lead by government, Republicants would consider wasteful and inefficient.
If private industry raised prices to help fund such an effort, there would be no resistance from Republicants since higher prices were necessary. When government makes such a proposal, it is considered an unfair tax on the wealthy and any and all effort to raise taxes, no matter how rational the idea, must be thwarted.
POTUS knows all this but is he willing to strong-arm Congress to approve the plan? Chances of approval are much better since the Revenge Revolution…but many good legislative ideas still seem to get bogged down in Congress.
Plus, the radio talking heads will have a field day with this proposal. Somehow…and I really do not understand how…the radio psychobabblers and the Fox News bobble heads have brainwashed a large percentage of the population.
Good example is their proposal for an amendment forcing a balanced Federal budget. Do the idiots proposing the amendment have any idea of the consequences? Forcing a balanced budget in a recession is exactly the opposite of what should occur. A balanced budget in a recession creates a death-spiral for the economy.
Funny…well, not really funny since the potential effect is so tragic…is the true lack of understanding of economics by these parrot-heads. At dinner the other night, I was floored when Sonny said to me, “Well you have your opinion and I have mine.” Sonny, I hate to remind you again that I was dealing with facts and loads of empirical evidence, not just an opinion.
What was even more maddening is when pressed for facts, Sonny – like many others brainwashed – changed the subject and started to blame someone else. Hey pal, don’t go around spouting off stuff you claim are facts but have no support for. Oh, well, that’s an ideal world I’m wanting to live in. I guess “opinionaters” don’t let facts get in their way.
But POTUS is up against some influential “opinionaters” so he will have to make a strong case for the benefits of higher fuel prices. He might even cite some of the opinionaters’ irrational arguments.
Boy, am I glad I am not a politician. Schmoozing is not my game. Plus some of the politicians have no shame, which really galls me.
Enough kvetching, already. Let’s wrap up this draft. Final check – what are the real problems with the idea to fund rebuilding infrastructure with higher fuel prices?
Real problems. None, at least from my end.
Perceived problems. Well, probably three and all about equal. First is the perception that the extra cost for fuel is a tax. The perception will exist even among those who support the idea. And, they’re right. POTUS can call it something like “infrastructure investment” or some other euphemism. At the end of the day, it’s a tax. Worthwhile but still a tax. Let’s just cut the BS and call it a tax.
Second perception is that some of the money will be spent on non-infrastructure issues. I agree that’s a valid concern. Addressing the concern would be a good way to get Republicants involved and to claim partial victory with their constituents.
Third perception problem is oil-and-gas industry will claim the fixed price takes away their profit potential. Hooey. But we need to address and demonstrate how their profits can be more stable and higher over the long-term.
All these problems are theoretically manageable. What a great term, “theoretically manageable.” Reminds me of some academic class. But the problems can be addressed successfully with the right people involved. We can talk about the right people when I meet with POTUS. In the mean time I need to talk to my namesake about lining up the oil guys. I wonder if he’ll be at the Super Bowl party tonight.
(To be continued)