Chuck Hobbs’ Monday Musings on Tax Incentives for Big Oil Companies, Ghost of Terrorist Past, Florida Court Overhaul Fails
By Chuck Hobbs, Esq. TAX SUBSIDIES FOR BIG OIL
Four dollar per gallon gas! Just reading it on the page hurts almost as much as dropping 80 bucks to fill up my car.
For all of the righteous indignation we have as Americans about soaring gas prices, the issue is what to do about it?
While I support safe offshore oil drilling, I know that the same will only alleviate our thirst for oil from the Middle East oil cartels so much. Ditto for alternative energy concepts, which still seems futuristic. Plus, let’s face it, most Americans will not give up luxury and space to drive a car that looks and feels like a sardine can.
Still, the best way to get the attention of Big Oil is to boycott their product. How do we boycott? If a multi-car family drive fewer cars; car-pool, ride the bus or train; ride a bike to work and/or walk. Yes, the old would be new again—and with dwindling profits the companies would drop prices, wouldn’t they?
Yes, America, I have a dream this morning of a Rosa Parks inspired/Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. type of boycott that would bring these ridiculous prices down.
Or maybe not, when considering the tax incentives Big Oil currently receives. The United States Senate soon will debate ending the nearly 21 Billion dollars in federal aid that Big Oil presently receives. In a bold move, Senate Democrats, with the backing of President Obama, will argue that by ending the incentives, that any savings would be used toward deficit reduction.
If passed, the move would out flank Republicans who would find it a tad difficult to explain why they did not support cutting the deficit and saving tax dollars?
The Republican counterpoint, clearly, would be to argue that by doing so, Big Oil would simply pass the burden on to consumers through higher prices.
This relates back to my original point— that less reliance on cars would send a powerful message to Big Oil.
And as to Big Oil passing on the burden, well, they already are doing that—and making a huge profit at the same time.
New Jersey Democrat Senator Robert Menendez perhaps summed up Democrats’ intentions the best when saying “This is as good a time as any in terms of pain at the pump and in revenues needed for deficit reduction.”
GHOST OF TERRORIST PAST—EICHMANN
On the heels of Osama Bin Laden’s death comes news reports that West German and American officials knew the whereabouts of Nazi fugitive and Holocaust architect Adolph Eichmann for as many as ten years before his capture in Argentina by the Israeli Secret Police Force Mosad.
That this news is now surfacing is no surprise as Americans, including this writer, remain outraged that Bin Laden apparently was living right under the nose of the Pakistani military for at least six years. It defies logic to believe that no one knew Bin Laden was there until last year when American agents finally hunted him down.
Ditto for Eichmann, who fled, like many Nazis, to South America during the waning days of World War II. Eichmann was once described by philosopher Hannah Arendt as “neither perverted nor sadistic…terribly and terrifyingly normal.” Eichmann, indeed, was living a normal life in Buenos Aires under an assumed name. The problem, though, is that “Captain Obvious” did not change his wife and children’s names.
For reasons that we may never know, the West German government never turned this information over to Allied authorities. Some now speculate that it is because many other “terrifyingly normal” former Nazis transitioned into positions of prominence in the West German government. Perhaps the fear was that a captured Eichmann, if he snitched, could take others to hang on the gallows with him.
With this year marking the 50th anniversary of Eichmann’s trial and execution, the issue of cooperation among peace loving nations in the pursuit and administration of justice to terrorists will certainly continue.
FLORIDA COURTS OVERHAUL GUTTED
As a lawyer, perhaps no issue was more critical in the recently concluded Florida legislative session then the ill fated attempt by House Speaker Dean Cannon to radically restructure the Florida Supreme Court by adding three new justices and splitting the Court into a criminal and civil division.
“A solution in search of a problem” is what several prominent Floridians, including former Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham and former Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero, called Cannon’s measures.
Speaker Cannon’s actions are part of what is wrong with politics, namely that a perceived slight could lead to expensive legislation that does not help the public good.
Cannon’s alleged concerns—speeding up death penalty cases—is the biggest lie told in recent Florida politics. Death Row appeals move quick enough through the Supreme Court. The problem is that supposedly law and order governors, including Jeb Bush, Charlie “Chain Gang” Crist and now Rick Scott, aren’t signing enough death warrants.
Speaker Cannon, a lawyer himself, should be ashamed at the fact that he has done little to address the real problem in Florida courts, which is the under staffing on the trial level that causes criminal and civil cases to proceed at a snail’s pace. Until that issue is addressed, everything that comes out of Speaker Cannon’s mouth about the implementation of justice must be viewed skeptically.