When we see quotes like this out of the White House we want to scream:
With oil soaring to a record $108 a barrel amid mounting signs of U.S. economic turbulence, President George W. Bush said Monday that he was sending Vice President Dick Cheney to the Middle East to raise concerns about oil prices and to press Israeli and Palestinian leaders to move toward peace.
Cheney, who leaves Sunday, will meet with King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer and the de facto leader of OPEC.
"Obviously, we want to see an increase in production," said Dana Perino, an administration spokeswoman. "The president does want OPEC to take into consideration that its biggest customer, the United States - our economy has weakened and part of the reason is because of higher oil prices. We think that more supply would help, and I don't anticipate that the vice president would have any other message than that one."
The White House knows, as well as any Blogspot Clacker (at least we hope so), that the current spike in the price of oil is due to the U.S. dollar's declining value on the world market. Not because of some new lack of supply.
The dollar has declined in value because currency traders and buyers of U.S. debt around the world are starting to get mighty jittery about the state of our government's financial books (see Walker, David).
And the sorry state of our financial books, while not wholly caused by 6 years of the Bush Administration's fiscal policies, was certainly made exponentially worse by W, Hastert, DeLay and McConnell.
If the Bush Administration was serious about easing oil prices then they would shore up the value of the dollar by cutting government spending, beginning to fix the entitlement programs and maybe, just maybe, raising taxes on the very rich.
But no. That actually takes leadership and forward thinking.
So now the Vice-President is on his way to the Mideast. To see if he can get the Arabs to increase oil production.
And back in America, folks are starting (again) to talk about increased drilling on U.S. soil.
Two stupid, 20th century solutions to a current problem that has almost nothing to do with lack of supply.
It's. Time. To. Get. Off. Fossil. Fuels.
And the politician who leads this country to that Promised Land well, they can start picking out a nice wing in the Smithsonian.