RUSH: ‘President Bush yesterday ordered a temporary suspension of environmental rules for gasoline, which are creating bottlenecks in U.S. gasoline markets, and announced a federal investigation into potential manipulation of gas prices that have topped $3 per gallon. Mr. Bush, responding to high fuel costs that are expected all summer, said oil companies have a responsibility to American motorists and called on Congress to strip away tax breaks the corporations are enjoying amid record profits. The president said, ‘Listen, at record prices, these energy companies have got large cash flows, and they need to reinvest those cash flows into expanding refining capacity, or researching alternative energy sources.”
Okay. I know what most of you are saying and how you’re reacting to this. Well, let me try it this way. What is the price today for a gallon of snake oil? Forget gasoline. Forget ethanol. Forget MTBE. How many miles can you get on a gallon of snake oil, ladies and gentlemen? I ask myself, ‘Was the Salem witch hunt this bad? Did it rely on more ignorance and more fear and more pandering than this oil and gasoline price issue is relying on?’ The Salem witch hunt, that was in 1692. Here we’re in the twenty-first century, my friends — or are we really? Here are the rants that we have, ‘Break up the oil companies!’ Bush gave them everything that they wanted, and that’s not enough for Chuck Schumer.
Now Chuck Schumer wants to break up the oil companies. ‘Break up the oil companies. Hit ’em with an excess profit tax,’ which the president says he’s not going to do that. Now the left is out there saying, ‘We want investigations into how this gouging is taking place and we want lynching. Stir ’em up.’ There’s just a bunch of snake oil being sold out there, and I’m wondering what the mileage is and the liberals are the ones lighting the torches. They’re out of power and they want power. Our guys are sadly following the mob. They’re in power; they want to keep it.
It’s like this United 93 movie. People think there was a massive outcry of people who said, ‘It’s too soon.’ For all we know, one wacko leftist came out of the theater and said it’s too soon and it got amplified into a whole country thinking this by the time the drive-by media got through with it. So our guys sadly are following the mob because they’re in power and they want to keep power, and the president, the more you love him, the sadder you are that he has to go along to get along. He of all people knows the reality here and his proposals do not address the reality. His proposals are not the problem. This is pure pandering, selling snake oil, and if there’s any excess here, it’s not excess profits. It’s excess pandering.
We have a real world situation that’s as basic as the law of supply and demand, and Dingy Harry and the Democrats cannot filibuster the law of supply and demand. They try, but they can’t do it. It’s very simple. Demand is up and we need more supply, and the left has done everything they can to prevent more supply. It’s really not complicated here, folks. Nigeria has shut down their oil production. They’re 3% of the world’s output. They’ve got terrorist problems over there. We’ve got Katrina after effects. We still have refineries that are not at full capacity. We have the oil fields out in the Gulf that are still not up to full production. We’re also going through this mess here of getting rid of MTBE by the 5th of May and switching over to ethanol.
Now, the reason that there are shortages of gasoline with ethanol, or have been, is because MTBE is an additive. You can mix it with water and oil because they don’t mix, but ethanol will mix with water, and so it has to be added after the distribution process where there’s no chance that water is going to get into the mix, and so it’s changed the way we distribute gasoline going to ethanol. If ethanol is mixed too soon or too improperly, or improperly at all, and water gets into the mix, it will mix with ethanol, and it will change the octane and give you better performance. Remember when you used to see gasoline commercials?
“Is your engine knocking? Well, don’t buy that Shell garbage. Go out and buy our Texaco stuff from the man who wears the star because our octane doesn’t cause knocks in your engine.” Well, until May 5th rolls around and until we finally make the switchover from MTBE to ethanol and finalize the mixing and the distribution process, there are going to be these temporary outages of supply at certain gas stations. It has nothing to do with the overall supply of oil. It has nothing to do with anything other than the switchover, but yet it’s being amplified and thrown into this massive mix of hysteria to make people think that all hell’s breaking loose here, when in fact it is the left that’s done everything they can to prevent this country from meeting its own growing supply needs, and they’ve gotten away with it for years.
Until demand caught up with supply and now outstrips it, demand is outstripping supply in a lot of places. Now, I heard the other day, and I haven’t been able to source this, but I heard the other day that China and India combined are now using as much oil and gasoline as we did ten years ago. Now, you can’t have that kind of new introduction on the demand side without there having some impact on supply — and of course the more demand, the more precious the commodity, the price goes up. So what does the left do when another one of its core beliefs falls apart? They shift the blame. The war on poverty failed and so they end up blaming greedy Republicans and tax cuts for the rich. Urban education is an absolute disaster.
It’s failing. What do they do? They blame greedy religious schools and private schools. Energy prices are soaring, and instead of blaming themselves, which they never do, they blame greedy big oil. It’s not what Chucky Schumer says. He either knows it’s a bunch of BS or else he’s a fool. But let’s go through the list. We have trouble on the supply side in Nigeria, the Sudan and Venezuela. We’ve got the Katrina disasters, refiners are still behind. All these boutique refining and EPA rulings, which is one the president has done away with or will in the near future, and the no-solution solution of ethanol and ethanol conversion problems, ethanol shortage, high tariffs on importing ethanol to relieve the shortage, blah, blah, blah, blah.
For now, the politics of this is what interests me and the hypocrisy, the bouncing off the walls as politicians blame themselves or shame themselves, I should say, in an election year, and try to blame Bush and try to blame big oil and so forth, it’s just maddening. I have no doubt that they have concluded in the White House that his approval numbers are tied directly to the gasoline price. There’s no question in my mind, that it’s not Iraq; it’s not the war on terror. It’s the gasoline prices, and that’s also why people don’t hear and don’t accept the news of a strong and roaring economy. You know, one of the most interesting things to me about this is that despite the price rise in gasoline and energy products, the core inflation rate is holding steady.
It’s stunning everybody, the experts included. But it’s clear the president feels the need to get in on the pandering and the snake oil, because there are larger concerns, and that is the midterm elections, the completion of his agenda, getting tax cuts made permanent, funding the war in Iraq, and making sure that the war on terror continues. So they’ve rolled the dice, and they said, “Okay, we’ll join the fray here on the gas price business, and I’ll go out there and I’ll make it look like I’m going to be tough on the oil companies. My oil company buddies, they understand how this work. It happens to them every time this situation arises,” but the one place the president doesn’t appear to be flexible at all is when it comes to immigration. So they hear you on the port deal; they don’t hear you on immigration. They hear you on gasoline price. Two out of three ain’t bad.
RUSH: I want to go back to the snake oil business, this analogy, if you will, because let’s look at the anti-war template of the left. How fond are they of saying, “Bush was wrong on the war. He was wrong on everything.” So, as usual, we sit here, we get in the defensive mode. “No, he wasn’t,” blah, blah, blah, blah. We need to turn the tables. How wrong has the left been on ANWR? How wrong has the left been on nuclear power? How wrong has the left been on offshore drilling, and how wrong have they been on building refineries? I’m not talking about talking-point wrong. I mean really, really substantively wrong on things. They and their allies are as much to blame — and when I say allies, I don’t just mean the environmentalist wackos.
I’m talking about tax authorities because the federal governments and state governments combined make more money on oil and gasoline sales than the oil companies make selling gasoline, and they do it with taxes. Details of that coming up in a moment. Everybody from Al Gore on down. It’s the environment template. Everybody from Al Gore on down. Al Gore on up, I guess, since he’s at the bottom, has told you that we Americans care more about the pristine, frozen tundras in ANWR than energy prices. Well, if that’s the case, what’s the fuss about here? Why is the left fussing about prices? They’re getting what they want. They’re getting high prices which they hope will translate to less use. We’re not drilling in ANWR. We’re not drilling anywhere. We’re not exploring anywhere, domestically.
So why all the fuss about gas price? Well, because they’re a bunch of damned hypocrites, and all they’re doing is trying to focus your rage and anger on the Bush administration, away from them. And then you’ve got people like Kerry or somebody, say we need shocking tax increases to curtail energy use. They have that template. The bottom line is this. It’s all going a little bit too far. Of all the federal and state taxes, guess which state is the greediest? Of all federal and state taxes, which state is the greediest? And it’s the one with the biggest panderer. New York. Right you are, Mr. Snerdley. The state that gave us Chucky Schumer. The state that gave us Hillary Clinton as Senator. Chucky Schumer, the man who pretends to be fighting greed, New York state, ladies and gentlemen, does not tax gasoline per gallon like other states.
New York taxes gasoline per dollar, and that makes New York the highest taxer of energy prices in the country. According to Fox News, New York state tax, 62.9 cents per gallon because you have to calculate the tax per dollar. So the New York tax goes up. The level stays the same, but the more you have to pay to fill up your tank, the more taxes you’re paying; 62.9 cents per gallon in New York for gasoline, on top of 18.4 cents federal. That’s over 80 cents a gallon in taxes for New York and the feds on a gallon of gasoline. So like any witch hunt here, folks, from Salem to snake oil, the real problem is not just the panderers, it’s those who join in the pandering. And of course I understand why this is taking place; the Republicans in power, they want to sty in power, Democrats out of power, they want to get their power, but I’m beginning to wonder if our two-party system of Democrats and Republicans needs to be recast. I’m wondering if we already have a three-party system. Democrats and Republicans versus conservatives.