Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Tax Guzzler

Obama needled a questioner at an event who asked about gas prices, now averaging close to $3.70 a gallon nationwide, suggesting that the gentleman consider getting rid of his gas-guzzling vehicle. The event was at a wind turbine plant in Fairless Hills, Pa. Clearly, Obama's needle is clearly stuck on clean energy. If SUV’s are gas-guzzlers, we could make the case that Obama is a tax guzzler and that we need to trade him in for a better model.

Pitching the promise of energy independence, Obama cautioned Wednesday that it’s going to be tough to transition. With electric power, however, there will be no “energy independence” for Americans. We will be hooked up to the grid, long-feared by the fiercely independent Pennsylvania Dutch and as much at the mercy of the government as we are at the mercy of the Arab’s with their oil fields. What’s Obama has promised we’ll pay a heavy price for this “energy independence”; that our electric costs will “necessarily” skyrocket.

Some independence. We need to trade Obama in, but we also have to consider what kind of candidate car we want. By necessity, they’re all used. In selecting a car, we want the newest model. In selecting a president, we need one with some mileage, that’s been broken in.

We know what kind of presidential car Obama is. We should have consulted Car Fax. Some researchers did, but everyone was taken in by the “cool” exterior and the smooth sound of the engine. What they neglected to do was kick the tires, check the interior, and the transmission. Nor did anyone bother to ask what sort of mileage this particular car had, who the previous owner was, and who rode in the car.

Turns out, the interior was littered with an assortment of communist and socialist literature, some of it in his own hand, and others in the handwriting of such associates as Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. The seating is straight out of the Sixties, with some after-market headrests and seatbelts that could strangle a sumo wrestler put in for safety. There’s also a peace sign bumper sticker on the fender. He took out the cigarette lighter, but forgot to empty the ashtray of Ayers’ leavings.

The engine may have sounded smooth, but it hadn’t been run-in properly. Some undoubtedly young driver revved up the RPMs on the car in its first few hundred miles, mangling its working parts. You also might be interested to know that the car has no oil. The previous owner tried to substitute vegetable oil for motor oil, as a gesture to Mother Earth.

They also rode exclusively in the left lane, wearing out the tires on the left-hand side of the car until they were nearly bald. The steering is faulty, with the car going nearly sideways to the left down the road. The driver also had a tendency to roar up to and sometimes run through red lights. That’s very bad for the brakes. What you wind up with is a car whose accelerator jams and whose brakes are useless from lack of moderation.

Finally, this lemon of a car guzzles our money like water. Not to mention the high price of insuring it. This car has an automatic transmission; manual transmissions are a thing of the past, like manual windows. Automatic is so much easier, at least until you get into a crisis, like hitting an oil slick or hydroplaning. Then when you want to steer or stop the car, you find yourself upside-down on the concrete meridian, wondering what the heck just happened. Then someone has to use the jaws of life to extract you from your predicament.

So now we know we must trade in this president for a better model, one that’s safer, more efficient, respectable but modern, and reliable. Let’s take a look at what’s on the market. The current polls list, in order of current popularity:

1. Mitt Romney – 21%
2. Donald Trump – 17%
3. Mike Huckabee – 17% (tied for 2nd place)
4. Newt Gingrich – 11%
5. Sarah Palin – 10%
6. Tim Pawlenty – 6%
7. Michele Bachmann – 5%
8. Rick Santorum – 3%
9. Haley Barbour – 1%

Mitt “Limousine” Romney looks every bit the president. He’s definitely auto-aristocratic; his father, George W. Romney, was the CEO of American Motors in the mid-Sixties, best known for its Ambassador sedan. The limousine is squeaky clean. The Media frets over his Mormon religion, but this limo doesn’t sport any plastic Jesus figures on the dashboard. More problematic is the “insurance” on this car; as Massachusetts governor, the Romney instituted Universal health care in the state. The car fax on the limo lists it among its assets Romney's entrepreneurial success, his rescuing of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, giving him the image of a star player who can straighten out what’s wrong in the nation's capital. Romney also had solid political experience as governor together with a political pedigree courtesy of his father, a strong work ethic and energy level, and a large, wholesome-looking family.

The Romney is a wealthy piece of machinery, but a surprise entry has entered the race – the Lamborghini The Donald. This is a fast, incredibly expensive sports car. Its previous owner has raced in the business world successfully, but this is the first time for him on the political track. It has very poor fuel mileage and has run out of gas several times, which can ruin a carburetor in no time. The owner has excellent “mechanics”. His best “mechanics” died in a tragic helicopter accident in the 1980s but Trump has still gotten back into the race. He should know, however, that political racers are even more unscrupulous than business racers and one bad spin-out, wealthy as he is, will completely total the crash-sensitive Lamborghini.

Tied for second place is The Huckabee. The Huckabee does have a plastic Jesus on the dashboard; Huckabee is an ordained Baptist minister. This car has plenty of power, although the plastic Jesus attracts as many detractors as supporters. The car has a good record; the third longest-serving governor of Arkansas. When he was elected Lieutenant-Governor of Arkansas, the departing Democrats had nailed the door to the office shut, stole all the furniture, and emptied the state coffers. He had been a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center accused of racism, a group from which Huckabee had withdrawn. There are some dents in the fender from minor accidents involving the commutation of prison sentences as governor, twice as many as his three predecessors combined, and his assertion that America is a Christian nation. With the Tea Parties gaining prominence, and his own television show on Fox News, Huckabee has risen in the rankings.

As a former Speaker of the House, The Newt-Mobile has a good track record with his Contract with America and leader of the Republican Revolution, ending the Democrats 40-year record. Powered by the Reagan years, this car performed well against stiff competition. Among its trophies are Welfare Reform and balancing the federal budget. The Newt was a history major, professor, and author, making him of interest to the Tea Party. The exterior is well polished though there is some considerable damage. During Gingrich's term as Speaker, eighty-four ethics charges were filed against him, most of which were leveled by House Democratic Whip David Bonior. Eighty-three of the eighty-four allegations were dropped. The remaining charge consisted of two counts "of failure to seek legal advice" and one count of "providing the committee with information which he knew or should have known was inaccurate" concerning the use of a tax exempt college course for political purposes. To avoid a full hearing, Gingrich and the House Ethics Subcommittee negotiated a sanctions agreement, which Democrats accused Gingrich of immediately violating. Nonetheless, the agreement was forwarded to the House for approval. On Jan. 21, 1997, the House voted 395 to 28 to reprimand Gingrich, including a $300,000 "cost assessment" to recoup money spent on the investigation. This was the first time in the House's history that the Speaker had been disciplined for ethics violations. The Newt was compelled to resign as House Speaker, and in fact, left Congress altogether, although the full committee panel did not reach a conclusion about whether the "Renewing American Civilization" college course had violated federal tax law and instead opted to leave it up to the IRS. In 1999, the IRS cleared the organizations connected with the courses under investigation for possible tax violations. He has also been criticized by Conservatives for supporting Medicare Part D and partnership with Hillary Clinton on the 21st Century Health Information Act, which would have computerized all personal health information. There is also some interior damage due to two well-publicized affairs that led to divorce and marriage to his mistresses, and converted to Catholicism upon his third marriage (which should hardly be a matter of record on this model).

Then, there’s the Sarah Palin Denali. This is an SUV that had great potential. But the owners put it on the track too soon before the driver was ready or the engine had been fully run-in. As Governor of Alaska, the Sarah Denali performed well, with a strong engine and transmission and a very stylish exterior. The fax record on the production of the car was confusing and muddled, but it turns out her educational record was a matter of funding, not ability. This is an SUV that can take the corners and the headwinds with gusto. Having put it on a faster track, though, it suffered a lot of exterior damage, with the opposition banging and sideswiping it at every opportunity. The Sarah Denali was run right off the track during her gubernatorial stint and she was forced to forfeit the race due to nefarious litigation by the opposition. The Sarah Denali is a gutsy car, though, and despite all the problems, got right back into the race. The SD is a family car, and with family cars, you get interior damage – wads of chewing gum, ice cream spills, ripped upholstery. It would be great to see the Sarah Denali run again, but she’s got to drop off her kids first.

The Pawlenty Pulpit is a good, solid Conservative car, kind of a stepped-up version of your dad’s Oldsmobile, only newer. Pawlenty campaigned as Minnesota governor on a pledge not to raise taxes to balance the state's budget deficit, requiring visa expiration dates on driver's licenses, a 24-hour waiting period on abortions, implementing a conceal-carry gun law, and changing the state's education requirements. He prevailed over both challengers at the polls. His largest gains since a poll conducted that September were among voters in the suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The timing on the Pawlenty is a little off. In 2008, he expressed support for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), however in 2010 he stated that he had been speaking solely as a surrogate for GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona and never actually supported the idea himself. he thinks United States Social Security and Medicare need to be cut to balance the federal budget. The Pulpit is another Tea Party family-values minivan. He opposes abortion and same-sex marriage, and is aligned with the Christian-right group Family Research Council. However, being from a prairie state, this is a mini-van that runs on the highly-controversial ethanol, which is being blamed for destroying important food crops in the name of climate preservation. The insurance on the car is high too, as he supports a universal health care plan in Minnesota by the end of this year.

The 2008 Republican models didn’t go over well with the public. Its top of the line model, the McCain, was much too old. Nearly all their cars had a tendency to drift over the center line to the other side with the Democrat cars, whose Marxist engines are all designed overseas, made with foreign parts, and fueled with foreign money. The Republicans need a good, Conservative car that can keep to the right. The 2012 models have gotten religion. We have yet to see if their engines and drive trains have been redesigned on the Constitutional model. They also have to do a better job of marketing to the younger demographic without getting lost in Progressiveville.

Put the Founding Fathers on your GPS, keep on your own side of the road, have a clean driving record, and the Conservative model will get you there.


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