February 14, 2006

Intersting contrast

Two stories from the Gulf region caught my eye this morning. Seemingly unrelated but the contrast is striking. The NYT reports that changes to the tax laws regarding royalties for oil companies will result in major oil companies avoiding paying about $65 billion in oil and gas royalties over the next several years. This results from incentives granted during the Clinton years to promote oil exploration and all seems perfectly legal and proper. But it does contrast with the next story.
Thousands of evacuees from Hurricane Katrina became transients again on Monday, wheeling their entire lives onto the street on luggage carts or dragging bulging garbage bags through hotel lobbies, when the federal government stopped paying their hotel bills.

Again NYT reports that yesterday saw aid ended for many families displace by Hurricane Katrina who have been staying in hotels. Many have been left homeless even though they knew this change was coming. The Bush administration first deadline for this move was about a week before Christmas. Someone in the administration may have realized that the image of storm victims being turned out of there hotels on the eve of our great religious holiday might not helped the Presidents 39% approval rating.

Anyway, here we have the government stopping support for hurricane victims while giving away enough money to rebuild New Orleans and put sand on Nags Head beaches. And don't think they don't intend this action. Congress wants to tax the oil companies on their windfall profits generated by the sharp rise in gas prices. But...
By contrast, the White House bluntly promised to veto the Senate's $60 billion tax cut bill because it contained a one-year tax of $5 billion on profits of major oil companies.

Enough ranting. Federal funds are tight. People need relief from storm damage. People need protection from storm damage. Who does the Bush administration take care of the oil companies.

I made it all the way this far without any jokes about VP Cheney's hunting accident. If you want to read all the questions and innuendo about this incident check out Direland.


At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best new bumper sticker:

I'd rather go hunting with Dick Cheney than go for a ride with Ted Kennedy.


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