Orwell is alive and well in America

Will the shamelessness and lack of political responsibility ever end?
As President Bush extols the virtues of his meager and anti-environmental efforts to stem the out-of-control and obscene profits of his oil buddies, he continues to spin the language developed by his bosses at the Right-wing think tanks controlling our country’s media and messaging today. Working in concert, they have created a culture of greed and selfishness that knows no limits but refuse to be accountable for their behavior.
It isn’t bad enough that Bush talks about “controlling” the price of gasoline bycalling for drilling in the ANWAR and suspending environmental laws that seek to protect our health and planet, he keeps referring to the increased amoung we’re paying at the pump for the price of gas as TAXES— as though giving billions to the Oil Profiteers to line their pockets is the same as giving it to the government for services and education.
This Orwellian effort to further vilify taxes has got to be stopped immediately. These aren’t taxes, they’re PROFITS, from greedy, shameless and manipulating multi-national corporations who see nothing obscene about paying their CEO’s $144,000 per DAY for their work in polluting the air and water and gouging hard-working Americans (and particularly gouging us here in California with their control of the few refineries we have in our state). Even Bush knows the difference, but why not just try to blur the line anyway? If he can link the two, people will start associating bad corporate behavior with the social necessities that we all expect and deserve.The private sector motivated by profit, is NOT the public sector, motivated by the needs of the people.
When you examine the language Bush insists on using to characterize the price of gas, it really is insidiously clever (no thanks to Bush—he’s just reading his prepared script). After all, noone likes taxes, not even the sound of the word, so if we can reinforce the ugliness of the word by associating ugly profiteering behavior and price-gouging of consumers as a form of tax, then taxes become even more offensive and unacceptable when used in their proper context—the DUES we all pay to live in a civilized world and invest in our future.
It is our job, however, to affirm and reiterate that TAXES and OIL PROFITS are very different creatures, although a nice windfall PROFITS TAX on oil’s greed is a very valid approach which is gaining some foothold in California. The goal, of course, is to create a disincentive for the oilies to gouge consumers for the price of a gallon of gas. So what would happen if we put a pretty substantial windfall profits tax on the oil companies and their refineries (which are jacking up the price here in California making us just about the highest priced gasoline market in the country)?
How about finding a realistic but substantial percent which would be charged to these companies with the resulting funds being put into a public transit account to truly develop and improve public forms of transportation that will take people out of their gas guzzling vehicles and create an affordable, reliable and efficient way of moving people from place=to=place? The account will have to blocked so it can’t be raided for any other purposes.
As more and more people start looking to public transportation as one of the responsible alternatives to offset the unconscionable and unaffordable price of gasoline, we should be doing more to encourage the use of this cleaner, more environmentally friendly and ultimately cost-effective way of travel. After all, it’s good for the planet, good for our health and good for our stated claim of oil independence.
Maybe we can turn this around and use this latest example of a culture that encourages corporate greed and excessive profiteering to improve the quality-of-life for us average Americans who are working hard just to get by and care for our families.