"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Don't Even Ask 

Even if it's voluntary, it's unacceptable:
The Bush administration opposes a Republican proposal that oil companies voluntarily contribute some of their record profits to a federal fund that helps poor Americans pay winter heating bills, Energy Secretary Sam Bodman said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Senate Finance Chairman Charles Grassley sent a letter to U.S. energy companies, urging them to donate 10 percent of their swelling profits to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Asked by reporters if the administration supported the plan, Bodman responded: "No, sir. I wouldn't support it. It is similar to a tax."

Now, of course, there are those whackjobs who believe that the federal income tax is voluntary, but in general, I think most people recognize the difference between a voluntary assessment and a tax. Unfortunately, that recognition is apparently sufficient to disqualify us from serving as Energy Secretary. And if we have to let a few poor or elderly folks die of exposure in order to prove Sec. Bodman's point - well, that's a small price to pay. So long as it's voluntary, of course.




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