Monday, May 01, 2006

Special Blog Post:
The $100 Plan

GOP AgonyDespite the obvious appearance of trying to buy votes in the November elections, the Republican majority in Congress is still considering a scheme to provide every American with a $100 check to compensate for the current high price of gasoline. President Bush has already rejected a revenue-matching windfall profits tax on oil companies, which means the money sent to American consumers would expand the already near-record federal budget deficit without significantly helping people with the skyrocketing fuel costs they are facing.

The opposition to this rebate plan is significant, as Shakespeare's Sister and BlondeSense Liz, among many others, have noted. The Dark Wraith has posted comments at both of the aforementioned blogs offering an alternative to opposing the Republican rebate plan. Herewith now is the formal statement of that alternative.

If the hundred dollar checks are indeed disbursed pursuant to an Act of Congress approved by the President, all who are opposed to the Republicans pledge as follows: Upon receiving the check for the sum of One Hundred dollars ($100.00), I shall immediately sign the back of the draft and send it to the non-Republican political party or candidate of my choice.

The Republicans will, then, have instituted de facto public campaign financing on a scale that could rival any formal campaign finance reform proposal. If one million households were to honor the pledge suggested above, one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) would flow into the coffers of the Democrats, the Greens, and other non-Republicans for the 2006/2008 election cycle. If the Republicans in Congress chose not to back down from their hare-brained, transparent vote-buying scheme, they would stand their shaky ground knowing very well that the commitment of non-Republicans to use their checks this way would be far greater than that of Republican voters to use their checks to support the GOP, especially considering how unpopular the Republicans are as we head into the jaws of the 2006 campaign season.

If you would be willing to make the pledge to commit your rebate check, please say so and pass this plan on to those you know. With a modest effort and a willingness to surrender a hundred bucks you wouldn't have had anyway if we had responsible leadership in Washington, the Republican attempt at naked vote-buying will turn into a catastrophe for the Grand Old Party.

The Dark Wraith has thus laid his counter-proposal on the table.

Update: is now running an article with the following headline: "Senate GOP backs off $100 gas rebate proposal," but the article itself tells a very different story:

"[Senator Bill] Frist said he will still push the rebate, but abandoned the accounting change [on how oil company crude inventories are taxed that would have paid for the rebates] and said the Senate Finance Committee planned a hearing on the issue in the near future."

This, of course, means that the rebate is still in play, but the oil companies have prevailed upon the Senate to abandon any plan that would have included a revenue-generating tax on oil companies to offset the estimated $10 billion cost of the rebate scheme.

Now, who says the Republicans aren't responsive to those they serve?

This article is cross-posted from The Dark Wraith Forums.

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