Is Bud the Blogger anti-growth?

I know my Red Maryland cohort Bud the Blogger happens to be one of those mavericks who supports the Democrat Frank Kratovil in the First District race, and if that’s how he feels more power to him. I think he’s completely off base with that particular opinion, but some people come around sooner or later – hopefully he’ll be one.

However, his post yesterday regarding Andy Harris and the Club For Growth went a little over the top in its reach. When Bud makes the conclusion he does (below the fold), I have to question where he’s coming from:

District 1 needs a leader that represents our interests. No one wants to hear a bunch of organizational spin when we’re forced to choose between gas for the car and food on the table. Over the next six months, the democrats, independents and even the republicans of this district need to send a loud message showing we’re tired of getting hosed. Make no mistake folks, a vote for Andy Harris means an endorsement of higher gas prices. Ready for $4 a gallon, anyone?

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Unfortunately for Bud, the party that his choice belongs to shares a lot of the blame for people having to make the choice between gas in the car and food on the table, and certainly the Club For Growth is not interested in politicians who promise more regulation of corporations and restrictions on what oil companies can and cannot do in order to secure more product. If you don’t believe me, go see for yourself what the Club For Growth stands for. I happen to be a member myself, and even though I don’t agree with everything they advocate, overall I think the CFG has the right idea.

It’s disappointing to me that Bud has piled on to the anti-capitalist view that oil companies make too much money from a product that they don’t really dictate the price of – after all, did anyone feel sorry for the oil companies when oil was $15 a barrel and the resulting hard times hit a number of areas that depended on that industry?

As to why gas prices are so expensive, I go into my thoughts on the topic here but I think having Andy Harris in Congress would do more to address the root causes of the problem than having a Democrat who would likely toe the party line, one where oil companies are ripe for taxing because they supposedly make too much money. Then the taxes confiscated from oil companies would go to support non-marketworthy boondoggles in the so-called renewable energy field.

If you’re curious about where Frank Kratovil stands on the energy issue, so was I. And while I could find nothing on the topic from his website, fortunately I managed to snag one of his leaflets from the Democrats’ table at the Salisbury Festival (yes, once in awhile Democrats are useful for something). Here’s what the leaflet has to say:

I will work for an energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil and promotes cleaner energy and smarter technology that creates American jobs and lowers energy costs.

Aside from the boilerplate quality of the solution that is offered, I’d like to point out that we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil by drilling for domestic supplies and building more refineries, something we haven’t managed in over thirty years. Perhaps Frank would support this idea President Bush proposed 3 years ago as one solution to the refinery issue? Certainly those ideas would work, but I don’t think that’s what Mr. Kratovil means.

Further, it seems to me that having nuclear power rather than coal-burning plants to provide our electricity is also a viable option, with natural-gas fired power plants as a backup source for peak usage and periods when nuclear plants are shut down for scheduled maintenance. Having lived in an area that was serviced by nuclear power, I’m not worried about what some fear regarding waste or accidents. Unfortunately, I believe what Frank is referring to are those unproven technologies that government tries to foist upon us by market-busting subsidies like tax breaks and outright adoption of restrictions that enrich favored companies.

So while Bud is trying to be shrewd and tie Andy Harris into the price we pay at the pump while trying to tar the monetary contributions that the Club For Growth has bundled for his campaign with that same brush, the truth is that if you really support $4 a gallon gasoline you’ll touch the screen next to Frank Kratovil’s name. After all, it’s his Democrat party’s would-be standardbearers who are on record as wanting to punish the oil companies for “excess” profits, conveniently forgetting the thousands of Americans those companies employ – many of whom belong to the unions who support that party – and the millions who own a stake in those companies (including me, and maybe even Bud) who expect oil companies to provide a return on investment.

Am I happy to pay $40 for a tank of gas? Of course not. But I’m still voting for Andy Harris because I think he’ll work to find a more equitable solution to the issue than simply sticking it to oil companies. After all, companies never pay business taxes – consumers do when they’re passed on as part of the cost of doing business.

Crossposted on monoblogue.

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