Friday, August 10, 2007


Unpopular Bush Opinion

Bush Rejects Gas Tax as Way to Shore Up Bridges - New York Times: "Asked about the gasoline proposal, which could amount to an increase of 5 cents a gallon under schemes floating around Congress, Mr. Bush said, “Before we raise taxes, which could affect economic growth, I would strongly urge the Congress to examine how they set priorities.”"

A friend of mine and I were having a conversation on whether I take unpopular stances just to be a renegade. I am, after all, one of three who still support this war. I, of course, said no, that sometimes it isn't so fun being at odds with nearly everyone. He interrupted that I seemed to enjoy it, bask in it. I have to admit, if only the process of arguing out all of the competing points in my head, that sometimes it is fun to feel like a rebel. Boy, is that a ridiculous word to describe me? Do they get any further from my reality? Contrarian is much more like it. I saw an old Berkeley-produced interview with Hitchens the other day, presumably done soon after "Letters to a Young Contrarian's" release. He argued that 'contrarian' was a term that the publishers preferred but that he thought had too negative a connotation. I quite dig it. Seeing as rebel and renegade do not suit me, this is a word that suggests a person who is vetting even their own ideas where most would naively listen and agree. I am proud of that.
With Bush, I am one of the few that allows myself to agree with him when prudent. On taxes, and on gas taxes, in particular, he is right. The Congress, and even state legislatures, have for too long gravitated toward the sexy and away from ordinary and necessary. I understand why, but couldn't possibly excuse it. Bushie is just saying that they shouldn't be asking for more money when they haven't handled the money they have wisely for some time. That is a perfectly appropriate response, and one for which he should be getting more accolades.

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