We all know that each president has his own unique pet projects. He talks about them during the campaign, and we expect him to act on them once in office. Even the first ladies have their favorite causes which influence policy.
We should not be surprised then that President Obama has directed billions of dollars to green-energy projects, such as Solyndra, and that he continues to push though measures that punish petroleum—believing he can make winners and losers.
But directing policy based on waves of popularity—rather than fact, makes as much sense as taxing or providing federal funding to Barbie Dolls.
Remember a decade or so ago, there was public attention drawn to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia? Specialty clinics sprang up to treat the young women who were engaged in unhealthy habits. Barbie dolls got criticized because it was said the unnatural body shapes contributed to young girls’ unrealistic expectations regarding how they should look.
Barbie fell from favor—though she still sells. Along came Cabbage Patch Dolls with their chubby cheeks and fat fingers. Bulimia and anorexia may still be a problem—but we do not hear much about them anymore. Today, the First Lady’s cause is obesity.
Using the President’s model of punishing one energy source while showering the other with funding—perhaps we need to offer stimulus to Mattel so they can make more Barbies, lower their price, and use advertising to sway public opinion toward Barbie again. Meanwhile, we should heap penalties on their sales of Cabbage Patch Dolls. It would presumably save money in healthcare, because we’d make being thin desirable again.
Obviously a Cabbage Patch tax or a Barbie stimulus is silly. But so is what President Obama is doing with America’s energy.
On the very same week that the Obama administration is rushing to send stimulus out the door for questionable renewable energy projects that must be funded by the end of the month, he is also trying to sell Congress on singling out the oil-and-gas industry—penalizing them just because he doesn’t like them.
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