Corresponding with my Congressional RepresentativeMy congressdope sends out a weekly email newsletter. It touts all of the accomplishments of our duly elected Democrat-controlled Congress for the week. So there are articles that demonize the oil companies for making a profit. There are self pats on the back for bailing out irresponsible, short-sighted home mortgage borrowers at the expense of the majority of home owners who have not foolishly over-extended themselves. The Congress is busy solving various crises, some that I bet you didn't even know existed, but that need more tax dollars thrown at them in order to be solved.
I shouldn't call him a dope. It's not nice, and it really does bother me when people use the anonymity of the Internet to insult people they don't know. I know that most of our differences are political. At one time I was on his side. I voted for him, and I thought he was a swell guy.
But lately I've been responding to his newsletters urging him to vote to allow drilling in ANWR and on the continental shelf, you know, the places where we know that there's oil, but the Democratic Congress won't allow drilling because - we can't drill our way out of this problem (but somehow we can release oil out of the Strategic Reserve to get us out of this problem) - it will take years for the oil to hit the market (and yet, all of the alternative "green" solutions will also take years and billions of dollars in government subsidies) - the oil companies already hold leases to billions of acres of public land (but that's not where the oil is) - we're addicted to oil - environmental concerns (we're all going to die from climate change) - speculators have driven up the price of oil, so we have to put a stop to speculators (they've since shut up about that since oil prices began dropping once Bush ended the presidential moratorium on drilling).
In his last newsletter, Congressman (not dope, that's not polite) Sander Levin once again railed against the huge profits the oil companies are raking in. So I sent him two links. This one is about how oil companies pay out three times as much in taxes as they take in as profit. There's more information here and here. This second link shows a simple graph comparing oil company's profits to taxes in 2006, and how they paid more in taxes than the bottom 75 percent of individual tax payers. There is also the national security issue. Not only are we sending billions of dollars to Middle Eastern oil ticks, but now that Russia has pretty much been allowed to reswallow Georgia, they control more of the world's oil supply. And much like the jihadists, they're not very nice to work with.
I thought the pictorial representation of all those tax dollars just begging to be wasted on pork, pet projects, and pandering would warm the heart of any congressperson. I haven't heard back from him yet. And I'm sure I will, because even though I never like his responses, he (or someone in his office most likely) always responds to my testy emails. I have to give him credit for that . . . even though I will be voting against him next time.