Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pure Folly

I'm sorry if I've seemed a little absent lately. I could say I've been busy (which is true) but that feels like a cop-out to me. Honestly, I just haven't felt much like writing. I guess all my creativity has gone into "The Music Man". :)
On top of that, though, I've been sore and uncomfortable. I actually felt like running on Friday afternoon (I hate running, and don't usually enjoy it so I try to take advantage when I do) but the dog got over-excited and was a terrible running partner. She tripped me several times by stopping in front of me (usually on the ice because, you know, why would she want to stop on bare ground when I could easily stop too?), which culminated in one flying leap in an attempt to avoid kicking the dog, then having my foot slip out from under me (we were on an icy downhill) on the landing. I have what is now my largest bruise ever: a softball sized bruise on my left butt cheek. (I know, I know, TMI!) But can you see now why sitting in front of a computer to write doesn't seem so appealing? Sitting, in general, is not my favorite activity. Add in this bruise and I've been avoiding it as much as possible. It's even made me tired because every time I roll over in my sleep I put pressure on the bruise and it wakes me up. The dog has been trying to apologize by snuggling against my back (like a buffer) every night.
But this morning, I saw something that offended me so terribly that I had to write. Apparently, there was a rally here to try to get the state government to lower the oil and gas taxes. Not what we pay at the pump, but what the companies (like Exxon and BP) pay for the privilege of drilling here. Let's ignore for the minute the fact that the past few years have been a boom time for oil company profits and go straight to the heart of the issue. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THEIR TAXES AND TAX RATES ARE, THE FACT IS THAT THEY NEED THE OIL AND WE HAVE IT. There. We have what they need. Of course they want their taxes lowered. If they can get what they want from us and make just a few cents more in profit, they'll do it. The idea that their tax rate is too high is a pure lie. A lie which, apparently, fooled over 200 people who went to the rally.
Giving into this is folly on the grandest of scales. Forget trump cards, forget having the best hand. We hold ALL of the cards. They'll drill no matter what the tax rate is because they don't have any other choice. Also, having our state lower their taxes still wouldn't meant that the federal government would give them the permits needed to drill. OUR STATE HAS VERY LITTLE SAY IN THIS MATTER. Why should we give in to what is essentially blackmail from the oil companies? ("Give us tax cuts or we won't drill here anymore!")
This is a debate that's been raging since last summer when the same companies asked for over $2 billion dollars in tax cuts from the state. I can't believe there are people, ordinary people, who agree with that sentiment. How much improvement could be made to the infrastructure and schools in our state with just one tenth of the money they were asking for in tax cuts? How many state workers could get well-earned raises with that money? How much of it could go into research?
The idea that they need anything in tax breaks when they're pulling in record profits is just absurd. I sincerely hope the lawmakers in my state are intelligent enough to remember that.

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