Check out this detail from a McCain speaking engagement today in Detroit:
"We can’t keep this level of gas guzzling and make a strong impact on our dependence on foreign oil. It’s a national security issue," McCain said in response to a post-speech question about gas mileage requirements. His remarks were met with silence from a skeptical audience. "I noticed no applause," he said with a chuckle before a few people obliged.
Too often, when those in public life say the things that we Energy partisans take for granted, they are greeted with dead silence, or worse. And not always in Detroit.
Friedman took out his frustration in this regard, quite rightly, on the current president…
Of course, we can pay for the Iraq war without a tax increase. The question is, can we pay for it and be making the investments in infrastructure, science and education needed to propel our country into the 21st century? Visit Singapore, Japan, Korea, China or parts of Europe today and you’ll discover that the infrastructure in our country is not keeping pace with our peers’.
We can pay for anything today if we want to stop investing in tomorrow. The president has already slashed the National Institutes of Health research funding the past two years. His 2008 budget wants us to cut money for vocational training, infrastructure and many student aid programs.
Does the Bush team really believe that if we had a $1-a-gallon gasoline tax — which could reduce our dependence on Middle East oil dictators, and reduce payroll taxes for low-income workers, pay down the deficit and fund the development of renewable energy — we would be worse off as a country?
… but the sad truth is, who is running on a platform that touts the kinds of sacrifices that we really, truly ought to be embracing? No one — at least not to the extent that I believe is called for. And personally, I am more than ready to follow someone who challenges me to ask the question that JFK proposed.
Finally, while we’re on the subject, I hope y’all all saw the piece we ran Monday from the British consul who recently visited:
The recent meeting of Major Economies in Washington showed that
governments around the world have yet to agree whether binding targets
for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (favored by the United
Kingdom and many other countries) present a better way forward than
voluntary goals, the preference of the United States.
But tackling climate change can bring countries together if we are wise enough not to let it drive us apart.
United Kingdom shares its knowledge and experience with governments
around the world. Last year, the United Kingdom signed a far-reaching
agreement with California on climate change cooperation. Gov. Charlie
Crist enthusiastically supports the new U.K.-Florida Partnership on
Climate Change. And we have been in regular contact with members of
North Carolina’s Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change,
including a visit by parliamentarians from the House of Commons. We
would like to work with South Carolina too, if that would be welcome.