Alex's Outlook

Friday, August 29, 2003

Cruz Bustamante thinks he can bring revenue back to California by ratcheting up taxes. Today, he dreamed up another idiotic idea: he wants to cap gasoline prices at about $2 a gallon.

Gasoline prices are $1.69 on average across the US, and about $2.10 in California right now. California's price woes were largely caused by a blown Arizona pipeline that cut off a lot of gas to California. To Cruz Bustamante, that is "unfair."

The move may be politically shrewd anyway. Bustamante's best chance lies in McClintock staying in along with Schwarzenegger. If the center and right are split, all Bustamante may need is his liberal base, which is especially large in California. Hardline socialists/liberals love price controls for the sheer fact that they are murder for oil companies (since they've been proven not to work economically).

Fortunately, Bustamante would have to amend the state constitution to regulate oil prices, and that means he needs two-thirds of the votes in each house of California's legislature. The Republicans will probably oppose the move unanimously, and I wouldn't be surprised if some Democrats joined them. It probably won't happen even if Bustamante wins; all it shows is how beholden to the far left Bustamante really is. That might be an asset in a California election, however.

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