I just want to know if President Obama ever took an economics course in college.
I’m convinced the reason that we can’t get a look at his transcripts is not because his grades were bad, but because of the courses he took.
Anyone who went to college, especially a liberal arts college, and especially a liberal liberal arts college – like I did – knows a student like the one Obama probably was:
No economics classes – who needs capitalist propaganda? Maybe one biology class – and then finished with the sciences except for psychology. Math? That was for high school.
Probably he tried out a language – maybe Russian, since you must learn the Soviet language to best promote mutual understanding – but he probably dropped it after one semester because it actually requires a ton of work.
But you know where he lived: English lit, philosophy, history and political science.
And I imagine that within those disciplines, there were some awkward choices: Marx and Lenin 101; Marx and Lenin 102, Mao’s Theory of Endless Revolution; Heroes of Soviet Union; A History of Worker Oppression in the United States; Granola: What to do with the Crumbs?; and so forth.
Which brings me back to economics, and the latest piece of evidence that Obama doesn’t understand it.
In remarks Thursday at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire, Obama told a bunch of fellow philosophy majors that, with gasoline prices on the rise, what we need to do right away is eliminate the oil industry subsidies.
OBAMA: Right now, $4 billion of your tax dollars — $4 billion — subsidizes the oil industry every year.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
OBAMA: Four billion dollars. Now, these companies are making record profits right now — tens of billions of dollars a year. Every time you go to the gas tank or fill up your gas tank, they’re making money. Every time. Now, does anyone really think that Congress should give them another $4 billion this year?
OBAMA: Of course not. It’s outrageous. It’s inexcusable. And I am asking Congress — eliminate this oil industry giveaway right away. I want them to vote on this in the next few weeks. (Applause.) Let’s put every single member of Congress on record: You can stand with the oil companies, or you can stand up for the American people. You can keep subsidizing a fossil fuel that’s been getting taxpayer dollars for a century, or you can place your bets on a clean-energy future.
There’s a moment from my time in the real world I’ll share with you.
I was working as a waiter and bartender at a restaurant in Washington. The city, which was screwing up its finances and needed a shot of money – as usual – assessed a “sin tax” on restaurants, raising the tax on alcoholic drinks.
I thought our drinks were already a little pricey, and I wondered what would happen.
I’ll never forget the day the tax went into effect. The owner of the establishment went straight to the computers and added the exact amount of the tax to every drink you could order.
Obama seems not to understand that the oil companies will pass their lost tax breaks straight through to you and me. With gas prices headed toward $5, OBAMA IS PROPOSING TO RAISE THEM FURTHER.
This will not only harm the country, it will set back his reelection prospects. If Republicans want to be a little cynical, they should pass this right away.
Obama is either so eager to stick it to businesses he hates, so hopelessly enamored of green energy that he would hurt his own cause, or pretty much ignorant of basic economics.
Likely, all of the above.