By The Garlic Press
After a wave of protests from oil industry executives following the proposal of a tax rebate to offset a surge in gasoline prices, the president announced that he is reducing his offer of $100 tax cuts.
"I was just kidding about the $100, " Bush told oil executives dining at the White House. "Fifty cents is more in keeping with protecting the interests of our great oil industry, although I 'm considering lowering that to a quarter. "
President Bush explained that the rebates were complex, but a no-bid $1 billion contract would be issued to Halliburton for overseeing the rebate process to mail quarters to each taxpayer. A special provision, issued on the authority of president 's war powers, would further lower taxes on those making over $1 million a year and increase rebates to Hummer owners to $60,000. Such rebates, Bush said, would boost purchases of luxury items from Europe and provide employment to Americans in the retail industry.
Under Bush 's proposal, those with income over $100,000 would receive rebates of fifty cents, while those under would only receive twenty-five cents. The two-tiered system was calculated by Scott McFluffy, White House spokesman, who determined that the average American desperately needs help to pay for new cars, buy pet food and purchase iPods.
The president 's statement came as Republicans in Congress jockeyed to develop "The Drill, Drill, Drill Energy Bill, " and exempt oil companies from regulations. Congressional aides reported a surge of phone calls from citizens angry over increasing gas prices and supporting temporarily turning the U.S. government over to for-profit, faith-based organizations, such as the Southern Baptists Convention and the Holy Roman Catholic Church, to cope with the crisis. Some callers complained about being treated like prostitutes.
Not to be outdone, the Democratic Party proposed the elimination of Federal taxes on gas for 60 days, or until democracy comes to Iraq. Currently the party leadership is squabbling over offering a free apple pie or Southern pecan pie to potential voters, but plans to raise taxes on oil companies were firmly rejected because Democrats hope for increased political contributions from an oil industry that normally contributes 99 percent of its financial support to Republicans.
The initial proposal for a $100 tax rebate originated with Senator Majority Leader Bill Pist of Tennessee, who is engaged in a bitter dispute with the White House over who came up with the idea first and who could drop it first. Eric Underhand, Pist 's chief of staff, told reporters that the $100 rebates were only part of a larger package designed to stimulate profits for beleaguered corporations. Pist announced that new incentives for the oil industry include repealing needless anti-smog rules, allowing more oil drilling on suburban front lawns, and opening Alaska to portable oil drilling rigs run by small entrepreneurs.
"We are consumer friendly: we offer a gallon of free gas to anyone who promises to vote Republican, " said House Speaker Denny Hasbeen, Republican of Illinois. "We want American families to commiserate with our painful decisions in Congress. "
A controversial aspect of the new GOP legislation is eliminating the taxes of Vice President Cheney, who paid 6.8 percent income taxes on his $8.82 million income last year. "The vice president has labored mightily for the oil industry for years, " said Drivel Nerdquest, president of the Americans for Taxpayer Demolition. "With all the help he 's given our vital oil industry and all the tax breaks we 've heaped on them the government wants to tax him too? It 's not fair. "
Pist will attach the oil industry relief plan to the next emergency spending bill that comes before Congress. Bills come up daily to increase spending for Halliburton, Iraq and Afghanistan each time the administration issues a new plan to democratize the Middle East.
Disclaimer: The writer of this column never worked for many newspapers or used pseudonyms in emails to some newspapers. Any misrepresentations are intentional.