Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thoughts on the Fauxtest

Yesterday, Representative Scott Garrett and others were fauxtesting on Capitol Hill. Here's how TRN described it:

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) returned from Missouri to participate in the protest. Blunt said it takes only five minutes for a representative in their home state to realize that the most important and urgent issue is the economy.

The Congressmen at the news conference posed with tire pressure gauges to mock Senator Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) new push for Americans to properly inflate their tires for better gas mileage.
Okay, now I know this little stunt is intended to score partisan political points. However, doing it at the expense of sound recommendations to save people some money only hurts those the Republicans are trying to win over. Mocking Obama for making sense shows a certain level of idiocy in the way Republicans think the problem will be solved.

Here's what AAA says about tires:
Inflate all of your tires to their proper inflation pressure. Each tire should be periodically spun, balanced and checked. Properly inflated tires are safer, last longer, and can improve your gas mileage by more than 3% per tire. Check your tire pressure, at a minimum, once a month.

Even John McCain has backed off his criticism of Obama on this point, because he realized what an ass he was making of himself.

Politicians of all affiliations should be singing conservation from the mountaintops, not mocking it. Absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, Congress can pass will have as much immediate impact on fuel supplies as if the entire nation adopted AAA's recommendations to save gas.

As an example, this little nugget should also be heralded by those with the ability to influence public opinion and habits:
After filling up, be sure the gas cap clicks three times. Improperly sealed gas caps allow approximately 147 million gallons of fuel to vaporize every year in the United States.
So yes, little things like inflating tires and making sure the gas cap are closed are important.*

There is plenty of time for the partisans to be bickering over how best to fix things in the long run. In the meantime, Garrett and his cronies do a great disservice to the nation by belittling sound advice. In a time of crisis, we have to expect our leaders to serve the national interest and not simply their own.

*Paragraph edited, the number I had was off.

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