George Will calls Bob Corker “the Senator to watch” in the new year:
Standing at the intersection of three foreign policy crises and a perennial constitutional tension, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), incoming chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, may be the senator who matters most in 2015. Without an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) tailored to novel circumstances, the United States is waging war against an entity without precedent (the Islamic State). Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons during negotiations that should involve congressional duties. And Russia is revising European borders by force and, like Iran, is the object of a U.S. experiment testing the power of economic sanctions to modify a dictator’s behavior. As Congress weighs its foreign policy role regarding these three matters, Corker treads the contested terrain between deference to presidential primacy in foreign policy and the need for collective wisdom and shared responsibility.
Read the whole thing — it’s an interesting portrait of a man who came into office in 2007 with virtually zero experience in foreign policy, who is already a foreign policy powerhouse.
But then there’s this, from a weekend NY Times story:
“If something like this is going to be done, now is the time to do it,” said Bob Corker, a Republican senator, who noted that gas prices in his home state of Tennessee fell below $2 a gallon this month. Senator Corker and Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, unveiled a proposal in June to raise the gas tax by 12 cents a gallon over the next two years and then index further increases to inflation.
My first response to this story was a simple, two-word imperative which cannot be repeated on a family blog. The longer version is, with middle class incomes shrinking and Washington enjoying record tax collection, now isn’t the time to be raising taxes on any of life’s necessities.
The vile progs of course want to raise the tax (“skyrocket,” anyone?) so that poor stupid Americans will choose “smarter” alternate fuels. It’s just sad to see a smart conservative like Corker in with the vile progs.
If Washington, or even just Corker, is serious about infrastructure, they have plenty of money already. The rest of us are enjoying a temporary respite at the pump; let us enjoy it a while longer.