Economy

McCain Claims Offshore Drilling Provides ‘Psychological’ Benefits

ProzacAt a townhall event in Fresno, CA, yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reiterated his call for a gas tax holiday “to give you a little relief for the summer.” As NBC reports, he then promoted his support for lifting the offshore drilling moratorium, admitting that it wouldn’t provide any “immediate relief“:

I don’t see an immediate relief, but I do see that exploitation of existing reserves that may exist — and in view of many experts that do exist off our coasts — is also a way that we need to provide relief. Even though it may take some years, the fact that we are exploiting those reserves would have a psychological impact that I think is beneficial.

Two months ago, he promoted the useless and feckless gas tax holiday for its “psychological boost,” so it makes sense that McCain is now promoting a useless and destructive expansion of offshore drilling for its “psychological” impact. Why is he offering “psychological” solutions to $4 gas? McCain argues that “a lot of our problems today” are “psychological,” including “the confidence, trust, the uncertainty about our economic future,” and even “the ability to keep our own home.”

Watch it again:

While skyrocketing gas prices, foreclosures, unemployment, food prices, climate disasters, and continued war certainly do bring significant psychological damage to those affected, the right way to deal with those issues isn’t to offer right-wing Prozac — it’s to solve the problems. And McCain’s incoherent and unhealthy policy prescriptions certainly won’t.

UPDATE: Here’s the video of McCain in Fresno:

UPDATE II: At the Carpetbagger Report, Steve Benen notes the bizarre inconsistencies of McCain saying his ideas are “practical” but only have “psychological” benefits:

The incoherence here is breathtaking. McCain believes drilling is part of a short-term solution. He also believes drilling offers no real short-term solutions. McCain believes a gas-tax holiday will produce big savings for consumers. And no savings for consumers. McCain believes we need pragmatic policies that work. He also believes we need psychic policies that make people happy whether they work or not.