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Gasbags in Congress

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

You rightly criticize members of Congress who aim to keep energy prices in America artificially low by restricting U.S. exports of natural gas (“The benefits of a free-trade deal with Japan,” March 16).  As Benjamin Franklin wrote in July 1778 to James Lovell, “To lay duties on a commodity exported, which our neighbors want, is a knavish attempt to get something for nothing.  The statesman who first invented it had the genius of a pickpocket, and would have been a pickpocket if fortune had suitably placed him.  The nations who have practiced it have suffered fourfold, as pickpockets ought to suffer.”*

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

*See here.


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