Amid the luring reminders of the left that capitalism is evil, wealthy entrepreneurs are greedy, and George W. Bush is a big fat idiot, there is one beacon of light that leads me away from the sycophantic saps: basic economics. Sen. Barack Obama seeks to reassure his followers by claiming he will cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans and punish those scoundrels who gouge at the pump for no purpose other than to earn a shiny new penny. Along with “Papa Bear” Bill O’Reilly, Obama says the oil executives are shamelessly bathing in their massive oil profits. The shrill Nancy Pelosi, whose brilliant economic intellect states that the reason why gas prices are exorbitant is because “we have two oilmen in the White House,” comforts him. There is one word the Democrats want Americans to remember: greed. Yes, greed exists. Greed is the impetus for free market competition, which helps keep prices low and builds incentive for the production of better goods. However, there is more to the tale.

I find it laughable hearing Obama state his desire to cut taxes for the majority of Americans, but increase government spending by $1 trillion. He is going to raise the income tax five points, the payroll tax two points and the capital gains tax five points. These taxes amount to roughly $80 billion in revenue, so where is he going to get the other $920 billion to fund his wish list? Unless he is planning to use his magic wand to produce the rest of the money, while simultaneously achieving world peace and saving the polar bears from the sins of America, all we can expect is an economic meltdown. Isn’t it weird that the left harangues President Bush for his increase in spending and failure to raise taxes to pay for it all, but embraces Obama’s identical plan and sees it as economic justice to punish those tree-killing capitalists?

I admit, I occasionally enjoy watching Bill O’Reilly’s nightly program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” but there are times where he makes Ted Kennedy look middle-of-the-road. He regurgitates the tired leftist slogan of “corporate greed” and it’s time someone hit him with a “supply” jab and a “demand” right hook. Here’s how the story goes: A business provides a service and demands a price. That’s it — basic supply and demand. Congress prevented oil companies from drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, limiting their supply, so prices increased. Offshore drilling became a great idea and the price of gas fell for 42 straight days. Politicians in Washington like to scream “greed” from the rooftops, but I wish the American people would ask Congress why they are paying 46 cents per gallon in taxes. According to economist John Lott, oil companies have paid three times in taxes of their profits over the last quarter century. The left complains oil companies aren’t being “fair,” but is “fairness” the main objective of a company or is it the service being provided and the money being earned? A year and a half ago, a barrel of oil cost $50 and the price of gas was around $2.22 per gallon. If the “greed” theory was consistent, gas prices would now be around $7 per gallon due to the increase in the price of oil. O’Reilly needs to abandon his populist poppycock and flip through his Econ. 101 book.

The indignant left needs to rethink their talking points and consult an economist before rewriting new ones. Instead of regaling his audience by promising them an ethereal future of hope and peace, Obama should ask himself why he shares the same economic policies as George W. Bush. Such a sanctimonious individual would never admit such a thing. Don’t you see the blatant prevarication — or in the preferred parlance of the left, “intellectual honesty” — in their attempts to castigate the companies supplying jobs and persuade the American people that capitalism is Satan’s economic playbook? Basic economics, people. Light up a cigar, kick back in a chair and peruse the wonders of this beautiful subject. Nothing enables you to reach euphoria quicker than knowing self-indulgence helps create jobs. Ah, the blessings of the free market. God save Adam Smith.