Who’s Pumping It Up?

June 12, 2008 

If the U.S. Congress treated the taxpayer with the same largesse as the “Big Five” oil companies do...everybody would go out and lease a new SUV. 

But, as the average price of regular gasoline drove through the $4 per gallon level, the Congress of this country embarked on more certain-to-fail energy schemes...and did so with gaseous verbosity. 

The Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate’s latest confiscatory socialist scheme is a windfall profits tax “against” U.S. oil companies. 

The Democrats want to levy a 25 percent tax on oil company profits exceeding what they would determine to be "reasonable". 

The Democrat’s number two man in the Senate, Richard Durbin, warned that “The oil companies need to know that there is a limit on how much profit they can take in this economy". 

This is the same Democrat Senator Durbin who thinks that the U.S. treatment of terrorists detained at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay is akin to the “Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings”. 

This is the Democrat who wants to determine a “reasonable” profit for oil companies but thinks that three culturally appropriate meals daily, two showers a week, a copy of the Koran, a prayer mat and an arrow in each cell that points in the direction of Mecca is right out of the Holocaust. 

And speaking of “reasonable”.... 

Another “energy” scheme (i.e. tax and spend scheme) was just defeated in the Senate. 

The Boxer Climate Tax bill was another Democrat inspired wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing bill posing as environmental legislation.  But, in reality, it was a $6.7 trillion tax scheme.  The Dems already had allocated $342 billion from the legislation’s anticipated receipts for “international aid”...before it had been voted on. 

This is the “change” promised by the Dems in 2006 when they blamed Bush for the cost of gasoline (when gas was just a tad over $2 per gallon). 

Change came and in the 1 ½ years of Congressional Democrat majorities, gas has more than doubled in price. 

The Democrat’s response?  Raise taxes. 

In May, the Democrat-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee killed a bill that would have allowed the creation of rules for oil shale extraction on federal lands. 

Again, with the price of oil soaring, the Dems in the Senate decided, in their “reasonable” judgment, not to allow the development of what Fortune senior writer Jon Birger describes as, “a domestic oil resource so vast - 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil shale in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming alone - it could eventually rival the oil fields of Saudi Arabia.” 

Why would the Democrats do this? 

According to Republican Senator Orin Hatch, “it's being stopped by the ski-resort elites...if those nice, rich people in Aspen really cared about the environment, they might save an acre or two of those beautiful forests they're building on and support some oil-shale development in the not-so-nearby and not-so-beautiful oil shale areas of Colorado.” 

Ahhh...the usual suspects...and color them “green”. 

And...speaking of “green”.... 

It’s a funny thing the way America is sitting atop a vast potential of untapped oil in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, the southern and western offshore regions and the oil shale of the western states and the only “change” the Democrats can offer is to reduce your standard of living and tax you even more. 

Instead, they should be giving large tax incentives for the clean production of coal-fired energy (America contains 26% of the world’s coal reserves), nuclear energy and greater domestic petroleum production. 

But, the Democrats’ answer is simple...live with less and pay more taxes. 

And...speaking of taxes.... 

In 2005 (the latest statistical year) about 132.5 million income tax returns were filed. 

Of this amount, only about 66 million paid any income tax. 

This top 50% of income tax filers paid 96.93% of the income tax or over $906 billion.

To enter the top 50% income bracket, where the wealthy live, you needed an adjusted gross annual income of $30,881.00.   

That’s correct...the rich the Democrats are always talking about “paying their fair share” are people with a base income of $30 thousand a year and up. 

And don’t worry about that bottom 50%.  They got to pay no income tax and divvy-up over $42 billion in Earned Income Credits (i.e. the top 50 percent’s money). 

So, let’s play a game of make-believe. 

Instead of those ridiculous hidden withholding taxes, you have to go to a Government Filling Station each week and top-off the Congress’s pork barrel.  

For the 66 million Americans who file tax returns and actually pay income taxes, this averages a $262.78 per week fill up at the Government pumps. 

Which, at $4 per gallon would equal almost 66 gallons of gasoline. 

Considering that the average American consumes about 500 gallons of gasoline a year, the pumps at the Government Filling Station are charging you $27.33 per gallon of Government Pork. 

And, while Congress feeds at the trough with perks like leased luxury automobiles, free VIP airport parking, and preferred air travel...they want to charge you even more per gallon of government pork and send your standard of living back to the Dark Ages. 

Yet, these same people do not think that the price of gasoline is “reasonable”. 

And, while these government porkers are always willing to produce more government at an ever increasing cost...they do not think it “reasonable” for the private sector to produce more energy and reduce your costs. 

Which leads me to steal a thought from Elvis Costello and ask...”Who’s pumping it up?”


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