Thursday, April 17, 2008

Energy Remedies: The Parties Show Their Strategies

What a surprise. John McCain’s latest remedy to ease the pain at the pump for American consumers, just proposed, is to have a “federal gas tax holiday” for the summer. The feds take 18.5 cents from the purchase price of every gallon of gasoline that you buy. So it seems clear to McCain that the best way to provide a boost to our sagging economy is to let Americans save somewhere between $2.22 and $4.62 every time they buy a tank of gasoline (tank volumes between 12 and 25 gallons).

Wow. That’ll do it, don’t you think? For me, this works out to a net savings of $13.32 cents this summer. No, I don’t plan on driving anywhere out of the ordinary, and yes my transportation costs are lower than most here in Texas because I am one of the few in this state that doesn’t drive an SUV (Sucks Up Volatiles).

It is amazing what passes for economic stimulation among Republicans. Cutting taxes at such a rate so as to be virtually ineffective, while at the same time letting energy companies collect scandalous, no, pornographic revenues for their raw and refined products.

McCain’s plan is a perfect example of Republican fixes. Doling out dribs and drabs of cash to people. Amounts that cannot make a significant difference in their lives or economies, while on the other hand, severely degrading our country’s ability to build and maintain its transportation infrastructure. What does McCain think the gas taxes pay for? Does another bridge have to fall into a river before he gets it?

A barrel of oil today hit a high of over $115 per barrel. This is the same oil that cost an energy company $12 to lift out of the ground. Profits are more than obscene.

Enter the Democratic plan. Remove all of the tax supports that have been given by Congress to the energy companies. Federal supports for oil and gas exploration, production or research is like paying bankers extra cash to compensate them when they have to find new places to store their money.

Indeed, their profits have become so obscene that both Obama and Clinton have called for a windfall profit tax on petroleum. That is, when profits start to tip the scale towards obscene, the oil companies don’t get to keep that.

What you will hear from the energy companies then is that this will remove any incentive to explore for, drill and develop new reserves. Stock will go down. Reserves will hit the skids.


At even 60 dollars a barrel these companies are making so much money that they literally have the same problem finding a place to put it all. A problem that commonly plagues cocaine dealers.

Yeah, the other substance that Americans have been addicted to.


Greg said...

So, my friend, will you define "obscene" profits?

Is it a dollar figure? Or is it a percentage of sales?

After all, the profit earned by Exxon last year was 9% of total sales.

Would businesses other than the oil industry be subject to this same "9% is an obscene profit" rule and subject to a windfall profits tax?

Why don't you folks go all the way and attempt to nationalize the oil industry?

Hal said...

Well, my friend, what do you think the energy companies will do if nationalization were attempted? Knuckle under and just take it? After all, they are Patriotic American companies, aren't they? Or will they do as Dick Cheney's Halliburton did? Pull up stakes and reconvene in Dubai?

And, my friend, your statistics fail to make a case. An old boss of mine always used to say "figures lie and liars figure". Even making a case that they have a "9% profit on total sales" (fabrication, in my opinion), that's 9% of $40 billion gross earnings at Exxon-Mobil alone. $3.6 billion. That's more than some countries are worth.

Anonymous said...

Actually, patriotism would require resistance -- up to and including armed rebellion against a government that had far exceeded its constitutional limits.

But you fail to answer the question -- define what percentage constitutes "obscene profits." Will that apply to all industries, or just the ones that liberals demonize?

Hal said...

Rhymes, we don't fail to answer the question. We don't feel obliged to answer the question. Why do Republicans always demand an answer for their questions? Especially now when Republicans have so much to answer for, but merely go on with their agendas without apology or explanation.

What I need to know, Rhymes, is why have you accepted the fact that just one international energy conglomerate has claimed gross earnings of $40 billion per annum, and that is not obscene?

Anonymous said...

Hal, asking this ridiculous excuse for a man to acknowledge the obscenity of the situation is an exercise in utter futility.

He has long been unable to recognize his own obscenity.

And years later he is still stuck in his basement, ignoring his poor wife, and trolling websites like this.

How you can call this disgusting racist dinosaur "my friend", even sarcastically, is quite beyond me.

Sorry to slide to the acidic side of bluntness, but you know me, and I call's 'em like's I see's 'em.

Hal said...

In my defense, Mark, I have been reading about John McCain today, and have noted that when he uses his oft-repeated phrase "My friend . . ." he generally has the opposite in mind, just before he puts his nose in your face as erupts in spittle-spewing invective.

I'm pretty sure that Aydt had the same kind of thing in mind as well when he addressed me as "my friend".

No matter, I blocked his last reply. It offered nothing other than if I wasn't going to answer his question, he wouldn't answer mine (so nyah, nyah, nyah).

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was a sign of respect -- and an attempt to engage in a civil discussion.

The presence of Bankston on the thread now makes it clear that such a discussion is impossible.