Now then, Senator Arlen Specter, (r) Pennsylvania if you are out there and can read this...ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR PEA SIZED SKULL? Your proposal to tax the oil companies because of the recent surge in oil prices bespeaks an ignorance of the free market that is unbecoming a supposed government and legislative leader. Either that or your apetite for the limelight is matched only by your stunning rapaciousness in relation to already turgid government budgets. This would put you on a par with the Senior and equally turgid, Senator from the People's Republic of Massachusetts.
First of all I am no more enamored of high gas prices than any other average Joe. However I love my country, the capitalist foundation upon which it was built and the free market sufficiently that I am prepared to accept higher gas costs. When examined against inflation, we still pay less per gallon today than we did at the height of the 1970's gas crunch. Government, as Ronald Reagan said, is not the solution here, it is the PROBLEM. On average, the oil companies make a profit of about 10 cents a gallon. Now compare that to the average taxes imposed on a gallon of gas which are somewhere between 40 and 60 cents a gallon. Who is getting rich off gas prices? The government is and that disingenuous gasbag from Pennsylvania thinks a tax on oil company profits will reduce prices? Simple common sense indicates to any casual observer that a tax would only serve to:
1) Make government richer and thus bigger
2) Provide the oil companies an opportunity to pass along the tax increase in the price per gallon charged.
Neither of these events serves the public who are clamoring for lower prices not more taxes and higher prices. Specter is counting on an ignorant electorate thinking he is doing something by talking tough about the oil companies. The only way to increase the supply of gas is to BUILD more refineries. We have not built a refinery in this country in over 25 years. The ones that exist are continually running at maximum capacity and that is a recipe for disaster in machinery. When a refinery goes down, the supply of gas gets tighter and then prices spiral upward. This is a simple equation and anyone who learned the most basic of lessons in Econ 101 should know this, U.S. Senators excluded perhaps.
The Republicans are just as guilty here as the democrats. With Republican leadership in the House and Senate for 4 years now and still we fail to drill in ANWR, have not moved to explore the California or Florida coasts for oil and most egregiously, we have not moved to construct even ONE new refinery. Additionally, our vast reserves of shale oil continue to lie for the most part unexplored. Twenty Five years ago the cost of producing a barrel of oil from oil shale was prohibitive. That is no longer the case and the technology exists for us to produce the oil with substantially less financial suffering. Folks, we need wholesale change in Sodom on Potomac. Clearly the status quo is not providing the governance desired. The simple fact remains, if you want lower gas prices you need to increase the supply of oil and most importantly, increase the capacity to refine the oil into gas. If you fail to do that, then you'd better either A) find a good alternative fuel source or B) prepare to pay exorbitant prices at the pump while fueling up.
As to the Senior Senator from Pennsylvania, though he may call himself a Republican I find his theories on economics and dissertations on law to be more eurosocialist than anything American. Next time...the dems and their never ending courtship with sedition...
Smilin' Paul Villa U.S. Senate 2010
Proud Member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and 2 SUV Family