Well, they are at it again down in Washington and on the campaign trail. The pandering for votes continues and as Congressmen, Senators and presidential hopefuls without enough candlepower to fire a few brain cells are trying to find out why gas prices are so gosh darn high. Their target? Evil, wicked, naughty "Big Oil." Yeah, big shock there! Because we all know that "Big Oil" is to blame right?
Yes, it's that time of the year once again when the birds are returning from their winter migration, the flowers are starting to bloom and the hearts of liberals everywhere turn to one thought - how to further their own power.
Edward Markey from Massachusetts, who is about as liberal of a Democrat as they come, is irate and using his position as chairman of a useless committee (the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming) to feel important and just generally muck up anything that he doesn't like. Like a good little jackbooted thug he has called before him the executives of the reviled oil companies for a flogging.
If Markey really wanted to do something useful he would immediately issue a request to have the "Global Warming" dropped from his committee's title since every day we are getting more and more evidence that Al Gore's latest brainchild is an utter hoax. He would follow that with a request to have the now "Senate Committee on Energy Independence" closed down since "Energy Independence" is not a power granted to the Federal Government in our Constitution. Then after that he would immediately begin putting forth bills to allow states to drill on their own land (such as in ANWR) without federal meddling and also to begin allowing companies to drill off the coast of Florida. Where, by the way, China is already drilling. Finally, if he really cared about America, he would file papers to get his own impeachment started on the grounds that he has continually violated the limited powers of the Constitution.
But no, none of that will happen because he's more interested in grilling oil executives from ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp., Shell BP America Inc. and Chevron Corp. Why? Because together their companies made a combined $120 billion last year. And what's worse is that they are getting a "tax break" too. Oh no!
Yes, that's right. Markey is upset that these companies are trying to hold on to an $18 billion break in their taxes over 10 years, or $1.8 billion a year.
Heaven forbid that these men want to keep more of the money that their companies earned after already paying billions and billions of dollars in taxes. Don't they know that buried between the lines of the Constitution and written in invisible ink that only liberals can see it clearly says that that money belongs to the government?
On top of this you have a certain Presidential candidate by the name of Barack Obama pandering in Pennsylvania. In his eternal quest for votes, ads are on the radio where he talks about how if you elect him President he will begin to look into price gouging at the pump and take the "windfall profit" from these bad men and the evil profit generating companies they run.
Of course Congress has been investigating "price gouging" and "windfall profits" supposedly going on by "Big Oil" for years and spending tax payer dollars to find, you guessed it, absolutely nothing of the sort is happening. And Barack Obama is claiming that there is still "price gouging" going on? Then logically I suppose we are forced to come to the conclusion that he has been withholding information on this issue and making people suffer needlessly so that when he is elected he can look like our savior.
Come on, now you know better than that. Well, I hope you do anyway.
"Big Oil" makes currently between 10 and 11% on the dollar on gasoline it sells. For a gallon of gasoline at $3.29 that means somewhere between $0.33 and $0.37. Meanwhile here in Pennsylvania Federal and State taxes on a gallon of gasoline total $0.50. I've said it before and I'll say it again. If $0.33 per gallon is "price gouging" or a "windfall profit" what do you call $0.50 per gallon?
Off and on for the past several years I keep discussing these numbers in various columns and I get the same left wing talking points in return when I read through my emails. I get every excuse in the world as to why private companies, which you most likely have some of your retirement funds invested in, making a profit and giving you a more comfortable retirement is bad and why the benevolent hand of government taking more money than the oil companies earn is good.
I've come to a point where I have to ask a serious question of those of you who are still towing the line of how evil Big Oil is. Because in this day and age of the Internet it is not like this information is not readily available and anyone with a 6th grade education can do the math.
Now, if you are one of those people that gobbles up every word about how evil the "price gouging" oil companies are, I want you to get to a mirror and look at yourself in it. Take a deep breath and gaze into your own eyes. Now, for the question - and I want you to be perfectly honest.
Ready? Ok. Here we go. The question that I have to ask is are you ignorant or are you just plain old-fashioned stupid?
Because when it comes to those who continue to believe this claptrap spewing from the left, those are really the only two options that I can think of to explain why a sizeable portion of voters keep applauding these fools and their ideas and time and again keep voting for these folks.
Copyright ©2008 J.J. Jackson