Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Congress Tries Its Hand At Blame-Gaming

Big Oil made enormous profits in the last quarter, and lawmakers are very upset about it. They are interviewing oil CEOs such as Exxon’s Lee Raymond to root out the cause and investigate claims of price gouging.

It is certainly true that as gas prices rise, money is going straight from the wallets of consumers into the wallets of oil stockholders. But it is not Lee Raymond’s fault. It is Lee Raymond's job to maximize profits. Rather, it is the fault of our Congress which believes in corporate welfare and tax breaks at the expense of the lower and middle classes.

The reason the oil companies are achieving record profits is that legislation enacted by the Republican Congress has cut taxes on manufacturing corporations (which include oil companies) and passed $14 billion in tax breaks for oil companies in the 2005 energy bill. Certainly Lee Raymond will have more money to pay his stockholders if the government foregoes its own cut of Exxon profits in exchange for campaign contributions.

This is a prime example of the shortcomings of the corporate welfare strategy: money given to big business does not “trickle down” to the average worker…it trickles instead to wealthy stockholders and to political campaigns. There is no such thing as corporate altruism.

So what is a congressman to do?

First, get out of bed with Lee Raymond.

Second, restore the tax on oil profits to its 1999 level.

Third, use the new government revenue to fund energy independence initiatives. Or use it to cut income taxes for the middle class to counteract the negative effect of rising gas prices on household budgets. Or use it to purchase body armor for troops who are fighting a war that aligns the government of oil-rich Iraq with that of the U.S.

Do NOT try to appease us with a faux investigation of Lee Raymond when the crimes against the middle class were clearly committed by you.


Blogger lemming said...

Love #1 - think it possible, though unlikely.

Love #2 - as this would mean admitted that Clinton might have been in some way connected with a good idea, think it about as probable as Chelsea going clubbing with the twins.

#3 & 4 I think are probably more likely, though I have liited faith in this congress to do anything constructive that might actually help me.

5:08 PM  

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