Wednesday, March 07, 2007

How Dumb Can A Dem Be?

Anyone who steps forward on any issue and says "There oughta be a law" needs a good bitch slapping. Case in point:

When Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell first proposed a tax on oil company profits in early February, its political prospects seemed rosy, since many motorists are angry about huge oil company profits and the projected $760 million a year in revenue would go to bail out struggling mass transit agencies.

But the tax on Big Oil has turned into a tough sell with state legislators, who fear the oil giants will just pass the added costs on to drivers in the form of higher gasoline prices.

I know it's easy to hate "The rich". They can buy nicer things than we can. They are often haughty and condescending when dealing with the rest of us (as I saw almost daily when I worked retail for ten years). But they don't just sit around and mass produce money that they hoard in Jack Benny-style vaults and laugh at the world around them. They create jobs, and they compensate those who perform the work.

Taxing oil company profits to the high heavens doesn't force the rich dudes who run "Big Oil" to reach into their pockets and hand over excess cash to the government. That's because the profits don't squarely land in the hands of the executives. Much of it goes back into the companies, as capital to maintain and improve the way that the industry does its business. It also goes towards compensating the workers (this tax is anti-labor!). Anything that affects Big Oil's ability to produce its product efficiently and to receive adequate compensation therefore naturally affects the end user as well.

In other words, a tax on Big Oil is a tax on those of us who pay for gasoline at the pump.

The P-G article tells us that "Mr. Rendell has said he'll try to stop oil companies from passing the tax along to motorists", but doesn't tell us how, and frankly I don't want to know how because whatever it is, it's going to tick me off.

It would tick me off almost as much as the fact that Rendell wants to use the revenue that he would collect from the oil profits tax to fund the Pork Authority and its counterparts in other Pennsylvania counties. Is there no way to fund mass transit in Allegheny that doesn't involve stealing money from taxpayers? Not if you're Ed Rendell, there isn't.

If Big Oil is so good at making a profit, and he thinks he can make Big Oil do whatever he wants it to do, maybe Rendell ought to ask Big Oil to run mass transit in Pennsylvania. Heck, it can't do any worse that the transit authorities are doing already.

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