Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.



January 2012

Democrats Bring Back the Oil Demagoguery

Written by , Posted in Economics & the Economy, Free Markets

The latest in a long line of stupid leftwing policies targeting the oil industry:

Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a “Reasonable Profits Board” to control gas profits.

The Democrats, worried about higher gas prices, want to set up a board that would apply a “windfall profit tax” as high as 100 percent on the sale of oil and gas, according to their legislation. The bill provides no specific guidance for how the board would determine what constitutes a reasonable profit.

Of course it doesn’t, because there is no definition they can use that isn’t arbitrary. The only definition for “reasonable profits” that makes any sense is the very one which they reject: whatever the market can bear.

This is nothing but price controls by another name, yet the consequences would be just as disastrous. Moreover, it’s curious the Democrats single out an industry that is not even close to having highest profit margins. One can only conclude that their position is not based on the application of any sort of principle, but rather that of political expediency. This is demagogic red meat for election season, plain and simple.

P.S. The oil industry already typically pays more in taxes than it earns in after-tax profits. Where’s the “Reasonable Thievery Board” to limit such government theft of the private sector to “reasonable” levels?