A Windfall Profits Tax? It’s Just Another Lame Excuse To Raise Taxes

It’s never a surprise when Democrats want to raise taxes, especially when it comes to the windfall profits tax, which is like a liberal dream. Not only do they get to increase taxes, but in the process, they get to play the class warfare card and pretend to do something about the high cost of gas, which is a major source of discontent.

Courtesy of UPI, here’s Dick Durbin’s plan to loot the oil companies for more money that can be wasted on bridges named after Robert Byrd and government funded studies that determine how cow flatulence affects the environment:

“American consumers are demanding congressional action to slow down skyrocketing gasoline prices, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Friday.

“Oil companies are living in the fast lane and consumers are being left on the side of the road,” he said in a release in which he cited cases of extraordinary profits. He urged action on his proposal that he says would ease the problem.

Durbin’s Windfall Profits Tax bill would impose an excise tax on integrated oil and gas companies equal to 50 percent of their profits over a baseline price of $40 per barrel of oil.

Part of the revenue would fund a consumer rebate and a low income assistance program.”

So, we’re going to tax the oil companies because we’ve decided that prices are, “too high.” So, does that mean they get a subsidy from the government when prices are, “too low?” No, of course not. Government piracy only works one way unless the pork can be doled out to businesses in return for, “I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine,” campaign contributions down the road.

But, let’s tell it like it is here: this is all about raising taxes, not about lowering the price of gas. If it was about helping consumers, ALL, not “part” of the revenue would be going into a “consumer rebate” program. Moreover, if Dick Durbin and Company were really concerned about the price of gasoline, they could always cut the federal tax on gas which amounts to 18.4 cents per gallon and is oftentimes matched by a state tax that’s just as high, if not higher.

Furthermore, it’s also worth noting that Dick Durbin, the other Democrats in Congress, and their supporters in the environmentalist movement have a lot to do with high gas prices. They’ve blocked drilling at ANWR, they fight drilling all across the US, they fight against building more refineries, and they’ve never met a gas tax that they thought was too high. Then, after doing everything humanly possible to drive up the cost of gasoline, they turn around and point the finger of blame at the oil companies. Hey, Dick, what about the role that you and your Democratic buddies in the Senate have played in driving up costs for consumers?

Moreover, let’s talk a little bit about the “obscene profits” these oil companies supposedly make. Setting aside the fact that these businesses already pay an arm and a leg in taxes as it is, (“Exxon, ConocoPhillips and Chevron paid a combined $44.3 billion in corporate income taxes in 2005”), what these liberals don’t tell you is that because of the size of these oil companies, they can make enormous sums of money, and still not be raking in as much, percentage wise, as businesses in other industries.

Just take a look at this article about oil company profits that was in the WAPO last year and you’ll see what I mean:

“For example, Exxon Mobil’s gross margin of 9.8 cents of profit for every dollar of revenue pales in comparison to Citigroup Inc.’s 15.7 cents in 2004. By percentage of total revenue, banking is consistently the most profitable industry in America, followed closely by the drug industry.

Altria Group, the maker of Marlboro and other cigarettes, made 22 cents for every dollar of revenue in 2004, and pharmaceutical company Merck made 25.3 cents for every dollar of revenue in 2004.

By other measures, such as profit per employee, return on invested capital and free cash flow, Exxon Mobil is nowhere near a standout.”

Again, what this comes back to is that for liberals, any excuse to raise taxes is a good excuse, and that’s what this is really all about. Let’s hope the American people don’t get suckered into supporting the left’s socialistic attempt to penalize oil companies for being successful.

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