Saturday, June 11

Emperor proposes $10 per barrel tax on oil; media yawns

Obama minions say he's about to propose a tax on oil.

Democrats: "Yay!  Way to go, Excellency!  Tax those damned oil companies out of existence!  Make 'em pay for producing stuff that heats up the planet changes Earth's climate!"

Hmmm...  First, every serious economist (so we omit the ones whoring themselves out to the emperor, since they'll call up down if it helps the emperor get his awful ideas into law) knows that companies don't just absorb taxes, but pass them along to consumers.  So that means any tax on "oil" will be paid by...American citizens.

Wait, didn't the emperor say (years ago) that "I won't raise your taxes by a dime!"?  Why yes, he did, but never mind.

So how large a tax will his budget propose?  Aids tell the left-wing rag Politico it'll be $10.25 per barrel.

If we broadly estimate the current price of oil as $50 per barrel, that would amount to a 20 percent tax on oil.

Democrats:  "Yay!  Make those nasty oil companies scream for mercy!  Why do we need oil, anyway?  Everyone we know drives a Prius anyway, right?"

Well maybe folks who live in DC and NYC and never haul anything bigger than a poodle do, but those of us out here in flyover country need more range or cargo capacity than your cute li'l Prius.

BTW, best estimates are that a $10.25 per barrel tax on oil would increase the cost of gasoline by...25 cents a gallon.

Democrats:  "Yay!  Wait, what did you say?"

Yeah, that's right you dumb bastards.  Your emperor is about to pull the trigger on a proposal that would hike the price of gas by 25 cents a gallon.  This from a guy who once claimed he'd never raise taxes on the "middle class."  (And of course not on "the poor" either.)

FYI, right now the federal gruberment (that's not a typo--economist Jon Gruber famously said the Dems were only able to pass Obamacare because Americans were stupid and easily confused by the numbers) taxes gasoline at 18.5 cents per gallon, so the proposal will have the effect of raising that tax by 135 percent!

You have to admire the cunning--the sly cleverness--behind the way they did this:  If the emperor and his party imposed a 135% tax directly on gasoline, voters would revolt.  But by taxing oil, only a few people will be angry; most voters are too dumb to make the connection.  Hell, the articles I've read even use the phrase "Most economists assume..." that companies will pass this tax on to consumers, as if this is just some goofy economic theory that may not be true.

But just in case some blogger makes the connection, the emperor isn't calling it a tax, but a “fee” on every barrel of oil.   Here are the first two sentences of CNN's story on the proposal:
The White House on Thursday proposed a wave of clean transportation investments that would be paid for through a $10-per-barrel fee on oil.
The tax...would be paid for by oil companies.
The left-wing rag Politico joins CNN in calling this not a tax but a "fee"--or alternatively, a "surcharge that would be paid by oil companies but would presumably be passed along to consumers."

Wow, three layers of mislead in a single sentence.  Very impressive.

In case this much political cover wasn't enough to protect their Preciousssss, Politico goes even farther, noting that "There is no real chance that the Republican-controlled Congress will embrace Obama’s grand vision of climate-friendly mobility in an election year..."

But that's not the point.  Just by introducing the proposal, the Dems have a launching point for this weapon when Hillary takes over.

Democrat Ed Rendell, who was briefed about the plan, says it's "the boldest transportation blueprint since Eisenhower envisioned the interstates."

So raising the federal tax on a gallon of gas by 135%--more than doubling it--is "bold"?  Well to Dems, yes, because of the sly cleverness of taxing OIL instead of directly taxing gasoline--since they know not one voter in a thousand has enough knowledge to make the connection between the two.

Wait, maybe the emperor plans to use the huge revenue from this tax to "rebuild our crumbling infrastructure"--highways neglected due to scarce funds.  Yeah, dat's it.  See, he's brilliant!

Uh, no.  Instead aides say the bill will do things like increasing the number of "competitive grants" awarded for "multi-modal transportation projects with measurable economic and environmental benefits."

That's virtually the same type of bureau-babble the emperor used to give away billions of taxpayer dollars to croneys running "green energy" companies--virtually all of which are now bankrupt.

Similarly, the emperor will propose spending about $10 billion a year to "encourage local, regional and state governments to plan and build smarter infrastructure projects, including incentives to reduce carbon emissions through land-use planning, public transit, electric-vehicle charging, and other strategies."  He'd also fund a "Climate Smart Fund to reward states that make greener choices with existing federal dollars, as well as competitive grant programs to promote region-wide planning, more livable cities, and infrastructure projects with greater resilience to climate impacts."

Yeah, I don't see any possibility of corruption or croney-grant-suckage there, do you?
Finally, Obama will call for more than $2 billion in annual investments in clean transportation research and development, including efforts to deploy self-driving cars, charging stations for electric vehicles, greener airplanes, and other climate-friendly technologies. The thinking is that traditional transportation bills—including the five-year, $305 billion FAST Act that Obama signed in December after 36 consecutive short-term patches—basically pour federal dollars into band-aids for a decrepit system. The White House memo envisions a new approach that would develop a “more integrated, sophisticated and sustainable transportation sector,” financing forward-looking projects like rapid bus lines under development in Indianapolis and Richmond, or a massive transit expansion in Denver.

“We’re still living in a vision that was great for its time, but not for this time,” one senior administration official said. “This is a new vision. We’re realistic about the near-term prospects in Congress, but we think this can change the debate.”
Politico goes on to blame Republicans if they should vote against a single aspect of the emperor's brilliant proposal, "even though it would be phased in over five years, and would include relief for low-income families and Northeastern households that transition away from heating oil."

So yet again--as with Obamacare--the emperor imposes another tax on working Americans but will create an elaborate system to reimburse his Dem voters from paying that tax.

Finally, in case any of you still doubts that Democrat want you to drive less--a LOT less--and see raising taxes on oil and gasoline as a good way to do this, consider this argument from the Huffington Post in support of the "fee":
Finally, and most importantly, it could save lives.
Gas prices were high between 2010 and 2014, then there was a sharp drop, with prices way lower than people were used to for most of 2015.
What happens when gas prices rise? People drive less. That means not only less air pollution but also fewer traffic deaths.
In the first nine months of 2015, 26,000 people died in traffic accidents, a 9.3 percent increase from the same period in 2014. By contrast, annual traffic deaths fell by 22 percent between 2000 and 2014, according to the Department of Transportation
[S]afety is something Americans should be willing to pay for.
Didja get that?  Raising the price of gas is actually great because not only will it clean up the air, it will cut traffic deaths.

Gosh, your emperor is so thoughtful!  Here you thought you were getting a bad deal from hiking the tax you pay for driving, but actually he's saving your life AND cleaning up the air.  Oh, and also cutting global warming--so he can fly on Air Force One to more vacations.

So have you heard about this proposal?  No?  Well that's certainly...odd, dontcha think?  I mean, don't you think a proposal to raise the federal tax on gasoline by 135% is pretty...newsworthy?  Let alone all that wonderful, wonderful bureau-babble about the wonderful things the emperor plans to do with all that new tax revenue.  Yet you never heard a word about it, did you?

Must be because the proposal was just made Friday, eh?  No, the HuffPoS article was posted February 11th, so the proposal has been around for 4 months, so....

You didn't hear about it because you weren't supposed to:  the proposal wasn't intended for you.  The "mainstream media" know roughly 70% of Americans would strongly oppose this, so telling 'em about it would have hurt Hillary's chances in November.  Best keep it quiet til after the election.  THEN we can spring it on the rubes, eh?

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