“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Picking On Big Oil

When Wonderboy held his town hall meeting in reaction to Paul Ryan's budget, he excoriated "Big Oil." Such an easy target.

Going down a well-trodden road, the First Rookie attacked large US oil firms for making money and receiving various tax preferences.

Even this Tuesday morning, as I write this, Ed Rendell, Pennsylvania's former Democratic governor, is attacking the same firms for making so much money recently by way of higher oil prices.

Both Democrats ignore a fundamental reality voiced by an oil industry commercial I saw (again) last night. It features an attractive blonde woman informing viewers that "Big Oil" is, in fact, largely owned by pension funds, endowments and US individuals at large.

And that is my point.

What is the objective of our president attacking companies which are widely-held by the public, either via pension funds or individual accounts, for being successful?

Can't these Democrats see that they are essentially attacking the principle of the "American dream" of having access to a better economic life?

To hear Rendell and Wonderboy tell it, Chevron and ExxonMobil are still owned by the Rockefellers. That hasn't been true since the Standard Trust was broken up early in the last century.

These politicians needs better handlers crafting their messages so they at least bear some resemblance to modern day reality.

Big Oil is owned by America. More profits for Exxon means capital gains, dividends, or both for the average US individual, either through private accounts or their pension funds.

Big Oil enjoys tax preferences in order to incent them to spend money to buy leases and drilling exploratory wells in the US. If those tax preferences are eliminated, guess what? Overseas sources of oil become relatively more attractive.

But that, of course, is exactly what the administration claims it doesn't want.

So which is it?

Maybe the answer is to flatten taxes so that there are no preferences anywhere? So that tax policy is no longer used as either a political club or by officeholders to dispense favors for campaign contributions?

But, as it stands, those same existing tax preferences put money into the pockets of....the average American.

And that's the truth.

No comments: