Free Markets, Free People

The latest from your central planning overlords

As bad as the GOP field is, it is nice, every now and then to be reminded of  what constitutes the alternative:

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.

The Gas Price Spike Act, H.R. 3784, would apply a windfall tax on the sale of oil and gas that ranges from 50 percent to 100 percent on all surplus earnings exceeding "a reasonable profit."

Good lord.  Remember, this guy was a presidential candidate on the other side of the political fence.

Kucinich said these tax revenues would be used to fund alternative transportation programs when oil-and-gas prices spike.

"Gas prices continue to rise, creating a hardship for the American people," he said. "At the same time, oil companies are making record profits gouging their customers. This bill would tax only the excess profits and create forward-thinking transportation alternatives."

Specifically, he said the money would be used to fund a tax credit on the purchase of fuel-efficient cars and set up a grant program for mass transit programs when oil-and-gas prices are high.

Yeah, because these guys are so good at picking winners and losers and directing markets, huh?

By the way:

[T]he Integrated Oil and Gas industry made an average profit of 6.2 cents per dollar of sales, which ranks #114 out of 215 industries by profit margin, and puts oil companies right in the middle of industries by profitability.

In fact, it is apparently the periodical publishing sector that the Kucinich cabal should be after – they’re obviously gouging their customers, making a windfall profit of 51.7% for heaven sake.  Down with Newsweek!  Down with TIME!  Down with Ladies Home Journal!

Question: if this were to, heaven forbid, pass, who would end up paying the tax?

Anyone?

The fact that this fool thinks this is a good idea and has managed to get 5 other crack-pots to sign on is simply another in a long line of signs of how poorly we are served by our political class.

But as one commenter to the piece said upon surveying this nonsense, perhaps there could be a silver lining:

This is great- now we need a "Reasonable Spending Board" to monitor our Congress.  We need a "Reasonable Ethics Board" to punish members of Congress who use their office to enrich themselves.  A "Reasonable Taxation Board" to prevent the government from taking too much of our money.

Etc.  Yeah, it’s a joke, but you get the point.  Supposedly all that was contained in the Constitution – but we’ve all seen how that’s worked, haven’t we?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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30 Responses to The latest from your central planning overlords

  • I think we need a “Box Office Boffo Board”, too. They can allocate what movies you see when you go to the theater, to make it fair.

    Same with “Level The Playing Field Act” to assure that no college or professional sports team gets any kind “disparity of score” unfair outcomes.

    Cripes.

    • @Ragspierre As a Mets fan, I heartily endorse the Level The Playing Field Act, and will canvass door to door to make that one pass

      • @The Shark @Ragspierre Yeah, don’t we all think it’s about time the Cubs won the World Series? I mean, is THAT fair? I think not.

      • @The Shark See? The stories of the Super Winning taking from the less fortunate are legion. They rig the game to keep the puuuurrrr players down. It all about winning to these competition-obsessed 1% ers. There has never been a time in America when the gulf between the average tubby 30 year old fan and these super-privileged NFL line-backers was greater. (Sob).

    • @Ragspierre I for one would be willing to head-up the “reasonable attractiveness board” and the “reasonable access to willing and able Scandinavian and Baltic ladies between the ages of 18 and 38 board”. Yes the criteria are vague and deliberately loose, however I think we owe it to the American people to ensure that access to these vital assets are not determined by money or genes. Now please form an orderly queue.

  • Don’t they owe Ayn Rand royalties on ideas like this? I mean really they do seem to be taking way too much inspiration from the moochers in Atlas Shrugged.

    • @DocD As several of the PJM guys say…Atlas is not supposed to be a manual. You could say the same about 1984.

  • No no, Erb has explained this again and again, companies NEVER pass cost increases caused by government regulation or fees on to their customers. They always quietly and politely absorb the cost of government because companies aren’t in this to make a profit, they’re there to provide jobs and redistribute wealth fairly.

  • I’ll be honest- I’m looking forward to the “Reasonable Intelligence Board”, which will start to email my posts daily to liberals and Democrats and even out the intelligence a bit in America.

  • Yet more proof of why I’m correct in no longer considering some of these people to be Americans. I’m ready for the red/blue divorce.

  • This seems like deja vu all over again.

    A Windfall Profits Tax ? Is this 1977 or 2012 ?

    Next will will hear that Barack was attacked by a “killer rabbit”

  • Well, I mean, it <I>is Dennis Kucinich</i>, after all.

    (I’d love to see “reasonable profits” defended against vagueness challenges, myself. And have them explain why profits should be taxed without handouts to cover losses.)

    • @sigivald I personally want a “Tall, red-headed fox redistribution bill”, aimed at the grossly unfair…and inexplicable…disparity between me and Mr. Kucinich. It’s wrong, I tells ya…!!!

      • @Ragspierre @sigivald May we need a “Reasonable Payment Board” to examine Congressional pay and pensions.

        • @Neo_ @Ragspierre @sigivald Supplemented slightly there after with the “Reasonable time served in Congress Board” to determine if some people are perhaps remaining in the difficult and arduous task of elected service in Congress too long.

      • @Ragspierre @sigivald snap!

  • Let me see, I sell a product that can attract a 100% tax on profit at some unspecified level of this profit. My product is durable and can be stored indefinitely or left in the ground. What would I do? The only sensible thing would be to strangle supply to avoid fickle losses but still maintain profitability year to year by keeping the supply down. Who does that hurt? Poor people, of course. What is the wise government answer to this? Mandated production quotas at an effectively fixed price. Why don’t they just man-up and admit that they are closet fascists without the balls to try and nationalize the energy sector and poor people be damned?

  • [T]he Integrated Oil and Gas industry made an average profit of 6.2 cents per dollar of sales

    Although taxes never lowered the price of anything, I question this statement.

    10 years ago, gasoline sales were grossing 1/3 of what they gross today. Either someone’s profits are more that 6% or cost of producing gas has tripled. If its actually tripled, then all the nutcases crying about running out of oil any second now aren’t nutcases.

  • [T]he Integrated Oil and Gas industry made an average profit of 6.2 cents per dollar of sales

    Although taxes never lowered the price of anything, I question this statement.

    10 years ago, gasoline sales were grossing 1/3 of what they gross today. Either someone’s profits are more that 6% or cost of producing gas has tripled. If its actually tripled, then all the nutcases crying about running out of oil any second now aren’t nutcases

    • @jpm100 It’s plausible that costs to produce have tripled. We don’t build new refineries, so the ones we have are getting older and require lots of upkeep. Transport costs are massive, infrastructure upkeep, retrofitting and compliance with an ever changing set of environmental regulations, unions, R&D, having to make differing gas blends for each state it seems, various fines and fees, etc etc etc. Yeah, I can see it.

  • Does anybody wonder what would happen if they tried to include all businesses and not just “Big Oil”, what a joke this is.