The letters to the editor in the Wall Street Journal are generally a good read, but rarely do all of them on a given day contain some gems of wisdom. A couple weeks ago the stars aligned and it happened. I’ll just reprint portions of each of them here.
Those who shriek for the windfall profits tax on the oil companies should become aware that in this global world, oil companies are truly international, and are not restricted to having their bases in the U.S. They can hang their hats anywhere, and they will respond in kind ot the arrogance of these politicians who don’t seem aware their power is finite.
In 2007, Exxon, Chevron, and Conoco Phillips paid total federal taxes of $54.7 bullion. Add in seven other prominent oil companies and the total rises to $66.6 billion. Those are billions of dollars, not millions. Only "know nothing" greed could cause politicians to risk driving these companies into the arms of other countries.
As we know, it’s already happening with a couple of the big oil service companies, with a lot of jobs and high technology moving with them. Bermuda and Dubai are becoming hot spots for relocation. And the government somehow believes it can stop that?
Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi think they can go to the Saudis and persuade them to lower the cost of oil. Now, the Journal says we exported 59.2 million tons of coal in 2007, up 19% from 2006. The 2007 price of coal was quoted at $36.08 per ton, an increase of 40% over the 2003 price of $25.82. What do you suppose will be their response if one of our coal purchasers comes asking for a reduction in our price of exported coal.
Good question. One that anyone who has ever run or even worked in a business would immediately know the answer to.
Given the impact of the ethanol subsidy scam, Congress should, in all fairness, introduce a windfall profits tax on grain farmers based on the astronomical spike we have witnessed in market prices for those commodity crops. That would simply be a case of applying the same "logic" underlying the populist attacks being leveled by politicians against the oil and gas industry.
No, they’re going to go one step further… they’re going to effectively offer further subsidies to grain farmers in the new Farm Bill, enriching them further. I guess a farm barons somehow have a bit more luck than those evil oil barons.