Take this exchange from Representative Maxine Waters and Shell Oil President John Hofmeister:
Much has been said about Representative Waters apparent gaffe of using the word "socialize" and otherwise threatening to nationalize the oil companies. Less has been said about the reasons for high fuel prices, and the role of Government in the whole scheme of things.
Of course there is the supply & demand as well as commodity trading that affects the prices of petroleum. But when market forces drive up the prices, the first thing that our elected representatives do is call the oil companies on the carpet for events that they do not wholly control. A quite frankly, our representatives know this, but have to have some "face time" in front of the cameras to show their constituents that they care about the little guy. And that, dear readers, is a crock of very fragrant fertilizer.
According to a report by the Institute of Energy Research, the cost of a barrel of crude oil accounts for 72% of the price at the pump. Taxes, both Federal and State excise, account for 12%. Distribution and marketing account for 8%, and the last 8% is the cost of refining. Also adding to the cost if a barrel of crude oil is a weak dollar (about $12).
And our representatives know this. They have done their homework, and have held several previous hearings that revealed these same facts. So what is going on?
What was said in the exchange between Representative Waters and Mr. Hofmeister speaks volumes to me. And I started to get these nagging thoughts…
Mr. Hofmeister points out correctly that Congress has placed several legal restrictions upon the exploration for and development of petroleum resources in the United States. Because of these restrictions, he can just about guarantee that higher fuel prices will result. This is Economics 101 – Supply and Demand.
Congress has placed most of these restrictions at the behest of various environmental groups. In some respects, I can understand some of them – who can forget the disaster of the Exxon Valdez? But others make absolutely no sense whatsoever. So one now wonders if Congress is deliberately placing these restrictions with a motive other than ecological protection.
And here’s the nagging thought – more Governmental control.
Representative Waters as much as said so when she stated that she would
socialize take over and run the oil companies. Why would she say that? Besides grandstanding for the masses, the word is control.
Control of the oil companies implies that any revenue from the sale of petroleum products would go into the treasury. Of course, that would be used to pay for multiple social programs such as health care, medicaid, social security, and the like. This may sound pretty good on the surface, but there is a problem –
When has Government done anything efficiently and under cost in recent memory?
Governmental control would actually raise the price of fuel, no matter what "cost controls" the government would put in place after nationalizing the oil companies. The price may stay the same, but your taxes would be raised to cover any shortfall. If you don’t believe me, then look at the tax rates in European countries – they are exceptionally higher that the United States because of all the social programs they cover.
Also, with control over the main source of energy, the Government could now mandate a whole host of reforms and programs which would be promoted as "for the public good" and to conserve energy while reducing greenhouse gasses. I can see the writing on the wall for the kinds of cars that we would be allowed to purchase and drive (which the Government is already trying to do with CAFE standards and tax credits for hybrids).
And to be honest with you, this isn’t solely a Liberal agenda. The Liberal / Environmentalist extremists may be leading the charge, but I think there is a quiet, non-partisan agenda to secure more power for government over the people of this country. And that’s exactly what I’m afraid of – more erosion of our rights as stated under the Constitution.
Imagine restrictions of every kind placed upon you by the Government. The amount of fuel/energy you can consume, the amount of food you can eat, the number of children you can bear, the size of house that you can build, etc. That is the goal of Socialism – make everyone equal except for the ruling elite. That ruling elite is the Government bureaucrats that seek to rule the masses without restraint.
Yes, perhaps I’m going over the bend a little bit, but then, considering the word "socialize" uttered by Rep. Waters, perhaps not. Just listen to the rhetoric uttered by the Democratic candidates for President, and tell me that I’m wrong. Isn’t the message by these candidates, "Government will take care of you?" and "Government knows best?" Just look at the Katrina disaster, and tell me that government can take care of its citizens when given adequate warning. pffffft!
But then again, perhaps Government can protect us from ourselves. Mandating the use of seatbelts, for instance. Or how about making sure that if you walk into a lamppost while text messaging, you won’t get hurt? (article here) What about making sure that a madman cannot shoot anyone on a school campus by mandating the campus a gun-free zone? (Oh wait, that didn’t work….)
I think you can see the idiocy of it all. But there are those in our government and wanting to be elected to govern that think that they know best. And those are the most dangerous people of all, for they can bring down our society more completely than any terrorist attack ever could. They simply fail to understand that people will be people, and that a utopian society (with benevolent rulers) will never happen. Look at Cuba, China, the now defunct USSR, and various other societies around the world past and present, and you should understand.
If not, then get used to writing "The United Socialist States of America."