The Nanny State Cometh…

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."

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About Tom Roland

EE for 25 Years, Two Patents - now a certified PMP. Married twice, burned once. One son with Asperger's Syndrome. Two cats. Conservative leaning to the Right. NRA Life Member.
This entry was posted in Energy, Government, Opinion, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Nanny State Cometh…

  1. Tamara says:

    We need to get the oil slick out of Washington permanently. I feel the gas situation is the Republicans fault. It started with President Richard Nixon deregulating the price of oil. The gas crisis during President Gerald Ford’s time was a hoax. He created lines that wrapped around the block so we would let the prices explode without a whimper, and so we did.

    I heard near the beginning of President George W. Bush’s rein, he felt that gas prices should be $5.00 a gallon. What does he care? He’s a billionaire with a hybrid car to boot. You want someone to blame? Go to the Republicans because they are the stingiest people around!

    We had the amount of fuel and energy we can use legislated by government when Richard Nixon said we couldn’t go passed 69 degrees on our thermostats. As for our food consumption, employers are taking it upon themselves to regulate that by dangling the purse strings over our heads and calling it a Wellness program.

    As for deciding the number of children you can bear, government don’t care about that, they need the soldiers to fight this 100 year war they gave us. As for the size of houses that you can build, homeowner associations take care of that one and why people buy into that, behooves me.

    As for the Katrina disaster, people really should have split when they were warned. For years, I’ve heard that if you don’t evacuate when told, the rescuers might not come back for you, and I for one believed them. But, yes, Bush was too slow in aid. Rather than let the democrats in New Orleans bilk the public dime, he did it instead.

    The reason we are required to wear seatbelts is because government wants to extend the life of their cash cows for as long as possible.

  2. dcat says:

    I remember the long line in the 70’s. It was the politicians at the time.

    “Once under CARTER!”

  3. Tom says:

    Tamara – Actually, we need to get the politicians out of Washington, and put in their place good, honest, and most of all, responsible people whose only agenda is the well-being of the citizens of this country. After all, the Constitution of the United States starts out with the words “We the People,” not “We the Politicians.” As far as the illustrations that were provided, those were implemented by Socialistic & Communistic countries around the world (with the exception of seatbelts, which were for the common good, by the way…) By the way, some of your statements are inaccurate according to the Department of Energy’s history timeline. Link is here

    dcat – I remember Carter’s “Misery Index,” and I was miserable under that Democratic President’s term.

    In many respects, I lay the blame for the majority of the country’s lack of an energy policy squarely on the Democrats. The majority of the time that I have been alive, the Democrats controlled Congress and set energy-related legislation (the President may control policy, but Congress controls legislation and the purse strings). They, not the President, are creating the roadblocks to an expanded energy policy.

  4. Tamara says:

    Tom I heard that when Jimmy Carter became President, he had no say in anything, not even who would be in his administration. Of course, I always thought this applied to all Presidents except for the people they choose for their administration. I think we have a shadow government in this country. I thought so since RFK was murdered. There was something wrong with that day. I felt a force was out there. Perhaps it was the Freemasons.

  5. Tom says:

    * Sigh * I’m not a believer in shadow governments, 911 conspiracies, nor of Skull & Bones and Free Masons pulling the strings.

    A President’s administration is chosen by who owes whom political favors and occasionally, someone who is actually qualified for the job. Politics is all about power, and power is money (usually taxpayer money).

    If this wasn’t so, then why do Presidential candidates (and other political offices) spend millions of dollars for a job that will only pay them a fraction of what they spend on campaigns?

  6. Tamara says:

    I don’t know what to believe but I like to keep an open mind and hear all sides. I’ll never tell anyone that I don’t believe because a closed mind is something we don’t need. I have to tell you, though, Tom, when government keeps secrets they should expect people coming up with theories.

    Let me ask you, are you Republican? I have noticed that their heads are in the sand more than anyone elses. In case you’re wondering, I was raised a no party affiliate and when I grew up, I stuck with it.

  7. Tom says:

    Select the “About” tab at the top of the blog, and you will get a better idea of how I vote.

    In case that wasn’t enough, I vote my conscience. And yes, I have voted Republican in the past three elections because the Democratic candidates were abysmal.

  8. Tamara says:

    I’ve never voted Democrat or Republican. I always vote 3rd party to let government know that I am not happy with either party.

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