Thursday, February 09, 2006

Taxation -/+ Consumption



http://www.andrewclem.com/Politics.shtml

Andrew Clem presented some interesting ideas about President Bush’s “investment in research in alternative energy sources” in his letter to the NewsLeader editor. His idea is to raise the cost of oil products by taxation resulting in development of renewable energy resources and conservation which is somewhat low priority with our present “Low” cost of petroleum products. Also the extra tax money collected would be used to develop better forms of energy including renewable sources of energy…

http://newsleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060209/OPINION03/602090318/1014/OPINION


Know as much as I am against more or additional taxes, Andrew makes a great point that this problem will best be solved by the free market system. In the majority of examples it is the free market, not the government, that creates solutions to many of our problems. My fear is where that additional tax money will really show up and in what form. Many times Profit\loss statements are the most efficient guides to getting the job done.

It is apparent that we are using more energy now then we ever used before. This is possible for the simple reason that energy produced by petroleum products are relatively cheap to us in the United States. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but little change will happen until the cost rises to a point where the “Market” dictates a change.
Look at the recent $3 a gallon effects of Hurricane Katrina. People started to think twice before taking that extra trip or how they could save and consolidate these trips. Around here the average gallon price is about $2.20 and people have forgotten already the pain of $3+ a gallon. Interestingly people are talking more about the obscene, (term used by mainstream media and politicians looking for airtime) profits made by the oil companies. I agree the profits are high as compared in the past but history shows oil companies average about 10% in profits when all is said and done. McDonalds averages 24.4% profits… Go figure… The thing is that the oil companies spend much of their “profit” money on exploration and development of more sources of petroleum to remain competitive. If we tax petroleum products to raise the cost and promote conservation and development of other forms of energy, how can we be sure this money will be used wisely?
After watching the recent hearings to confirm Justice Alito, I do not feel very comfortable with those politicians with more of our tax money…

10 comments:

SWAC Girl said...

This is an issue that needs to be better -- fairly -- addressed in the mainstream media. I especially like your comparison of oil company profits (10%) to McDonald's (24.4%). People don't stop to think about that but, instead, take the lead of the media in hammering against oil profits. I, for one, think we need to expand into Alaska. The people there want it, it will have minimal impact on wildlife and land, and it will lessen the dependency of Americans on "outside" oil.

RightsideVA said...

ANWR is one of those issues that will have to wait, again, until after the mid-term elections. Unfortunately many of our "Guys" are worried about touching that 3rd rail and chance of losing votes. The Dems will center on this for it gets their base fired up once they spin it.

ANWR, Like Social Security, will be issues that we look back on once they fail to see who voted against it. I have a copy of the State of the Union speech just so I can watch which Dem's jumped up and down when the comment about preventing SS reform from passing. When SS fails we can look back and see who caused the lost opportunity to fix this imminent problem which we WILL have to fix down the road. When Gas gets up to $5 a gallon we can look at ANWR the same way...

Just a matter of time...

Anonymous said...

ANWR would be a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Why not work to reduce our "addiction" to oil as a whole, not just foreign sources of it?
I agree that until the problem hits people in the pocket there is no incentive to change. Digging more in ANWR, or anywhere for that matter, only prolongs the problem. Just as you criticize Dems for not buying into one solution to fix SS, you cannot expect ANWR to be the magic bullet of our energy needs.

What confidence can we have in what the president says when he doesn't mean it "literally?" It's a sham and a shame.
"Asked why the president used the words "the Middle East" when he didn't really mean them, one administration official said Bush wanted to dramatize the issue in a way that "every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands." The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he feared that his remarks might get him in trouble."

SWAC Girl said...

Anonymous uses the same old tired liberal line when it comes to ANWR and oil drilling in general ... people have to reduce their "addition" to oil. I've heard that argument for years but, until Hollywood liberals and John Kerry rich-types change their wasteful ways, why should the Dems expect everyday citizens to change theirs? I live in a 1700-square-foot house; Barbra Streisland lives in a 17,000-square-foot house. I drive a 1998 minivan; she has a fleet of vehicles. Who is wasting more energy?

We should drill in ANWR and use those resources while we continue to search for alternative energy sources. It would prevent us from being over the proverbial Middle Eastern barrell -- we would be self reliant instead of dependent on foreign oil.

And isn't it about time for Anonymous and others to place some blame on Europe and the rest of the world instead of the constant slams on the U.S.?

RightsideVA said...

"Just as you criticize Dems for not buying into one solution to fix SS, you cannot expect ANWR to be the magic bullet of our energy needs."

So now we have two major problems that are noy going to get fixed as they should. We all know that Social Security must be corrected for it can not continue the way it is. Why should the Government take my taxes, spend\invest the way they have with a avg rate of 1% return when I can invest that in a private account and grow much more?

Anwr will not be a total solution but it is a step in the right direction. We should drill their with the technology we have and create the American jobs that drilling their will provide. Sure we need to develop better forms of energy but solar & wind are not there by any means. Hydrogen? great idea but the infrastructure is way off. The ANWR area is very cold, only caribou who actually increase in population when drilling happens benefit, and when was the last time you saw a vacation package to visit ANWR?

I fear those from the Left do not want these projects to go further without them getting credit or, God forbid, GW Bush getting credit... Guess what? the citizens see thru the "Snow" and know what is right and needed....

Anonymous said...

swac girl it does us no good to point fingers. There are plenty of examples of those on the right side of the political spectrum that are wasteful. Further I've said nothing that "slams" the US. Calling for a more responsible and sustainable approach to growth and meeting our energy demands is not a slam, and viewing everything through such a suspicious filter only furthers the divide. We need to work together. This goes for you as well Rightside. Real people, not politicians, don't care about getting credit, they care about solutions. Let go of your defensiveness.

RightsideVA said...

Anonymous, it is hard to respond to you since you do not choose to put a name so I can tell who I am talking to. If you are the same Anonymous that have left the prior posts, including the ones that I deleted because there is no need for the name calling or abusive comments, then I get the feeling that you are the one defensive.

Many who call for the development of alternative fuels and increased CAFE standards are the people who feel the government should control the economy and the free market.

History will show you that if you need to solve a problem with technology, industry, medical, etc the best solution is the free market... Tell me one thing that the government has really done to solve a problem?

Taxing the workers and "Rich" to provide for the poor? I just did my taxes and payed over $6,300 in just Federal taxes this year. But yet at work I have people who are not married, some have not graduated high school, have 2+ kids before they were 20 years old, not going to school or making an effort to improve themselves in any way, and they are getting tax returns for $6,000 + back?

Yes I believe that we must help those who need it but at what point do we stop taking from the hard working producer, or the ones providing the capital to hire more workers, and stop giving aid to those who make little effort for themselves when there is a government who will give them support for nothing, or worse yet, their vote?.....

Friend from the Left said...

I am an anonymous that has posted in the past, yet not anything offensive, nor that has been removed. I come in peace...lol..and in attempt to bridge a gap of sorts, to learn, and to listen. I appreciate your thoughts. SO I have assumed a new name.

I don't have much time to fully respond to what you last wrote (taxes and helping the poor). But in short I'd say the majority of people do indeed want to improve their position in life, and I beleive it is the responsibility of everyone to help ensure that they have that opportunity. I find it difficult to identify in absolutes or broad strokes, those that take advantage of the system.

Also I think that the answer to every problem is not in the free market. Without rules, regulations and restrictions people cheat. People exploit others and in general our society has become very self-centered. Look at the backlash against our fellow Americans in the Gulf Region. Sure there were a few of bad apples, but there are many, many more people that genuinely deserve our assistance.

History will show you that if you need to solve a problem with technology, industry, medical, etc the best solution is the free market...

Look at illegal immigration. What has the free market done to solve that problem? Nothing. In fact it is precisely the free market that has created and perpetuates that problem.

SWAC Girl said...

Between Anonymous and Friend From the Left, I'm not sure where to begin responding ... but respond I will.

The last four letters of "Republican" are "I CAN." That means pulls yourself up by the bootstraps, don't whine, and work hard.

My dad, the oldest of 5 children, completed 8th grade and then left school during the Depression to help support his family. He served in the Navy in the Pacific during WW II and, afterwards, married my mother and settled down to raise a family which consisted of three daughters.

My mom graduated high school and went to work as a secretary. She worked her way up the corporate ladder in the sales field until she was the first woman in the late 1960s to be recognized for her work in the field and the first woman to become a member of the Sales & Marketing Club where we lived.

Both my parents could have fallen back on entitlements and lack of education as a reason to just get by ... but they didn't. And they have been life-long conservative Republicans.

My parents taught me that, in the workplace, when you complete your job, go help someone else because you will learn another skill. That has stuck with me all these years ... and has been beneficial in helping me expand my knowledge and to have a positive outlook on life.

Hurricane Katrina and the outcome in New Orleans was a horrible experience. But I saw many people who were waiting for someone to take care of them instead of stockpiling water, preparing for possible lack of electricity, etc. These are things we do in the mid-Atlantic when we have ice storms and the occasional hurricane.

Too many people in this country have a welfare-state mentality: "Who will take care of me," instead of "What can I do to help myself?" They then point fingers at the government and blame them for not responding quickly enough.

We could learn from our immigrant great-grandparents by immitating their work ethic, their thriftiness, and their positive outlook that life is good ... instead of looking at everything in a negative light.

SWAC Girl said...

My apologies, RightSideVa, for veering slightly off-topic in the discussion.