100% tax on excess profits?

Now that Democrats are in charge, the rent is going up! You see, someone has to pay for all of this, “most ethical congress ever.” Greater (as in bigger I assume) government doesn’t come cheap. Which is why Dennis Kucinich (D) thinks that a 100% tax increase would somehow benefit consumers of the ‘evil elixir of capitalism’ …Ahem, “Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.”

“when you start imposing some discipline, a 100-percent tax on excess profits, then the oil companies aren't going to be making $1,300 a second like ExxonMobil is.” ~businessandmedia.org
Which committee will this guy be heading again? ..."I'm scared," (as I say in my little voice.)

As Ken Shepherd at the Business & Media Institute points out the 'journalist' at CBS is completely unphased by Kucinich's bizzarro prescription for 'lowering the price of gasoline'.

Yet when Taylor finished explaining how the Congressional Research Service found that a similar tax in place in the 1980s actually raised prices, Storm pushed Taylor with a talking point that echoed Kucinich’s rhetoric.

“How can you justify these record profits by these oil companies at a time when consumers are struggling at the pump?” Storm demanded of Taylor. “People are struggling to drive to work, drive their kids to sports practice, even some school buses didn't run last spring because of gas prices,” Storm complained.  ~businessandmedia.org

Lest you believe that this is merely one kooky Congressman whose isolated and fringe beliefs will be well insulated from the reality of legislation that could actually be proposed and passed, (minus a well placed Presidential veto) there are several other examples of erroneous Marxian economic beliefs on the part of Democrat representatives.

WASHINGTON - Big oil companies will be a top target of Democratic lawmakers when they officially take over the House of Representatives early next year.

...Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to be the next Speaker of the House when the new Congress convenes in January, says oil companies have unfairly earned record profits by gouging consumers at the gasoline pump.

She says Democrats will also go after oil companies by enacting tough laws to stop gasoline price gouging, and some Democrats want to impose a windfall profits tax on Big Oil.

"We're going to move on the agenda that we laid out," Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who heads the House Democrats' campaign committee, said on Wednesday.  ~msnbc.com

"Unfairly earned record profits...?"

Democrats. Raising taxes on consumers. Making everything more expensive in the name of fairness and class warfare.

Democrats have railed against what they see as earnings nothing short of unconscionable.

"Oil companies are swimming in windfall profits and American consumers are sinking," Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said last year in a statement when he introduced a bill to tax those profits. That bill died in committee.

..."There are [now] more people [in Congress] who talked about the profits of oil companies and the high price of gasoline and made it part of their campaigns," said Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for Sen. Durbin, "It's an issue that's certainly in the mix."

Even Pelosi hasn't ruled it out.

"She's open to a windfall profits tax, but not everyone in the caucus is in agreement,' said her staffer.

Several countries worldwide have instituted a windfall oil profits tax recently, including England, where a tax on North Sea production was increased and can now be as high as 70 percent.

Elshami said it's likely Sen. Durbin will introduce another windfall profits bill once Democrats take control, although it could be much different from 2005's bill.

Durbin's previous proposal would have taxed profits of integrated oil and gas companies at a rate of 50 percent above a baseline oil price of $40 a barrel.  ~money.cnn.com

Once again we see Democrats basing their policies entirely on Marxist economic theory. The crisis of capitalism, we assume, will give way to a fairer more egalitarian society if not utopia.

Who cares?

You may be asking, "Why is this important? Who cares about these rich greedy oil companies, they cheat us everyday at the pump and I want to them to pay for their exploitation of my family. And I want to pay less for my gas."

Remember the gas lines of the 1970's? They are a direct result of Nixon's price controls. Which is one reason why Nixon was a bad President. What Democrats are proposing is little better. What so many fail to realize is that bad economic prescriptions based on half-truths and Marxist claptrap will do more damage than any so-called corporate corruption could ever do. What Democrats are promising to do will drive down supply and drive up the price. This makes them feel important but will also drive up the price of every single item that has to be shipped anywhere.

Democrats and liberals (as well as many Republicans) have a cognitive impairment when it comes to these kinds of proposals. Advocating a mixed economy is all well and good but when one half of that mixed economy is seen as the problem, or the illness which the other half somehow is to solve, the solutions, like this one, are bound to go only in one direction.

Why is it that proponents of the mixed economy theory never promote more capitalism? It's always more socialism that they prescribe. They see capitalism as an ill that is ameliorated by more socialist policies.

The rhetoric of class warfare is endemic in Democrat propaganda.

****
Huge addendum:

Senators ROCKEFELLER and SNOWE directly threaten Exxon and call skeptics, "Global warming deniers."

We are convinced that ExxonMobil's longstanding support of a small cadre of global climate change skeptics, and those skeptics access to and influence on government policymakers, have made it increasingly difficult for the United States to demonstrate the moral clarity it needs across all facets of its diplomacy.

Obviously, other factors complicate our foreign policy. However, we are persuaded that the climate change denial strategy carried out by and for ExxonMobil has helped foster the perception that the United States is insensitive to a matter of great urgency for all of mankind, and has thus damaged the stature of our nation internationally. It is our hope that under your leadership, ExxonMobil would end its dangerous support of the "deniers." Likewise, we look to you to guide ExxonMobil to capitalize on its significant resources and prominent industry position to assist this country in taking its appropriate leadership role in promoting the technological innovation necessary to address climate change and in fashioning a truly global solution to what is undeniably a global problem.  ~opinionjournal.com

or else...

Posted by Eric Simonson at December 4, 2006 8:00 AM
Comments
Comment #197617

Why is it that proponents of the mixed economy theory never promote more capitalism? It’s always more socialism that they prescribe.

It’s because the proponents of “pure” capitalism refuse to recognize that there are ever any ills or failures in capitalist systems, and do more than enough promoting capitalism for all of us. That leaves it to the mixed economy advocates to point out those failures, which can only be addressed by what you call “socialism.”

When you are willing to recognize that there are valid reasons not to let free markets rule unfettered, perhaps we’ll change our tune. But as long as you deny that, someone has to look out for the people innocently crushed by market forces.

Posted by: Steve K at December 4, 2006 8:36 AM
Comment #197619

Pelosi has promised to massively expand government with such things as national health care, but to not increase deficit spending. In fact, until they took power, we heard a lot from democrats about how they would balance the budget….something they don’t want to talk about much now!

So they are going to have to bleed us to death somewhere. What Americans tend to understand is that no matter where the government massively taxes, it’s always comes back to hurt the little consumer-taxpayer in the end.

Posted by: Stephen at December 4, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #197629

A 100% tax on excess profits (say, 7%) is, simply, a means of restitution to the taxpayers from whom the money was stolen. This is called justice, albeit imperfect justice. A more perfect justice would include lenghy prison terms (say 5 - 10 years) and substantial fines for the corporate executives (a.k.a., the thieves). It would, also, be appropriate to tax excess incomes (say, $200,000) at 100% for the same reason. Theft, under whatever guise, should not go unpunished.

Posted by: Allen at December 4, 2006 9:30 AM
Comment #197631

Allen

If a person grows pine trees for 30 years and harvest them on around 100 acres, he may make about $500,000. From whom did he steal that money that you want to take away more than half?

What about the income from your house? You buy a house in a fast growing market like California in 1990. You pay $100,000. After living there for 16 years, you sell it for $1 million. Would you tax away $800,000?

It is thinking like this that gave the French Revolution such a bad reputation.

Posted by: Jack at December 4, 2006 9:51 AM
Comment #197632
Democrats. Raising taxes on consumers. Making everything more expensive in the name of fairness and class warfare.
Yes, look out. Look out for more taxes. Why not simplify the tax system? That would remedy a good many things.

Look out for more pork-barrel too.
Both are ridiculous, but Democrats like pork-barrel much more. Don’t believe it? Just look at the grades at cagw.org.

Yes, Democrats are likely to tax oil.
This will make Jack happy.
That’s what he wants, so that it will give us incentive to get off of oil.
He’s got a point, but do the ends justify the means?
That’s the only problem with such things, and similar government meddling and manipulations, which always mean MORE Do-Nothing.htm government, growing ever more bloated (in the U.S., there are more people employed by government than all manufacturing).
But, to be fair, Republicans are bad about it too.
Look how much they just grew government in the last few years (by hundreds of thousands of new federal employees). Already, the Executive Branch consists of over two million (that is neither seen nor heard as it throttles our freedoms and prosperity), and the relatively smaller bumbling and fumbling 535 in our FOR-SALE Congress, and their hundreds of thousands employees.

Healthcare should not be the responsibility of the government.
Only welfare for the truly needy.
And Social Security should only pay out benefits equal to the poverty level (to all persons). Nothing more.
That is, Social Security should not be a retirement program.
It should only be a guarantee against poverty only.
And, the taxable income caps on Social Security should be removed.
Also, taxes on Social Security and Medicare benefits should be removed, since taxes created those to begin with.

So many reforms (including tax reform) are so badly needed, but it’s doubtful that any really badly-needed, no-brainer, common-sense reforms will ever be passed. At least, not until it’s most likely too late.

Democrats are planning some things to get accomplished in the First 100 Hours (4-JAN-2007). Supposedly, the new Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi plans to keep the House in session throughout January in order to get a good head start in enacting the legislative priorities in The First 100 Hour program.

Nancy Pelosi’s first 100 hour strategy is supposedly to:
(1) Toughen House Ethics Rules (very unlikely; besides, laws are meaningless if never enforced; and even if ever convicted, they can get a presidential pardon like the 546 criminals pardoned by Clinton; 140 on his last day in office)
(2) Raise the Minimum Wage (But still ignore illegal immigration and wide open borders and ports? Isn’t Homeland Security a bit of a joke without securing the ports and borders? Isn’t it hypocritical of Congress to still ignore existing laws by ignoring wide open borders and ports, employers of illegal aliens, 2.3 million displaced American workers, the many burdens on schools, hospitals, ERs, law enforcement, border patrol, prisons, healthcare, CDC, Medicaid, welfare, insurance and voting systems, resulting in over $70 billion in net losses annually to U.S. tax payers.)
(3) Enact 9/11 Commission Recommendations (Again, isn’t Homeland Security a bit of a joke without securing the ports and borders?)
(4) Half Student Loan Interest rates (But ignore inflation and a excessive debt, money-printing, and inflation? (yes, 3% or 4% is excessive; anything over ZERO is excessive)
(5) Broaden Federally-Supported Stem Cell Research (Sure, why not? Just print some more money.)
(6) Negotiate for Lower Medicare Drug Prices (Sure, why not? But still carry the water for their big money donor puppeteers (proving again, they are all FOR-SALE)? Vote some more pork-barrel for pharmaceuticals, and other similar pork-barrel, corporate welfare, and waste? And what about healthcare that is not only increasingly unaffordable, but dangerous too! Pharmaceutical corporations and the FDA are becoming pill pushers that are killing hundreds of thousands in the U.S. (annually). 2.2 million hospitalized patients in 1994 had serious Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) and 106,000 were fatal, making these ADRs the 5th or 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.! On 27-July-2004, HealthGrades.com reported that “An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”. While government is the NOT responsibility of government to provide universal healthcare, it is the responsibility of the government to protect consumers from some greedy corporations that will do almost anything for profit; that keep pushing harmful/deadly products they know to be more dangerous than beneficial).

If Congress has truly turned over a new leaf, they would immediately pass many badly-needed, no-brainer, common-sense reforms. Right … when hell freezes over.

Don’t get your hopes up for Do-Nothing Congress to really adequately address any real problems. More likely, they’ll let our problems (as usual) grow in number and severity (just based on track-record).

But, then, we keep rewarding and empowering irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them, letting both parties take turns, enjoying their 90% re-election rate and cu$hy, coveted incumbencies.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 4, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #197634

Allen, take it easy! You do have a right to be upset at these oil guys, but to tax the salaries of more than $200k at 100% will simply eliminate any incentive for folks to go out there and improve themselves. I don’t pull for any one party as I basically believe that they are both, on their own, prone to become their own worst enemy. Clinton led a very good administration partly due to the influence of a fairly nutty Republican majority in the legislative branch. Let’s see what happens now that we have some balance back in our federal governement.

Posted by: RVH at December 4, 2006 10:23 AM
Comment #197637

Eric, I am a mixed economy proponent, have been for decades. The problem I have with oil profits is they don’t get tapped when there is a recession, but, instead, the oil companies come to government with hat in hand asking for handouts on leases and litigation immunity instead of using their profits to tie them over during the lean years.

That makes capitalism one persistent greedy child in need of discipline when it comes to asking the public taxes to support its private profiteering motives. Chrysler should never have been bailed out when it went bust. Competition would have been better served, and the consumers would have been better served, if its remains had gone to the highest bidder.

But, capitalists keep shoving profits into the politician’s reelection coffers to insure a hand out rather then reduce profits. That is why I am a strong mixed economy proponent. Mixed economies are not just defined by socialized subsidy of everything from the military to public schools, it should also be defined by good efficient management of public funds, something capitalists are Constantly interfering with.

So, the tug of war continues. It is up to the people to vote responsibility and accountability into office and vote irresponsibility and lack of accountability out of office. The voters are the counter balance to the capitalists feeding at the public trough.

Those on the right often fail to appreciate the check and balance which a mixed economy provides against monopolies, oligopolies, by insuring a healthy redistribution of the nation’s financial resources which sustains broad based consumerism, which in turn, supports broad and prosperous corporatism and small business.

The Great Depression dealt an immense blow to business in this country for no other reason than their weren’t enough dollars in consumers pockets to support the businesses, big and small.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2006 10:29 AM
Comment #197639

Eric,

You know what’s dumber than this? Taxing no one and spending like crazy, or ending an estate tax that brings in 9 billion a year without figuring out where else this money will come from. We’re in debt thanks to Republicans, and we have to pay that back somehow.

Posted by: Max at December 4, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #197640

Eric-
To be perfectly honest with you, this is the price you pay for a lack of good regulation, for opening new commodity markets that have no other function than to be high-priced middlemen.

Often in today’s society, prices are not set by supply and demand, but instead by speculation and accounting games. The price is getting out of kilter with people’s ability to pay.

So, people are calling for measures to discourage this. Short term, a windfall tax sounds good to some. Me? I think its energy company practices that are bringing this on, so we need to regulate the most pernicious of them. It would be in the company’s best interests to agree to this, so they can head off draconian efforts like this.

I think its worth noting your fallacy of accent within the post (and I don’t mean your Beverly Hillbillies impression). You emphasize that Pelosi is “open” to a windfall tax, while de-emphasizing the fact that the Caucus (meaning the body of Democrats in the Legislature) is not in agreement on the subject.

So, your argument is that all Democrats and liberals want to tax the corporate man, and yet in your example, they can’t agree on doing that? It sounds like your argument is more rhetorical pomp and circumstance than good analysis.

For my money? Pelosi’s saying, “she’s open to it.” Not real enthusiastic. I think she wants to bring the energy lobbyists to the table for negotiation. They can easily agree to moderate regulations with moderate reductions in profit, and both sides can walk away satisfied.

One thing for sure, though: the corporations need to pay their fair share. They are legal persons under the law. Why should particular persons get special preference on taxation and regulation. There has to be accountability, there has to be fairness. Let the corporations be prosperous, let them make money. But let that not be on the back of the average American. Let American’s prosper by business, not see their miseries compounded.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 4, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #197643

As for Class warfare?

I guess you’ll say what it takes not to recognize that there are inequalities in the way your congress has operated, and that those with money and power have been favored over the consumer.

And no, it’s not just talk on our part. It’s bankruptcy laws. It’s the constant tax breaks and special favors to corporations. It’s energy deregulation that lets companies game the market on electricity, and accounting deregulation that allows the millions of middle class investors to get soaked on corporations that were shown to be big money makers on paper. It’s tax policies that give the biggest breaks to those with the deepest pockets. If there is any class warfare being done, it has been on behalf of the rich, rather than against them. I mean, why do we have the IRS auditing people getting the Earned Income Tax Credit more than the Corporations employing tax shelters?

Americans have no problem with living with other folks being rich. They just want that wealth to be earned from them, rather than taken.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 4, 2006 11:22 AM
Comment #197648

Unfairly earned record profits…?”


Posted by Eric Simonson


Jeez!! When your countries energy bill is written behind closed doors with a Vice President collecting millions from his recent ties to the industry its considrered unfair until proven otherwise….What in the HECK are people like you thinking???

Posted by: muirgeo at December 4, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #197649

It’s not class warfare to expect equal representation.

But when a mere 0.15% of 200 million eligible voters gave 83% of federal campaign donations (of $200 or more in 2002), what chance does the remaining 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters have?
That means a mere 300,000 people averaged $6667 per donation (for a total of $2 billion in 2002), and the remaining 199,700,000 eligible U.S. voters donated on average $2 dollars (for a total of $400 million). Many individual campaign donations were in the millions. How can the average person compete with that. There’s no mystery why incumbents ignore the voters (especially since we keep re-electing them).

Government is FOR-SALE.

All else is futile until that problem is resolved.

Until that is resolved, most people can expect this trend (squeeze) to continue (i.e. 99% of the U.S. population used to own 60% of all wealth, but that has now fallen by 20% from 80% to 60% since year 1980). Yeah, yeah, yeah, some are going to tell us how rich our poor are. That’s not the point.

The point is government is FOR-SALE.

The irresponsible incumbent politicians are in the pocket of their big-money-donor puppeteers.

However, this problem, only one of many symptoms of a more fundamental problem, are unlikely to ever be resolved without recognizing the root problem, and by continually rewarding and empowering irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 4, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #197652
Democrats. Raising taxes on consumers. Making everything more expensive in the name of fairness and class warfare.

BOTH parties have been useless in the past when it comes to lowering taxes. Republicans are no better at managing the people’s money, and in many respects are much worse. Democrats like a pay-go system, or tax and spend as the Cons like to call it. Republicans like tax deferments, or borrow and spend as the Libs like to call it. Both amount to the same thing: higher taxes.

Unfortunatly, the Republicans have a political advantage with their tax deferments, because it appears they are cutting your taxes, when in reality they are creating huge future tax increases. This system of borrowing and spending makes the economy valnerable to the actions of it’s lenders. If China decided to divert it’s investments to other markets, the US economy would crash. The Republican systems of tax cuts and good economies are nothing but an illusion.

Democrats, on the other hand, are at a political disadvantage with pay-go because it requires something unpopular- tax increases now. The advantage is that the economy is less dependent on foreign influences.

Neither of these solutions are ideal. The ideal would be tax cuts and spending cuts. One thing I had hoped to get from “Conservatives” controlling all branches of federal government was exactly that. Boy, was I disappointed. Certainly with Cons controlling all of Washington it should have been a breeze to cut programs the Cons have always rallied against. Yet that didn’t happen. Instead they epanded “socialist” programs (as Eric calls them) with Medicare part D.

This bunch of Cons quickly abandoned their core values and only became concerned with using tax dollars to buy reelection and win lobbying dollars.

As far as this windfall tax on big oil, I think Democrats should leave it alone. Instead they should be focusing on ending corporate welfare by ending all government subsidies to companies making these kinds of profits. If you truly believe in capitalism and frown on socialism then you should be fighting tooth and nail to end corporate welfare. Democrats should address gas and oil prices by working with the auto and energy industries to come up with alternatives to big oil and creating competition in the energy marketplace. This is a problem that must be resolved using good ol’ fashion American ingenuity and creativity, not the same old tired tax attack.

Posted by: JayJay at December 4, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #197654

Eric,

Believe it or not, I think there is some Democratic demogoguery here. If you wouldn’t use such broad paint strokes, I think it’d be easier from those of us on the left who happen to agree with some of the things you say to find common ground.

Posted by: Trent at December 4, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #197657
Believe it or not, I think there is some Democratic demogoguery here.

Believe it or not, I have never taken the time to find out what that word “demagogue” meant. So I looked it up:

1. A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace. ~The American Heritage Dictionary

Wow! Not only did I learn the meaning of this word, I also finally found the perfect description of a Neocon!

Posted by: JayJay at December 4, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #197659

Well, Eric,

At least I give you credit for blaming Nixon for the gas lines instead of Carter. Although blame really goes back to Vietnam causing economic distortions which the Fed failed to deal with. At least you know he WAS a bad president. That’s close enough in the Republican world view.

Now we just need to work on you learning the definition of Excess. Taxing an unearned windfall, or price gouging as some people like to call it, is nothing new and IS about something called ethics and morality…a concept that I know you Republicans are having a tough time dealing with.

Free markets do not mean pirates can attack and relieve people of their goods, whenever they wish. It implies a fair market.


Posted by: gergle at December 4, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #197673

gergle,

I finally get it…

“Fair” is what Democrats tell you is “Fair”.

Posted by: cliff at December 4, 2006 5:19 PM
Comment #197684


Oil is being extracted from the Canadian tar sands for 13 dollars and change per barrel. It is being sold for 60 dollars a barrel.

Posted by: jlw at December 4, 2006 6:46 PM
Comment #197686

It is absolutely mind boggeling how one could even begin to think that when we increase taxes on sold/traded goods, the cost does not carry over to the consumers.

I mean really now, seriously. If you had a business selling donkeys and they put a 100% tax increase on donkeys, wouldn’t you increase the cost of donkeys to supplement your losses.

I really don’t see the oil companies losing any money over the tax increase. In all actuality, in the past the tax increases have resulted in more profit.

Taxes go up 5% = price goes up 5%.

1 dollar taxis now $1.05 and 20 dollar good is now $21.

That is how it has worked up until now and I will bet you a 50 gallon barrel of Iraqi oil that it will continue that way.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 4, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #197689

gergle,

I finally get it…

“Fair” is what Democrats tell you is “Fair”.

Posted by: cliff

You are getting close. Fair is what we the PEOPLE say is fair. Fair is what we as a democratic society say is fair via our elected representatives. Unfair or undemocratic is a small elite wealthy class with too much access to power using their Multi National Corporations and money to undermind the democratic, political and policy issues of our country. To scrape up all sorts of robber barons profits via corporate welfare and have simpletons like you acctually voicing support for them at yours and your country’s own expense.

Why do people like you want to be ruled by nefarious unelected CEO’s of multinational corporations when we fought a fricking revolution to have a democratic form of government that is OF, BUY and FOR the people……Oh that’s right I keep forgetting conservatives of the revolutionary time (Loyalist Tory Sellouts) wanted to stay loyal to the king…same as today.

Posted by: muirgeo at December 4, 2006 7:29 PM
Comment #197693

Cliff,

“Fair is what we as a democratic society say is fair via our elected representatives.”

For the record we are not a democracy. We are a ‘democratic-republic’. Like the ‘Democratic-Republic of Congo’.

We vote on people to vote for us. That is actually more Republic than Democracy.

Democracy is when everyone votes on everything (think initiatives).

Republic is when an elected few vote on everything (think charters).

We have both initiatives and charters and something called bills, which are a little of both.

Hense the termanology: Democratic-Republic.

Also, the people vote for what the politicians say they are going to do not what they are doing.

The democratic majority promised a centerist mentality towards fixing the budget and the war in Iraq.

The democratic party is now performing a leftist mentality towards raising taxes and are dodging any solid & unified effort towards the war in Iraq.

P.S.

Pelosi was/is/will-be-forever a poor choice of spokes-person for the democratic party.

There were a whole slew of ‘okay-great’ choice for the democratic party. Why they wouldn’t choose one of them blows my mind.

Look at her voting record. She votes pro-abortion & anti-everythingelse.

Nothing wrong with having your votes on abortion, but she hasn’t (in the past at least) shown any insight on anything else.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 4, 2006 7:58 PM
Comment #197695

My apoligies…

I made a mistake on the Pelosi comment.

She is also pro-taxincreases.

Which for the record have never once in the entire history of the world ever not resulted in even greater increases in consumer cost.

Prove me wrong on that last bit, I challenge all of you.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 4, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #197696

Bryan said: “I mean really now, seriously. If you had a business selling donkeys and they put a 100% tax increase on donkeys, wouldn’t you increase the cost of donkeys to supplement your losses.”

In a free capitalist society without regulation that is in fact exactly what would happen, and the business would extract the maximum profit the consumers would bear, passing on all social and national obligation costs to their consumers in addition to the increases needed to fatten their own wallets to the very maximum potential possible.

That is what is wrong with a free unfettered capitalist system that has but one priority - maximizing profits at any cost to the consumer or nation which the consumer or nation will tolerate without burning the business to the ground, (which is precisely what poor folks did to businesses in their neighborhoods in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s in Watts, Detroit, Chicago, and many other places).

If corporations want the same protections and rights as citizens, they have an obligation to pay for the costs of protecting those rights and privileges, same as citizens.

My own opinion is, exempt all corporations from taxation while stripping them of citizen rights altogether, including the right’s to lobby the government, make campaign contributions etc, and free political speech.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2006 8:14 PM
Comment #197697

muirgeo

You need to cool it in the name calling area. You are not the bottom line or final authority on anything. Calling those who believe different from you a simpleton is over the top and will get you thrown off this site.

I don’t know where you live but this is the United States of America, not a democracy, but a republic.

It might behoove you to sit with a dictionary and a US history book of good repute and see what has made this country great.

Posted by: tomh at December 4, 2006 8:17 PM
Comment #197698

Bryan,

Here is the big picture that keeps repeating itself throughout our history and world history.

When the Democratic party ruled from the depression to the 70’s we had a great economy. The public infrastructure was strong, unions were strong, a single dad working 50 hours a week could provide for his family, we had a trade surplus and the dollar qwas strong.

The years before the last 3 depressions in our country were ruled by the Republicans with a Laissez faire approach to the economy.

The current economy is a result of 25 years of the same…now we have record debt, 2 income families are scraping to get by, the trade imbalance is resulting in a plunging value for the dollar, Americans for the first time since the last Republican caused Great Depression had a negative saving rate last year, the ration of CEO earnings to worker earnings went from $75/1 dollars to now over $500/1 dollars, the housing market is set to crash and take with it millions of peope and their interest only loans…


In other countries with policies that conservatives desire you have economies like Mexico, Columbia and Uragauy while the social democracies like Sweeden and Denmark have the best living conditions of all.


My beliefs as a liberal Democratic voter have nothing to do with socialism or communism but are all about democracy and its need of a strong middle class and a good understanding that the Libertarian/conservative economic philosophy will result in a a concentration of wealth and ultimately a ruling elite class or a Plutocracy/Autocracy or even outright Fasicism if not kept in check.

Posted by: muirgeo at December 4, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #197703

I don’t know where you live but this is the United States of America, not a democracy, but a republic.

It might behoove you to sit with a dictionary and a US history book of good repute and see what has made this country great.

Posted by: tomh


Sorry about the name calling…

People on the conservative side are always quick to point out that we live in a Republic (specifically a Constitution-based federal republic; with strong democratic tradition). So what is your point?

Is that not a democratic form of government? Are the elected representatives there to represent their constituents? or their lobbyist? or their donors? or multinational corporations?

Is this not supposed to be a government OF,BY and FOR the people? Or is it OF, “BUY” and FOR the lobbyists?… the multinational corporations?… the people with the most money?

Please tell me what pointing out that we are not a true democracy but a republic is supposed to mean pertaining to this debate?

Posted by: muirgeo at December 4, 2006 8:47 PM
Comment #197704

This series of posts appears to be more fluffy than usual. The taxation discussion has failed to recognize the most elemental of all mistakes. Targeted taxation fails to meet the intended goals in virtually all instances. Brilliant scholars are immediately dispatched by the targeted entities to render them ineffective. Determined number-crunchers develop work-arounds and the game goes on.
The ideal solution is to tax consumption at a rate suufficient to provide an efficient government enough funding to provide the minimum of federal constitutionally mandated services. All others should be funded and managed at the state level as was intended by the founding fathers.
Consumption taxes with allowances for the lowest income levels is the only scheme that will adequately address the fairness to all requirement that should be inherent in any plan. Income taxes should be totally abolished, this includes corporate as well as individual.
Any scheme that leaves spending a congressional perk is going to be abused by the pigs to the detriment of the country. Taking the money away is the only solution. Changes of administration, speaker, etc., will have no effect.

Posted by: ClydeB at December 4, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #197709

muirgeo
The point is that a republic and a deomcracy are not the same in many, many ways. Both conservative and liberal, democrat and republican have strayed from the founders intent for system of government and rules. Government has taken the attitude that we are too dumb to govern ourselves. Therefore they assume the “leadership” to tell us what we can and cannot do, or should or should not do.
Government today has broadened the Constitution and the powers therein, because we the voters are too dumb to take care of ourselves.
That kind of thinking is stinking and absolutely wrong. The best government is the least government. Forget the labels of who those in power represent on the political spectrum. They are all guilty of big government and that is the reason we have tax problems, debt problems, security problems, etc..
Until the Congress takes the reigns and steps forward as true statesmen and leaders, the same will continue to flow the same direction and that is totalitarianism.

Posted by: tomh at December 4, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #197710

ClydeB,

“Targeted taxation fails to meet the intended goals in virtually all instances.”

Amen brother.


Nearly everyone else,

This country is a

Democratic-Republic…

not a
federal Republic like Japan

not a
democracy like Greece


it is a
Democratic-Republic.

Just us and Congo.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 4, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #197711

Where are these americans that are struggling and what are the reasons for their struggles, isn’t the average household income like $50-80,000 a year? I picture these elitist liberals sitting around at dinner parties, underestimating the poor backward common people, how could we survive without their brilliance.
My parents come from large families. I have 19 aunts and uncles with countless cousins and friends, not one is struggling, and most are thriving in this “repeatedly said” horrible economy. I personally didn’t go to college and screwed around and had fun thru my mid-20’s, and still was able to provide a roof and food, it was what I wanted. I decided I wanted to make some real money so I took some classes for a specific field, worked in different aspects of the profession until I got to where I wanted to be, I was happy in both situations just wanted a change. It amazes me sometimes and I thank God when I think of all the other places on earth I could have been born.
So when the elites start the belly aching and negative rants, turn a deaf ear it’s only because they have lost the power they once held and they dearly want it back, so you must belive this country is hopeless and without opportunities. Kind of sad.

Posted by: andy at December 4, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #197715

Who is going to define the meaning of “excess” with regard to a 100-percent tax on excess profits? What is an “excessive” profit? Does the meaning change from year to year? How about from election to election?

What prevents the oil companies from hiking their prices to cover any possible loss as a result of this proposed tax on “excess” profits?

Does anyone here really know anything about the costs involved in petroleum exploration, extraction, refining, and marketing?

Has anyone stopped to consider what would happen if the oil companies stopped making profits? What if Big Oil ceased to exist? Imagine for a moment a world without Exxon-Mobil, Shell, or any of the other “Big Oil” companies. Try to imagine getting through a single day without petrochemicals and plastics.

Does anyone seriously believe that the government would do a better (i.e., cheaper) job at finding, refining, distributing, and marketing petroleum products? Has the government ever produced anything as advertised on time and on budget?
Take a good look at Mexico’s state-controlled PEMEX, where there is no incentive to explore, to take a risk. Have you ever wondered why Mexico is still a 3rd-rate country when it is literally floating on a sea of oil?

This 100% tax on “excess profits” idea is nothing more than another money grab, another wealth redistribution scheme, another attempt to steal money from earners and give it to non-earners in order to ensure a self-perpetuating and compliant electorate, another attempt to advance a socialist agenda by appealing to base human emotions like envy, jealousy, revenge, and greed.

Posted by: Chris at December 4, 2006 9:54 PM
Comment #197716

andy,

Just so you know…

the average individual income is $43,389. Far below the $50,000 you quoted.

Also the elitist are always right, if they weren’t right how would they have inherited all that money from their grandparents grandparents untaxed business ventures.

Also we do have a “horrible economy”, I go to school full time and still manage to support myself (comfortably) off two part time jobs making with in two dollars of minimum wage.

That is God-awful-horrible when you consider all the African children who can’t even go to elementary schools.

So… just so you know, if you knew what was best you would have inherited money too.

But you didn’t so you don’t.

Because the elites have made it very clear that us (the majority/middle class) don’t exist and are actually poorer then we are acclaimed to be, and they know best because someone in their family tree six generations ago had made a fortune off the rising soap market sold to pioneers.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 4, 2006 10:01 PM
Comment #197717

You know what, I just read my prior post and I have to apoligize for the level of sarcasm.

I made my own eyes bleed from it.

So… uh… yeah, my bad.

=)

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 4, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #197718


oh yeah, for anyone who is interested in knowing

This is the actual factual data for the distribution of wealth in America. Notice that the number of people making under 22,500 is the same as the number of people making over 88,500. Personally that seems pretty good to me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:America_Income.jpg

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 4, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #197725

While this whole idea of blaming the oil companies and aiming to punish them seems overboard, there are effective ways to lower oil consumption and increase energy independence. Some ideas

-A carbon tax. This would immediately give an incentive to businesses, individuals, basically everyone to invest in renewable energy and increase efficiency. The revenue from it could be used to fund research.

-Move the multi-billion dollar subsidies given to the oil companies, to the renewable energy industry. It’s wrong to subsidize pollution and a finite resource that’s running out, and not do it for energy that’s clean and doesn’t pollute.

-Incentives for clean vehicles. Give very large tax credits to hybrid and electric cars. Do the opposite for SUVs and other low-mileage vehicles (an exception could be made for people who really need them, like construction workers who depend on large trucks to haul supplies). Also mandate an increase in efficiency for all vehicles.

-Very importantly, look into and possibly punish blatantly false propaganda and misinformation by the energy industry and their think tanks (like that “carbon is life” commercial). The fact is misleading corporate propoganda is a large reason why so many people don’t take the issues of energy and global warming seriously, they just don’t consider that a problem exists despite the evidence. False advertising is already illegal, the tobacco companies can’t publicly say tobacco is healthy for you. Currently, donations big businesses make to so-called “think tanks” are tax deductible as charitable donation. Well, most people would agree these organizations are not remotely charitable, and corporations shouldn’t get out of paying taxes on funds used to directly help its business by spreading PR for them.

The fact is we need action on this issue, as the Democrats correctly state, even if punishing the oil companies isn’t the best way to go about it.

Posted by: mrk at December 4, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #197726

Bryan,

Funny stuff, but isn’t there a seperate catagory for households with children? No big deal, just thought I heard something higher.

By the way, speaking of inherited money, have you heard about Senator Rockefellar going after big oil. Every ounce of anything that makes him relevant comes from inherited oil money. Just thought it to be funny that was the liberal bandwagon he decided to jump on.

Posted by: andy at December 4, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #197730

Uh, Steve K,

It’s because the proponents of “pure” capitalism refuse to recognize that there are ever any ills or failures in capitalist systems,

What might those ills and failures of capitalism be?

“Pure capitalism” as you define it is normally called a strawman. Government regulation itself is a part of Capitalism. “Pure capitalism” apart from the rule of law is not capitalism but a marxist redefinition of it.

There is no such thing as “capitalist exploitation”.

Posted by: eric simonson at December 4, 2006 11:35 PM
Comment #197732

Allen,

A 100% tax on excess profits (say, 7%) is, simply, a means of restitution to the taxpayers from whom the money was stolen. This is called justice, albeit imperfect justice. A more perfect justice would include lenghy prison terms (say 5 - 10 years) and substantial fines for the corporate executives (a.k.a., the thieves). It would, also, be appropriate to tax excess incomes (say, $200,000) at 100% for the same reason. Theft, under whatever guise, should not go unpunished.

Hoo hoo! I couldn’t say it better myself.

Posted by: eric simonson at December 4, 2006 11:43 PM
Comment #197733

Eric:
“Now that Democrats are in charge,”

They aren’t in charge yet.

“the rent is going up! You see, someone has to pay for all of this, “most ethical congress ever.” Greater (as in bigger I assume) government doesn’t come cheap.”“

After the GOP has been in charge for years only NOW you’re worried about spending? And who will pay? And ethics? And bigger government? Truly hilarious!

““when you start imposing some discipline, a 100-percent tax on excess profits, then the oil companies aren’t going to be making $1,300 a second like ExxonMobil is.” ~businessandmedia.org”

Good idea. Time for the gouging to end. They’re so bloody fat, it won’t hurt them a bit, not even close to how it’s been hurting the rest of us.

“I’m scared,” (as I say in my little voice.)

:^) You use that little voice constantly, Eric. Why are you so afraid of us? Liberals make up fully half of the country, so it seems really silly.

“How can you justify these record profits by these oil companies at a time when consumers are struggling at the pump?”

I can’t. How about you?

““People are struggling to drive to work, drive their kids to sports practice, even some school buses didn’t run last spring because of gas prices,” Storm complained.”“

So in other words, they’re really hurting America.

“Lest you believe that this is merely one kooky Congressman whose isolated and fringe beliefs will be well insulated from the reality of legislation that could actually be proposed and passed, (minus a well placed Presidential veto) there are several other examples of erroneous Marxian economic beliefs on the part of Democrat representatives.”

Everything on the Left is “kooky,” “fringe,” and “Marxist” to you, which only shows that you don’t know what you’re talking about at all. These words are just dirty smears you constantly leave behind in every post.

“WASHINGTON - Big oil companies will be a top target of Democratic lawmakers when they officially take over the House of Representatives early next year.”

Excellent. The free ride is coming to an end!
Big Oil has been hurting everyone in the country AND stealing our tax dollars.

“Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to be the next Speaker of the House when the new Congress convenes in January, says oil companies have unfairly earned record profits by gouging consumers at the gasoline pump.”

She’s right. They have.

“She says Democrats will also go after oil companies by enacting tough laws to stop gasoline price gouging, and some Democrats want to impose a windfall profits tax on Big Oil.”

Very good news.

“”We’re going to move on the agenda that we laid out,” Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who heads the House Democrats’ campaign committee, said on Wednesday. ~msnbc.com”

Yes, after all, isn’t that why the Democrats were elected? To move on the agendas of great concern to the American People? I believe so. The agendas of the average American have been taking a backseat for too long now and they were fed up with it. Once again, trickle-down economics has proven to be a disastrous lie, and the corporations proved to be entities without any ethics or self control when it comes to their rapaciousness and greed.

“”Unfairly earned record profits…?”“

Exactly. A seemingly endless oil-well of unfair profits.

“Democrats. Raising taxes on consumers.”

Republicans — Cutting taxes on the rich, opening giant loop holes for corporations so they pay hardly any taxes, and all while spending like drunken sailors. Something had to give and the people all knew this.

“Making everything more expensive in the name of fairness and class warfare.”

The GOP making everything more expensive for the average American to benefit and enrich the wealthiest, in the name of a giant unfair scam called trickle-down economics — which is class warfare.

“Democrats have railed against what they see as earnings nothing short of unconscionable.”

Yes, and rightly so.

“Oil companies are swimming in windfall profits and American consumers are sinking,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said last year in a statement when he introduced a bill to tax those profits.”

And of course, he is absolutely right. Moreover, a majority of Americans agree.

“That bill died in committee.”

No surprise there. Republicans killed lots of bills on behalf of their Big Corporate campaign donors, while others were written expressly for them.

“”There are [now] more people [in Congress] who talked about the profits of oil companies and the high price of gasoline and made it part of their campaigns,” said Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for Sen. Durbin, “It’s an issue that’s certainly in the mix.”“

Well, sure. It’s been sticking out like a very sore thumb.

“Even Pelosi hasn’t ruled it out.”

We’ll see. But honestly, shouldn’t you wait until they actually gain power and start really doing things before you begin the wailing?

“”She’s open to a windfall profits tax, but not everyone in the caucus is in agreement,’ said her staffer.”

So, they’ll have to hash it out. I consider the fact that the Democrats aren’t all in perfect lock-step a very healthy sign for our government.

“Several countries worldwide have instituted a windfall oil profits tax recently, including England, where a tax on North Sea production was increased and can now be as high as 70 percent.”

Yes. So, there is a current precedent that the Dems may wish to consider.

“Once again we see Democrats basing their policies entirely on Marxist economic theory.”

No. It’s just a return to the careful balancing act that America has found to work best for the majority of our citizens — it’s a healthy mix of capitalism in combination with some aspects of socialism that then becomes it’s own unique perspective.

“The crisis of capitalism, we assume, will give way to a fairer more egalitarian society if not utopia.”

No. Complete Equality will never exist in America, and reasonable people do not expect this. Instead, they only expect a reasonable amount of equality, just so that our society doesn’t return to the kind of unhealthy situation that existed between rich and poor in the nineteenth century.

There is no such thing as Utopia. Although, it’s a lot of fun to read about the concept. Ever read Thomas More’s little book by that name? As an artist, I personally enjoyed William Morris’ unique and strange novel ‘News From Nowhere’ (inspired by the writings of John Ruskin, if I remember correctly). It’s a utopia where the society lives to be creative and everyone is constantly engaged in making and appreciating beautiful and useful things. I think it’s great to escape to Fantastic Worlds within books, yet understand that such perfection is thoroughly impossible to achieve in reality.

“Who cares?”

About ethical business practices as opposed to price gouging? Doesn’t everybody?

“You may be asking, “Why is this important?”

In my opinion, because the scale has been tipped too far in only one direction for a long time now, and because too many Americans are struggling too hard. Obviously they are tired of being ignored and are calling for a change that will improve and help their lives, rather than the profit margins of Big Oil.

“Who cares about these rich greedy oil companies, they cheat us everyday at the pump and I want to them to pay for their exploitation of my family. And I want to pay less for my gas.”

They’ve never made such record profits as they have over the past few years. They’ll survive. Hopefully they’ll begin see that if they want to see growth and good profits in the future, they’re going to have to face up to the fact that it’s time for them to truly start investing in alternative energy.

“What so many fail to realize is that bad economic prescriptions based on half-truths and Marxist claptrap will do more damage than any so-called corporate corruption could ever do.”

Economic prescriptions that address the needs of Americans and put pressure on corporations is often the best way to make these entities begin to innovate and invest their way toward their next big wave of profits.

“What Democrats are promising to do will drive down supply and drive up the price. This makes them feel important but will also drive up the price of every single item that has to be shipped anywhere.”

This is not about feeling important. Big Oil has been price gouging and making record profits. If and when the price goes up, their industry will begin receiving strong pressure in every direction not to continue this gouging that hurts both business and the consumer. If they are using their heads, the captains of Big Oil will see that just ahead lies the end of the road when it comes to petroleum — and so they’d better find a way to catch the next wave of enormous profits in the future.

“Advocating a mixed economy is all well and good but when one half of that mixed economy is seen as the problem, or the illness which the other half somehow is to solve, the solutions, like this one, are bound to go only in one direction.”

One half IS currently the problem. And no, it isn’t bound to go only in one direction — this is the beauty of the economic balancing act we’ve perfected in America.

“Why is it that proponents of the mixed economy theory never promote more capitalism?”

Because the rich take care of promoting capitalism, and they have always had more power and means than the average American to effect things. Thus, in this country we’ve always had more capitalism than we’ve had socialism.

“It’s always more socialism that they prescribe.”

“They” is We the People, who aren’t rich and who are hurting badly. Whenever this happens, the pendulum swings back as it should, in order to maintain the balance of our needs. This is a good and healthy thing.

“They see capitalism as an ill that is ameliorated by more socialist policies.”

Capitalism can become an ill when it isn’t improved by social policy whenever and wherever it is most needed. The unique mix of the two (capitalism with socialism) has produced something that is actually more than the sum of it’s parts, is uniquely American, and is exactly what has made our country so great.

“The rhetoric of class warfare is endemic in Democrat propaganda.”

Yes. And an ongoing attempt to disguise class warfare (by the rich waged against both the middle class and the poor) with false and misleading rhetoric is endemic to Republican propaganda.
You know it’s true — we all do.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 4, 2006 11:43 PM
Comment #197734

Stephen,

Americans have no problem with living with other folks being rich. They just want that wealth to be earned from them, rather than taken.

Hint: no matter how it’e earned I think that there will be those who insist that it was stolen. And this is the problem in a nutshell.

There will always be inequities Stephen. But what are we talking about here? Campaign reform or unrestrained congressional power? Because one flows from the other.

Do you think that the ground rules here are rigged in someone’s favor? Who rigged them? and why?

Going back to what Trent said as well. I know this is hyperbole. Democrats will do what they acan get a way with, and if their hyperbole is too over the top they’ll back off. But why say it in the first place if you don’t believe (in) it?

Posted by: eric simonson at December 4, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #197744

Adrienne,

“Liberals make up fully half of the country, so it seems really silly.”

As a part of the 60% independent majority, I am some what insulted by that statement.

Look into the voting history, only 20% of votes are consistent to one side or the other. If Liberals made up fifty percent and conservatives made up the other fifty percent then campaigning would be pointless, but it is not. It is a multi-million dollar industry. Maybe even billion, who really knows other then politicians and corperate lobbyist.

andy,

“Senator Rockefellar going after big oil.”


Oh man, I actually had to look into that to believe it.

WOW.

I am not even going to touch that one.

Heck, made my day.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 5, 2006 2:14 AM
Comment #197749

A 100% tax on excessive profits does not result in increased prices for the reason that any price increase is additional excess profit which is then taxed at 100%…. hence, there is nothing to be gained by increasing prices…. in fact, a 100% tax on excess profits will decrease prices as there is nothing to be gained by making excessive profits… also, a 100% tax on excessive profits encourages corporations to spend money on R & D, expansion, etc., for the reason that such activities reduce their excessive profits on which they must pay a 100% tax…. only tax rates less than 100% make the “passing on” of taxes to consumers advantageous for a corporations…. in addition, taxing incomes in excess of $200,000 coupled with taxing corporations on any salary amt in excess of $200,000 at 100% will reduce wage/salary costs and hence, decrease prices as neither corporations nor individuals will have anything to gain in giving/receiving excess salaries. Finally, if corporations are given a tax deduction on salaries/wages paid at or below the mean income level corporations will benefit from not paying poverty-level salaries/wages. The net result in an increase in the middle class, and decrease in the wealthy and poverty classes… and this model favors work — people will get a better return on work than on not working — and favors small businesses over large corporations, thus employing more people.

Now, what is excess profits: anything in excess of the going rate on personal savings accounts + 2-percentage points… hence, about 7% today.

The $200,000 excess person income level is unquestionably excessive, way too generous, in that no person is worth $200,000 a year, nor does anyone need $200,000/year to live. However, it is the income between what is absolutely necessary to live and $200,000 that will power economic growth at or better than the levels we currently have and hence, building the middle class further and raising the floor for the poor.

As Irving Kristol has pointed out, unbridled capitalism works but at a heavy moral price which we may not be willing to pay. Hence, the hypocrisy of the GOP in claiming to be a party unbridled capitalism and and of morals. You cannot be both.

Posted by: Allen at December 5, 2006 7:35 AM
Comment #197753

This seems to be a typical Democrat plan:
Find a problem, do nothing to solve it while finding a way to profit themselves.

Allen said:
A 100% tax on excess profits (say, 7%) is, simply, a means of restitution to the taxpayers from whom the money was stolen.

What restitution??? I’m still paying the same amount and will be paying a lot more when the prices go up to offset the taxes!

The funny thing is, I agree with Jack’s position that higher fuel prices will help bring about cleaner energy. So I don’t mind taxes on gas.

What I do mind is that the Democrats are telling the lie that they are doing this for the poor and the middle class when really the people are going to be paying the same or most likely more.

Do you even understand that? Paying more for the same amount of gas with the extra money going to the government. And for what? More bureaucratic programs that don’t work? Screw that. At least the oil companies give me gas.

You want me to support something like this? Make all the money from this tax go directly to debt repayment. Or, since this is gas we are talking about, alternative energy research. Just those and nothing else. Put it right into the bill. Otherwise, I see no good in this proposal.

Posted by: TheTraveler at December 5, 2006 8:41 AM
Comment #197756
A 100% tax on excessive profits does not result in increased prices for the reason that any price increase is additional excess profit which is then taxed at 100%…. hence, there is nothing to be gained by increasing prices

Actually, there would be nothing to gain by going into business in the first place.

Allen:

The $200,000 excess person income level is unquestionably excessive, way too generous, in that no person is worth $200,000 a year, nor does anyone need $200,000/year to live.

No person is worth $200,000 a year? What gives you or anyone the right to make that sort of judgement? This is right out of the Communist Manifesto.

Sounds like plain ol’ class envy and jealousy to me. We don’t need to define “excessive profits” and then tax Big Oil out of existence. What we should be doing is encourage more people to become shareholders of Big Oil stock. Big profits mean big dividends for stockholders, right?

Do you really want to help “the poor”? Buy them some Exxon/Mobil stock. Leave the market alone. You’ll only screw it up.

Posted by: Chris at December 5, 2006 9:29 AM
Comment #197762

Chris: (1) you might want to read the Communist Manifesto so you don’t false claims as to what it says; (2) you might consider putting your ideological opinions aside and doing some math before speaking.

Posted by: Allen at December 5, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #197765

Allen:

Chris: (1) you might want to read the Communist Manifesto so you don’t false claims as to what it says; (2) you might consider putting your ideological opinions aside and doing some math before speaking.

I’ll leave reading communist literature to libs like yourself. Only a communist would make the outrageous claim that no person is worth more than some arbitrary sum of money.

Instead of trying (and failing, miserably) to be glib and sardonic in your diatribe, why not just keep it simple and insult my dead mother, instead? I understand your deep-seated, seething hatred of capitalists and conservatives. You don’t have to cloak your hatred with clever putdowns.

Posted by: Chris at December 5, 2006 11:19 AM
Comment #197766

Chris: Thank you for being honest enough to admit (1) you don’t know what you are talking about, and (2) that you have made factually false claims in your posts. It is rare for a conservative to tell the truth… kudos to you…

Posted by: Allen at December 5, 2006 11:22 AM
Comment #197767

Chris: BTW, I do not hate capitalists or conservatives. I simply despise incuriousity, intellectual dishonesty, and ignorance.

Posted by: Allen at December 5, 2006 11:24 AM
Comment #197789

Allen:

Chris: Thank you for being honest enough to admit (1) you don’t know what you are talking about, and (2) that you have made factually false claims in your posts. It is rare for a conservative to tell the truth… kudos to you…

Just can’t resist the urge to insult someone with an opinion other than your own, can you Allen?

I know a shameless grab for other people’s money when I see it, and that’s what this ridiculous tax on “excessive profits” is all about. Insulting me doesn’t change that fact. Might make you feel better about yourself, though. Many liberals and leftists tend toward self-loathing, so if by insulting me you loathe yourself a little less, I can live with that. It is the Christmas season, after all.

The “false claims” charge is spurious. Of course there was no specific reference in the Manifesto to this particular Democrat ploy to steal other people’s money. The Manifesto was published over 150 years ago.

But even so, a case could be made that the “bourgeois society” (i.e., wealthy classes in a capitalist society) referred to in the Manifesto is represented by “Big Oil” companies today, and there is a relevant passage:

Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells.

And later on, in the section defining Petty-Bourgeois Socialism:

This school of socialism dissected with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditions of modern production. It laid bare the hypocritical apologies of economists. It proved, incontrovertibly, the disastrous effects of machinery and division of labor; the concentration of capital and land in a few hands; overproduction and crises; it pointed out the inevitable ruin of the petty bourgeois and peasant, the misery of the proletariat, the anarchy in production, the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth, the industrial war of extermination between nations, the dissolution of old moral bonds, of the old family relations, of the old nationalities

I think Marx and Engels would wholeheartedly approve of a 100% tax on “excessive” profits by the bourgeoisie Big Oil companies. Putting a cap on corporate profits might help to “control the powers of the nether world” and redress “the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth.”

Big Oil BAD. Big government GOOD.

Nonsense.

And BTW, Allen, stating that you do not hate capitalists when you enthusiastically embrace anti-capitalist ideas is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest. It’s like undermining a nation’s ability to wage war while claiming to support that nation’s troops fighting the war. It just doesn’t fly with me.

Posted by: Chris at December 5, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #197793

Well, Chris, what doesn’t fly with you is of no consequence to me or to anyone for that matter. However, that you and your ilk have nearly ruined this country does matter. Recognizing the flaws of unbridled capitalism does not mean one hates capitalists…. I only pity their rather sad, selfish, vacuous, and immoral lives….

Posted by: Allen at December 5, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #197802


When the middle and lower classes engage in class warfare it is called revolution.

When the aristocracy engage in class warfare it is called at worse tyranny and at best business as usual.

Posted by: jlw at December 5, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #197805
Well, Chris, what doesn’t fly with you is of no consequence to me or to anyone for that matter. However, that you and your ilk have nearly ruined this country does matter. Recognizing the flaws of unbridled capitalism does not mean one hates capitalists…. I only pity their rather sad, selfish, vacuous, and immoral lives….

Thank you, Allen, for once again demonstrating a complete lack of self-control when your Marxist ideas are exposed and challenged.

Your characterization of capitalists as sad, selfish, vacuous, and immoral only lends more support to my earlier statement that you have a deep-seated and seething hatred of capitalists and conservatives.

You claimed that I didn’t know what I was talking about when I stated that your ideas seemed to come straight out of the Communist Manifesto. At the time, I was merely alluding to the quality and composition of your ideas and not to any specific reference in the Manifesto. Still, it took no time at all to find a couple of references in the Manifesto that parallel your own. Marx would applaud your efforts.

…you and your ilk have nearly ruined this country…”

If by “ilk” you mean American citizens who have systematically and relentlessly undermined the ability of this President and his Administration to wage a war against Islamofanatics who will kill every last one of us if given the chance…

If by “ilk” you mean American citizens who support a minimum wage bill that is not sound economic policy firmly based in reality but merely a ‘feel-good’ measure that will ultimately result in the loss of thousands of low skilled jobs…

If by “ilk” you mean American citizens who favor an immigration policy that rewards criminal behavior with citizenship…

If by “ilk” you mean American citizens who favor the redefinition of marriage to describe whatever relationship “feels good” to two (or more) consenting adults, or between one consenting adult and a child (see NAMBLA), or between one consenting adult and his horse

Oh, wait a minute. That’s your ilk I’m describing.

Posted by: Chris at December 5, 2006 3:48 PM
Comment #197816

Allen,

“A 100% tax on excessive profits does not result in increased prices for the reason that any price increase is additional excess profit which is then taxed at 100%…. hence, there is nothing to be gained by increasing prices…. “


Actually, if you do the math (pre-algebra), you will see that by taxing a percent excess with another percent (even 100%) still only generates a curve of the actually percent. As the 100% tax increases the would actually drop the net income that you are claiming to tax which by that resource would create a return increase basis (because any tax that is excessive of already written laws related to net worth must be returned, and a 100% of the ‘excess profits’ of oil companies would be WAY OVER that amount).

So you tax the ‘excess net’ creating an ‘excess tax distribution’ resulting in ‘a tax return’ resulting in an additional ‘taxable net growth’.

Sounds like a loop whole for money laundering, don’t it?

I make 10 steal 12 pay 14 in taxes get 9 returned end with 17.

Next year I have 17 earn another 5 in growth of my investment steal another 12 for a total of 32 pay 22 in taxes get 18 back and end up with 38.

Oh yes, that would definetly be a loop whole for money laundering.

You should debate new corperate tax proposals unless you know current corperate tax law.

I am NOT a fan of the over charging of these oil companies, but NOR am I a fan of giving them an alternative to earn additional funds via illegal money laundered out of the non-profits they sit on the boards of.

It is too easy to create loop holes and if I can figure it out in under 4 hours imagine what a PhD accountant could do in a year on salary.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 5, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #197844

Chris: Sieg Heil! And there I thought we had defeated Nazism over 60 years ago. Apparently, we have not finished the job as you have proven…. and soon, they will be coming for you.

Posted by: Allen at December 5, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #197850

Allen
You say I am not worth $200,000 a year. If I put my money into a savings account in the bank, I lose money. If I put it into investments that give me a much greater return, even more than $200,000 annually, then I am not worthy of the return on my investments? What university prof taught you that? You are saying because I have the ability or talent to have an income of $200,000 I am something that is not good. Maybe that is why you aren’t worth $200,000. There are people who own large multi-story buildings that are used for business offices. The owner collects a fair rent from the businesses. Are you saying the building own is not worth $200,000 a year. You are lacking logic and reason.

Posted by: tomh at December 5, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #197855

Stephen,

Can you please point me to the accounting deregulation that happened during this congress?

Last I checked their was significant increase in accounting regulation during this congress. You’ve cited this several times over the past years as a bad thing, but never backed it up. Cite please!

Posted by: Rob at December 5, 2006 8:39 PM
Comment #197911

tomh: It is a simple matter of the moral person vs the immoral person. You do not lose money in the bank. Right now, you would receive 5.05% in interest for which you do nothing. Anything above this is usury, plain & simple. The only ability or talent exhibited in an income greater than $200,000/yr is unadulterated greed. No, I do not lack logic nor reason. What I do lack is greediness just as you lack a moral compass and fundamental human decency.

Posted by: Allen at December 6, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #197924

Allen

“you lack a moral compass and fundamental human decency.”

Barf!! Barf!!

Wrong again Allen. You have no idea what I do for a living or for compassion for my fellow man.

Posted by: tomh at December 6, 2006 9:41 AM
Comment #197936

tomh: I don’t need to know…. your post says it all: greedy, criminal, immoral, selfish, & indecent…. your vacuous, ideological rationalizations are no defense, rather they prove the point. May God have mercy on your soul because you are going to need it!!!

Posted by: Allen at December 6, 2006 11:31 AM
Comment #197940

Allen:

I invent a product that millions of consumers need. My widget sells for a reasonable price, say $10 each. Worldwide, I sell 50 million widgets and make 15% on each unit. My widget enriches people’s lives and makes them happy.

Please explain to me, in detail, without vitriol, what is wrong with this picture?

Posted by: Chi Chi at December 6, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #197984

Chi Chi: Not a thing as long as you pay the taxes on the income in excess of $200,000/yr.

Posted by: Allen at December 6, 2006 4:25 PM
Comment #197989

Allen:

At best, your arguement lacks consistency. You say nothing is wrong with making big money “…as long as you pay the taxes on the income in excess of $200,000/yr.”

And in the next breath, this:

“The only ability or talent exhibited in an income greater than $200,000/yr is unadulterated greed.”

It is difficult to understand or agree with someone talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Posted by: Chi Chi at December 6, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #198037

Allen

I am a VP of a non-profit. We help those who have a some misfortune in life. I also mentor those that are in our prison system and prepare them for when they leave to go out on the streets and continue to mentor them to help them make choices to not return to the prison system.

I consider it libelous for you to charge me with being greedy, criminal, immoral, selfish and indecent. If I have other interests other than those mentioned above, and can receive from my investments something that you feel the way you do, that is my business and has nothing to do with what you charged me with. I give away more than some people make in a year. Is that criminal, immoral greedy, selfish and indecent? You need to know the person you are dealing with before you make those unfounded charges.

Posted by: tomh at December 6, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #198038

Allen,

“The only ability or talent exhibited in an income greater than $200,000/yr is unadulterated greed.”


Ninety percent of all philanthropy is performed by people whose incomes exceed multi-million marks. All those $1000 loans to African women to make pottery and soap, all the aids relief, all the red cross medical supplies, all the food and farming equipment, it is all provided by the money of those who acquired more.

If we 100% taxed excessive wages we they would not have that money and those people would not have been saved.

I am sorry my friend, but you wrong to say that some one is greedy just because they obtain more.

I fully intend to make more than that when I am done with college, not because I am greedy, but because I want the ‘great responsibility that comes with great wealth’.

I want to help African communities to farm their land. I want to help fight the aids epidemic. I want to help towards curing cancer. I want to provide low income housing rent free for those who are trying and failing.

I want to help the world be better and $200,000 a year WON’T DO A #*&% THING towards making any real difference.

It has been proven time and time again that the cost of help a small group of people with any one problem runs in the millions.

If your tax existed there would be NO Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which tens of thousand fo children in third world countries go to elemntary school to learn to read and write.

If your tax existed there would be no Cancer Foundations, like the one that helped my mother with breast cancer when she couldn’t affor health insurance.

If your tax existed the billions of those who have been helped at some level over the centuries would not have gotten a thing.

You are unethical for denying some one the means to help their fellow man and I greatly BEG that you rethink your position.

We do need to do something about companies taking advantage of the consumer, but this is not that solution, not by a long shot.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at December 6, 2006 9:17 PM
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