Public spirit doesn't drive men to invest their money, if they have any, in oil or steel or cars or high-tech. The desire to make a few bucks is what drives them. For affording these men the rule of law and other vital protections and benefits, government is entitled to ask for a cut of the profits. That's where the trouble starts in certain quarters. A certain kind of politician finds political profit -- a different commodity from economic profit -- in insinuating to voters that people who have more "too much money" need to pass it around in the interest of "fairness."
The tax code might be better and stronger, shorn of special interest loopholes, but a desire to strengthen the tax code is rarely the motive behind attacks on "special favors" for business. The idea, more often, is the scoring of particular points with particular constituencies in the quest for political power (not to be confused with the kind of power that keeps your lights on).
So the 2012 budget arrives. It won't pass with tax increases for oil in it. The administration knows this. It kind of lies there, reminding us why employment hasn't recovered yet and may not for a while. Wonder why? Write your congressman.
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