Prices Too High? Raise Taxes!

David Strom
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Posted: Aug 29, 2007 4:48 PM

For most of us, life is pretty simple. If there isn't enough of something and prices skyrocket, the last thing we would think of is limiting the supplies even more and raising prices by slapping even higher taxes on it.

Obviously, if you think this way, you aren't a politician.

Politicians look at the current oil price crunch as an opportunity—but not to increase Domestic exploration, promote free-market investment in alternative fuels and research, or let the market work as it should.

No, this is of course an opportunity to raise taxes on oil companies and oil refiners-who will have to pass these costs on to you in higher prices. Not only will this raise prices even higher, but it will ensure our dependence upon foreign oil by limiting domestic oil exploration in the United States.

Price too high already? Congress and many State Legislators want to increases prices even more.

Most people don't know this, but the United States has huge oil reserves that are off-limits to oil exploration and production. Politicians may blather all they want about energy independence, but no amount of Ethanol or "biofuels" will come close to meeting Americans' energy needs in the foreseeable future. Even if we required all fuel in the United States to be 10% Ethanol- an almost impossible goal to meet while keeping our food supply (and the world's) cheap and abundant,--90% of the fuel we would consume would still be fossil fuels. And that is just for cars!

America has become and is dependent so heavily on foreign sources of energy because politicians and radical environmentalists have stopped every serious attempt to produce more energy in America. As supplies get tighter and out of our control, prices skyrocket. And no wind farm alone will reverse this trend anytime soon.

We can't build nuclear power plants to supply electricity, so natural gas prices go through the roof as more of it gets used to produce electricity. We can't drill for oil in Alaska, or off the coasts, or just about anywhere these days (unless we started decades ago), so we increasingly turn to foreign sources to supply our needs.

And who are these "trading partners" we depend upon? All those fine friends we have in the Middle East such as Iran, our good partner Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and of course the Saudi's who are straddling the fence in the war on terror to keep their creaky regime alive.

So what are liberals proposing? Limiting oil exploration here in the United States, and slapping huge tax increases on oil companies. Honestly, that is the energy policy they propose.

Oh, don't worry. Those new taxes will go to subsidize new and exciting fuels like Ethanol (Europe studies the possibility of requiring more Ethanol in their gas, and discovered there isn't enough cropland to supply even their energy needs, no less minor matters such as feeding people). And don't forget pie-in-the-sky unproven technologies and "renewables" that may someday be part of the energy mix, but will do next to nothing to power the economy of today.

The facts are simple: the American economy will take decades to switch from fossil fuels to other sources of energy. We have an economy and a power grid that keeps us warm, fed, our houses lit, and allows us to get back and forth to work, school, day care, and all our destinations. We aren’t about to all stop using cars next year.

Americans deserve better than this from their leaders. For the next decade or three, oil will power our economy. The resources are there to be used, and the only barrier to more energy independence for Americans is American politicians.

Does anybody really still believe that government can successfully tax, regulate, subsidize, and mandate our way to continued prosperity? That's what Congress and many State Legislatures and Governors are promising, and it is a fool who believes them.

Government has a proven track record of backing the wrong technologies (solar was supposed to be supplying our homes with electricity by now if you believed Jimmy Carter, and fusion is forever 20 years from being the source of energy of the future). Government is just not the best innovator. Name the Government equivalent of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates. It is innovators like these guys who will bring the next big thing to market, not Congress.

Get government out of the way. Use American oil reserves that are just waiting to be drilled, and free the market to work as it should. Modern drilling technology is environmentally friendly, safe, and a heck of a lot more reliable than promises from politicians, whether they be the Presidents of Iran and Venezuela, the King of Saudi Arabia, or your local Congressman.