Paul  Weyrich

When oil and gas prices are high, hurting consumers and the economy, what does the Democratic leadership in Congress want to do? Raise taxes on oil and gas companies, of course. Nothing could be more logical than to increase the amount of money the Federal Government demands from oil and gas revenue. Oil and gas companies then would pass these taxes on to consumers in the form of higher prices. The tax package was to be included in the Omnibus spending bill which Congress must pass soon but its future is uncertain. This Thursday morning it fell one vote short of cloture – that is, a motion to end debate. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-NV) was “disappointed” with the result, promising to strip it from the bill and attempt to pass it again separately, according to THE HILL newspaper. Democrats also had to drop a controversial provision that would have required utilities to acquire more of their electricity from renewable energy sources.

Yet Senator Reid said the energy is still “historic” because it would raise fuel efficiency standards in cars by requiring “an automaker’s fleet to average 35 miles per gallon.”

These proposals reveal the great contempt the liberal Congressional leadership has for the average American consumer. All three of these ideas are hidden taxes which dramatically would raise prices to the consumer. Liberal Congressional leaders may claim they are punishing “big oil,” that ever-present boogeyman, and protecting the environment, but in reality they are hurting the poor and the middle class, the former of which they pretend to champion.

Don’t misunderstand me: conservation is important. But the radical environmental agenda of many politicians purports to save the environment at the expense of human welfare. It is immoral to place fossil fuels and air quality above basic subsistence for the poor. And increasing the cost of gas, oil and electricity would raise prices on basic commodities such as food, heating, clothes, etc.

If the Omnibus bill passes and is signed into law with the requirements for greater fuel efficiency in cars, be prepared for much higher prices at the dealership the next time you are in the market.

For now, the taxes on oil and gas and the rigid requirements on electricity are on hold, but stay tuned. There is sure to be more to come.


Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
 
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