Unbelievable: Dems Propose a 'Reasonable Profits Board' to Regulate the Oil Industry

Erika Johnsen
Posted: Jan 19, 2012 4:14 PM

It's happening.

Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a "Reasonable Profits Board" to control gas profits. 

The Democrats, worried about higher gas prices, want to set up a board that would apply a "windfall profit tax" as high as 100 percent on the sale of oil and gas, according to their legislation. The bill provides no specific guidance for how the board would determine what constitutes a reasonable profit. 

The Gas Price Spike Act, H.R. 3784, would apply a windfall tax on the sale of oil and gas that ranges from 50 percent to 100 percent on all surplus earnings exceeding "a reasonable profit." It would set up a Reasonable Profits Board made up of three presidential nominees that will serve three-year terms. ...

Specifically, he said the money would be used to fund a tax credit on the purchase of fuel-efficient cars and set up a grant program for mass transit programs when oil-and-gas prices are high. ...

Co-sponsoring the bill are five other Democrats: Reps. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), Bob Filner (Calif.), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), Jim Langevin (R.I.), and Lynn Woolsey (Calif.).

Okay, it isn't actually happening yet, but the fact that an elected U.S. representative can even think about proposing a travesty like this without fear of being laughed out of office is worrisome, to say the very least. Idiotic, misguided ideas like this one, proposing higher taxes on those greedy, wealthy oil companies in order to fund politically-influenced government venture projects, are a huge chunk of what got us into this economic funk in the first place, as well as an ignorant insult to economics 101 and a complete slap in the face to free enterprise (a.k.a., freedom--you know, that thing that made America so exceptional?). If the government can't even operate on a sustainable budget, a guiding principle that requires nothing more than basic math skills, how could they possibly be trusted to determine what a reasonable profit is? Communism, here we come!

Addendum: Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air makes an excellent point about the realities of the oil industry's supposedly 'exploitive' profit margins. (Hint: they aren't.)