< >


Do Not Let The Republicans Frame the Gasoline Debate

For the life of me, I cannot understand how the people of the United States continues to let a chosen few run roughshod over our political discussions, much less how much we pay for gasoline.

The “outrage of the week” for me has been the slow crawl of gasoline prices and how a few blockheads can go on television, and have half of the country thinking that drilling, building Canadian pipelines, or some other bogus claim is the actual reason.

How can Americans be so abjectly stupid? A year ago, ExxonMobil’s CEO, Rex Tillerson, told Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing that the oil would be about $60-70/barrel if the speculators in oil futures were not driving up the price.

Well, if that’s not from the horse’s mouth, I’d like to know what is.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has repeatedly pointed out that oil speculators, and their ability and propensity to drive up the oil has many times the weight of driving up prices than would anything this or any other president can do.

Wall Street, again, and the lack of regulation thereof, is wreaking havoc with consumers and 99% of the U.S. suffers for it.

One should also note that these higher prices, caused by speculators, play right into the hands of Russian “President” Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and myriad others who wish to harm the United States. Why else would Iran keep announcing its nuclear progress to the world, or threaten the Straight of Hormuz?

I’ll tell you why. Because every time it does, speculators drive the prices higher, even in the face of higher supplies, lower consumptions and weaker demand.

And Republicans would have it no other way, despite, no, because of the hardships that higher prices cause. Every time one of those signs outside fuel stations clicks up a few pennies, every single driver that sees them grows a little more fitful, and a little more willing to believe that U.S. energy policy can do something about their pain.

Secretary Reich reminds us that, historically, 30 percent of oil futures’ trades were conducted by speculators. Today, that number is 64 percent, and it is a relatively small group of traders.

To stop Wall Street from playing “beat the house” with our hard-earned money, we should enact at least a $10.00 transaction tax on speculator transactions. Note, this is not a tax on oil itself or even on oil companies who would simply pass along the increased cost to consumers. It is a tax on speculative profits made on Wall Street trading desks.

As a broader plan to bring down our national debt, and widen the base of federal taxpayers to include every single person enjoying the freedoms and benefits that our tax dollars supply, a similar 1ȼ tax should be imposed on every financial transaction completed for goods or services by anyone on U.S. soil, (http://hg.scimth.net/2012/01/07/europe-america-one-penny-solution/). Participants like oil companies themselves, airlines, trucking companies, etc., who have a legitimate interest in hedging the prices they receive or pay for oil should be exempt. But, the speculators should be taxed.

Read full article at HgTransEcon


Share Us on Twitter & Facebook Now