Wednesday, April 25, 2007

We don't need no stinking oil in WI...

I never bought the argument that ~9% profit was "unreasonable"--especially in light of all the infrastructure necessary to get the product to market at all. Plus, I think part of my 401(k) is in "energy" mutual funds, along with millions of other people.

But this is the Socialist Republic of Wisconsin. ROI is bad, mmm-kay?

A proposed state tax on oil company profits will inevitably be passed on to consumers at the pump, a report to be released today says.

No shit!

The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, a conservative think tank based in Thiensville, contends that a provision in the proposal aimed at keeping the tax from being passed on to consumers will be overturned in court, as has happened in other states.


"This tax should be called what it is - a five cent increase in the gas tax," the report says. "The no-pass-through provision, with its promises of jailed oil company executives and cheap gasoline, should have no place in a serious discussion of transportation finance."

Jailed oil executives? You expect "cheap gasoline" after they spend millions of dollars on legal defense? And who's spending the millions of dollars necessary for personnel, equipment, and office space for "audits" of the oil companies' finances?

Here's the kicker:

But as oil companies see their price of doing business go up, less oil would be allocated to the state's gasoline stations.

And then the price goes up at the consumer level (supply/demand). The oil companies themselves haven't jacked up the price to pay the tax. All they did was send the gas and heating oil to Illinois.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo turns a much larger percentage profit on sugar water--during an "obesity epidemic." There's an excellent candidate for social-engineering through punative taxation--and I don't need Pepsi to get my sorry butt to work and back. It's just as wrong, but let's be consistent with our feel-goodery...

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