Sunday, May 11, 2008

H.R. 5800: Consumer Reasonable Energy Price Protection Act of 2008

A piece of legislation: "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose a windfall profit tax on oil and natural gas (and products thereof) and to appropriate the proceeds for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program".

How do you think this would affect energy prices? Is it a good idea?


Chief said...

I've got a lot of problems with this:

1. 'reasonable' profit

What is a 'reasonable' profit? 5%, 10%? Do you want your company to be limited in its profit potential? I'm skirting Godwin's Law here, but sounds pretty socialist to me. It's always nice to raise other peoples taxes, especially those *evil* corporations who only *steal* from everyone.

2. actual oil company profits

The oil companies make billions in profit. They also are the largest companies on earth, selling the most important commodity. Looking at actual profit margin, there are many industries that make much higher profits. Software, pharmaceuticals, and financial sectors all make higher profits...should we tax them higher too? What about food? It is a necessity, are the farmers making windfall profits now? Let's start a committee to investigate.

3. 'reasonable' profits board

So in order to figure out what 'reasonable' profits are, we create a board of 3 folks appointed by Obama, oops, the president. They are to have no financial interest in the oil companies.

4. financial interest

Unfortunately, we all have a financial interest in the oil companies. Anyone with a 401k, pension, or basic mutual fund owns oil stock. And when it comes right down to it, anyone who needs gas to get to work has a financial interest in oil companies. I'm for downsizing or removing the tax breaks that they receive for exploration...i think there is no more to find. But if you begin arbitrarily setting profits for them, incentive to produce begins to decline. We really don't need that.

Winston Smith said...

My boardmember elect would be J.D. (Jefferson Davis) "Boss" Hogg from the Dukes of Hazzard.

Chief said...

your link didn't work, but i bet it was funny

Winston Smith said...

copy and paste the link - it should work - side note - the html capabilities of this site blow

Chief said...

1. I already did that and I got 'file not found'

2. I agree, I should have switched to wordpress