As I write this, some fifty Republicans are in the House chamber demanding the Democrats engage in a debate and vote on legislation lifting the ban on new exploration and drilling for domestic oil resources. Meanwhile, the Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi have adjourned, turned out the lights, turned off the C-Span cameras, turned off the microphones and gone home for a five-week vacation.
Many political observers are scratching their heads over this action by the Democratic controlled house. Seventy five percent of the American people have indicated in polls that they want Congress to lift the ban and allow oil companies to drill for oil wherever they can find it. With oil prices hovering around the four dollar mark for the foreseeable future, placing a strain on the nation’s economy and the pocketbooks of voters, it seem to make good political sense for Congress to do what ever it can to encourage more oil production to relieve the pressure on prices.
For Congress to defy so blatantly the obvious will of the American people would ordinarily be equivalent to political suicide. The fact that all but fifteen of the Democrat Congressmen are willing to take that risk indicates they are following an agenda different from that of the American people. In the vote tally, only two Republicans, Jones of North Carolina and Rep. Gilchrest, joined the 211 Democrats in voting to adjourn. The final vote was 213 to 197 with fifteen Democrats voting with the Republicans. Nine Democrats and fifteen Republicans did not vote.
This action by the Democrats in Congress is the strongest indication to date that the belief of many, including myself, that the socialist movement dominates the Democrat Party, is a valid conclusion. There are two major reasons why the socialist/democrats are against drilling for more oil. According to socialist’s websites, the environmental movement is an important component of the coalition making up the socialist movement in America. The need to protect the environment is a fundamental principle of socialist ideology, and has been since the administration of Theodore Roosevelt at the beginning of the twentieth century.
In spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, they have convinced themselves as well as millions of non-socialists around the world that we are making the planet uninhabitable by continuing to use petroleum as a source of energy. The widespread popularity of this view makes environmentalism the ideal vehicle for accomplishing the socialists’ primary goal of dismantling capitalism and replacing it with socialism.
Oil is the lifeblood of capitalism. Without the energy provided by oil, our economy would come to a halt. Petroleum is destined to be the primary source of our energy for generations to come, until alternatives are perfected and in general use.
With the growth of the Chinese, Indian and several third world economies there is an unprecedented demand for oil that has caused the price to rise to record heights. The high price of oil, coupled with the ill-advised attempts to supplement gasoline with biofuels like ethanol, has pushed the price of food and other consumer goods to unsustainable levels. As average citizens see their standard of living falling, because so much of their disposable income has to go for their energy needs they are demanding Washington to do something to bring down prices.
The socialist/democrats have made a conscious decision to stand firm against any more drilling in order to keep the price of oil and gasoline at high levels. They are relying on the gullibility of the American people in blaming the oil companies for the falling economy. If they become angry enough, the socialist believe, there will be a willingness, if not a demand, for the government to take more control of the oil industry.
Further evidence of this strategy and the media’s complicity in it can be found in today’s news. Headlines in almost all major newspapers and most newscasts play up the fact that Exxon-Mobil just posted their highest profits in history for the second quarter. Few if any of the stories go into details. Many stories use Exxon’s report to publicize the Democrat’s call for taxing oil companies’ “windfall profits”. The Obama campaign is using the news to bolster his plan to tax “big oil” to pay for another socialist type “stimulus package” consisting of checks up to $1,000 for families to cover their increased energy costs.
What the news is not reporting is that Exxon also established a new record for tax payments in the second quarter. According to Exxon’s earnings statement, their revenue from sales was $138 billion. Their pre-tax profits were $22.2 billion for a gross margin of 16%. They paid $10.5 billion in taxes or 47.3% of profits leaving a net of $11.7 billion. In addition they paid $9.5 billion in sales based taxes and $12.3 billion in excise taxes. Their total tax bill for the quarter was $32.3 billion which is the largest single quarter tax payment by one company in history.
Exxon’s record $138 billion in revenue is due to increased demand and higher prices. For that reason Democrats are referring to them as “windfall profits” and calling for an additional tax on those profits to finance their proposed “stimulus package”. No one in the MSM is bothering to point out that the record $32.3 billions in taxes comes from the same $138 billion as Exxon‘s profits, therefore, to be consistent, they have to be called “windfall taxes”. Consequently, it is not unreasonable to ask the government to return a part of these windfall taxes to the people who paid them.
That $32.3 billion tax comes out of the purses of little old ladies depending on their stock dividends for income, the 401K investments of American workers and the pocketbooks of consumers at the gas pump. To blame the high price of gasoline on the greedy profits of oil companies conveniently overlooks the fact that the government took $3 in taxes for every $1 in profits taken by Exxon.
There is ample evidence for any reasonable observer to conclude that the socialist/democrats in Congress are willing to risk their political future in order to keep gasoline prices at their record levels for the purpose of damaging the economy. It is not much of a risk for Pelosi because she represents the most socialist enclave in America, San Francisco, California. Many of the other democrats do not have that safety net. They must depend on a major Democratic win in November. If that happens, they are safe; otherwise, they are in big trouble.
Congress is set to reconvene on September 3. The Congressional ban, which has been passed as an amendment to appropriation bills every year since 1981, expires September 30. If Pelosi can stall a vote until then, while making it appear to the public that it is the Republicans who are standing in the way, she can either let the ban expire quietly without a vote or attempt to extend it on another bill. There is no way she can sneak an amendment through this time, but she will at least be covered with the environmentalist and other socialists voters.
With the ban expired, the need for a Congressional vote is removed and they only have to wait another thirty days until Election Day. The oil companies are not going to do anything before the start of the new administration and the seating of the 111th Congress in January. If the Democrats take over the White House and increase their lead in Congress, they can do about anything they want, at the expense of the American people.
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