No Senator Clinton - Government is the one Squeezing Consumers By Robert Greenslade - Price of Liberty
No Senator Clinton - Government is the one Squeezing Consumers
By Robert Greenslade © Nitwit Press

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August 21, 2006

Once again, a self-serving politician, in a shameless attempt to curry favor with potential voters, launched a deceitful attack on "greedy oil companies" for increased gasoline prices. In her press release issued last month, Senator Hillary Clinton said: "Consumers are getting squeezed at the same time that the oil companies are recording the largest profits in corporate history." No Senator Clinton, you have it wrong - government is the one squeezing consumers.

Senator Clinton, like most politicians attempting use high gasoline prices to their political advantage, "cooked" the numbers by using the companies overall profits from all its business operations, both foreign and domestic, to give the illusion that these "record profits" came solely from domestic gasoline sales. If the Senator had been honest, she would have separated domestic gasoline profits from the companies overall profits. In the author's opinion, politicians like Ms. Clinton are attempting to demonize oil companies in the eyes of the American people because the truth would expose government as the one profiting the most from gasoline sales.

According to a 2004 report prepared by The Tax Foundation, from 1977 to 2004 the domestic profits for major U.S. oil companies was $640 billion dollars. However, during that same period the federal government's take in federal gas taxes was $533 billion while the states took a whopping $810.1 billion. Thus, government's take in at the pump taxes was $1,343.1 trillion dollars or more than twice as much as the oil companies made in domestic profits. And these figures do not include the income taxes oil companies had to pay to the states and federal government.

The biggest profiteer in gasoline taxes, as shown above, are the states. The higher the price goes, the more money the states rake in. While the federal excise gas tax is fixed at $0.18 cents per gallon, states like California collect multiple taxes.

On their website, The California Energy Commission maintains a running breakdown of gasoline prices. On July 31, 2006, based on a retail price $3.20, the cost of a gallon of gas in California broke down as follows:

Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits $0.10

Crude Oil Cost $1.74

Refinery Cost and Profits $0.74

State Underground Storage Tank Fee $0.01

State and Local Sales Tax $0.24

State Excise Tax $0.18

Federal Excise Tax $0.18

Based on these numbers, government took $0.61 [43 cents state 18 cents federal] for every gallon of gas sold in California while the oil companies made about $0.10 cents per gallon based on recent data. The State of California, like Senator Clinton, is manipulating the numbers to hide this fact. Notice how The California Energy Commission combined costs and profits together in two different categories to give the illusion that oil companies were making more in profits than government was taking in taxes. What percent of these numbers was a cost and what percentage was a profit? All the number could be a cost but the structure of the category infers that it was a profit. If oil companies manipulated their financial statements and tax returns in this manner, the responsible parties would go to jail for such deceit.

In her press release, Senator Clinton claims she: "has worked tirelessly to advance legislation to make gas price gouging a federal crime." Too bad politicians and government are not held to the same standard.

Robert Greenslade focuses his writing on issues surrounding the federal government and the Constitution. He believes politicians at the federal level, through ignorance or design, are systematically dismantling the Constitution in an effort to expand their power and consolidate control over the American people. He has dedicated himself to resurrecting the true intent of the Constitution in the hope that the information will contribute, in some small way, to restoring the system of limited government established by the Constitution.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Constitution, take a look at this book. I use it in many of my articles and it is the best book I've found on this subject. Bob

The Federal Government: Its True Nature and Character: Being a Review of Judge Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States.

Reprint of the 1868 edition. ''Perhaps the ablest analysis of the nature and character of the federal government that has ever been published. It has remained unanswered.'' This review of Judge Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States is perhaps the ablest analysis of the nature and character of the Federal Government that has ever been published. It has remained unanswered. Indeed, we are not aware that any attempt has been made to challenge the soundness of its reasoning. The great vise of Judge Story and the Federalists consisted in desiring the clothe the federal government with almost monarchical power, whereas the States had carefully and resolutely reserved the great mass of political power for themselves. The powers which they delegated to the federal government were few, and were general in their character. Those which they reserved embraced their original and inalienable sovereignty, which no state imagined it was surrendering when it adopted the constitution. Mr. Madison dwelt with great force upon the fact that ''a delegated is not a surrendered power.'' The states surrendered no powers to the federal government -- they only delegated them. 160 pages.


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