Who’s Gouging?

Tax Prof points out that the main source of high gasoline prices isn’t oil company profits:

[T]he biggest beneficiaries of gasoline sales are federal and state governments, not the oil industry.

[F]ederal and state taxes on gasoline production and imports have been climbing steadily since the late 1970s and now total roughly $58.4 billion. Due in part to substantial hikes in the federal gasoline excise tax in 1983, 1990, and 1993, annual tax revenues have continued to grow. Since 1977, governments collected more than $1.34 trillion, after adjusting for inflation, in gasoline tax revenues—more than twice the amount of domestic profits earned by major U.S. oil companies during the same period.

Personally, if I had a choice between giving a dollar to an oil company and giving it to the government, I’d rather give it to the oil company. There’s at least some chance they’ll use it to drill for oil.

Via InstaPundit.

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