One of the great things about being a leftist is that you never have to be consistent. Fossil fuels are too cheap!, we are constantly told, and their overuse is wrecking the planet. But when oil prices and gasoline pump prices soar, the left complains that the oil industry is gouging us. But when oil prices collapse and the pump price goes down, what does the left want? Higher taxes on gasoline to get the price back up! Because high-priced gasoline is only fun if its achieved through taxes rather than supply and demand.
Obama’s budget proposal due this week is going to call for a $10 a barrel tax on oil produced in the United States (though in typical doublespeak, it’s being called a “fee,” as though he thinks Americans are stupid).* The curious thing about this idea is that over the years, the most frequent idea when oil prices are low is an oil import fee, which would raise the prices of OPEC oil and provide a fillip to domestic oil production. (Some conservatives have liked this idea over the years.) A fee on domestic oil production will have the opposite effect: it will encourage more imported oil and less domestic production in an industry that is barely hanging on right now during the current oil price cycle (and keep in mind it is a cycle—we’ll get higher oil prices again some day down the road).
Gee—it’s almost as if Obama doesn’t want the U.S. oil industry to prosper, and prefers we extend our dependence on Middle East oil instead. Why would he want to do that, I wonder?
Heh: Hillary Clinton attacked Obama on the gas tax in 2008. Some enterprising reporter (which obviously won’t be Chuck Todd or Rachel Madcow) should ask her about Obama’s oil tax proposal:
* Well yes, of course Obama may be thinking of his own voter base here.