As I write this, oil is hovering about $48 a barrel. Around here, you can find gas going for as little as $2.56 to the rip-off prices of $2.79 a gallon and above. Basically, it comes down to a savings of $13 per 10 gallons from a year ago or even six months ago. This savings is money staying in your pocket. This savings is money you can spend on things you could not afford before. As the Obama Administration has recently touted, it is like a tax cut for the average American.
Other than Wall Street, which sees this as a bad thing because oil futures are tanking, this is a good thing for the consumer who has been taking it in the neck for the last six years. Economists are now saying you should feel sorry for these investors who instead of making hefty returns on their investments are only making nice returns on their investments.
Oh yeah, there is another group that thinks this is a bad thing: the tree huggers. To them, lower gas prices mean you may actually go back to driving your car, enjoying the freedom of the road and coming and going as you like instead of taking mass transit where they get to tell you when to get on, where to get off and can control your movements. Worse, by enjoying the freedom of the road and being the selfish pig that you are, you will kill the planet by adding to man-made global warming.
Problem is, when too many people inside and outside of this administration keep saying this is like a tax cut for the average American, like Beetlejuice, if you say it too many times a nasty apparition appears, the dead rises again. The Beetlejuice here is the idea of raising gas taxes anywhere from 10 to 20 cents a gallon. Even the great Charles Krauthammer (a liberal turned conservative) has advocated raising the federal gas tax—which is now 18.4 cents on a gallon of gasoline and 24.4 cents on a gallon of diesel—a full dollar and use the added revenue to cut the Social Security tax. Remember, these taxes are per gallon, not total sale.
Do not be surprised about Krauthammer advocating a massive tax increase on the average American, because he made his bones as a speechwriter for Walter Mondale‘s sad presidential run against Ronald Reagan. Like all beltway-centrics, Krauthammer believes this extra money in your pockets is not a good thing because you will spend it incorrectly. Washington can spend this extra money more wisely than you.
The last time Krauthammer floated this idea was 2008, (pre-Obama) when oil was going for about $40 a barrel. However, during Obama's regime oil has reached as high as $110 per gallon. It’s now around $48 a barrel. You see oil prices are cyclical, however the taxes are not. No one proposes that the tax expire when oil goes above a certain amount. No! Even if the price of gas goes up to $4 a gallon the new proposed extra tax stays to make the price even higher. Per-gallon!
These taxers wish to bribe you with the promise that this new increase will be dedicated to infrastructure or in Krauthammer’s plan, Social Security. Thing is, the gas tax we pay now is supposed to go for infrastructure but we have Obama and Cuomo telling us on a regular basis that more money is needed for infrastructure. We are buying gas. We are paying the taxes on that gas, so, why is there no money? There is no money because because like Social Security, the government takes your gas money and spends it elsewhere, leaving behind nothing but a worthless IOU.
Also, and this is important, Obama’s $1 trillion stimulus bill of 2009 was sold to us as money for shovel ready infrastructure jobs. Truth is, a lot of that money was sent to the states to shore up public sector union pension plans. They lied then and they are lying now.
This extra money belongs to you, to spend however you wish. You have been screwed enough! Do not let these taxers screw you again. It just kills them that you have money. You must remember that the beltway-centrics believe all money belongs to Washington, and Washington should get to tell you how much you can have and what you can spend it on. Tell these taxers to sit on it! You must remember prices will go higher once Saudi Arabia cuts back on production and domestic companies also cut back to drive up prices.
This is what I say. What say you?
THE VOLPE/BAZZO REPORT
Tune in to channel 74 and see Chairman of the County Legislators Mike Kaplowitz and Yorktown News Editor-in-Chief Bryan Fumagalli discuss county issues at 9:30 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Jan. 14, Jan. 21 and Jan. 28.