Hillary Clinton has now joined John McCain in proposing the most irresponsible policy idea of the year—an idea that actually could aid the terrorists. What’s worse, both of them know that suspending the federal gas tax this summer is a terrible pander, and yet they’re pushing it anyway for crass political advantage.

So moans Jonathan Alter, who never met a government giveaway he didn’t like, at least before now.

And what is his biggest objection? It’s not socialist enough.

It’s a direct transfer of money from motorists to oil companies, which are getting ready this week to again report record obscene profits

Profit, of course, is a dirty word. Yet, two points of the many Alter misses, are;

1: Where is the money for exploration of more oil, and other energy to come from, if not from their profits, Jon?

2: In terms of percentage, the oil companies are actually making a far smaller profit on their product than is just about any other company grouping in the world.

Would you like to try for the bonus round, Jon? It’s an extension on item 2, actually…

3: The refining companies make about three cents per gallon on the deal with John and Jane Motorist. What’s the government making?

According to CNN Money, Exxon total “profits” if you don’t count exploration costs, were $40BUSD, in 2007. Their taxes, however, were $100BUSD.

(Oh…Actualy, that’s only federal taxes and the pre-pump federal taxes, at that, since the states add more, but I digress)

The real story here is that the federal government is taking far more profit in taxes, than the oil folks… you remember them… they’re the ones who actually produce the stuff… are making. And that’s added to the end cost long before it gets to the pump, and is thereby hidden from the consumer. Now add the at the pump taxes which is the only part they’re planning on putting on hold, and you begin to see the reality of the situation. Taxes, and regulatory costs are in fact, already the lion’s share of energy costs, even assuming you’re talking just the federal government. Add the state government, whose tax take is usually even higher, and tell me again, who is making “obscene profits” off the sale of gasoline, Jon… the oil companies, or the government.

 And as far as the ‘pandering’ charge goes…. Lame, Jon, very lame.  Giving a break on taxes to Joe and Jane average, you call pandering. But government provided healthcare isn’t pandering? How’s THAT work, Jon?

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