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  1. #1

    TAX the profits of big oil companies...

    Does anyone here think that is the fix? What do you think the oil companies are going to do? They have to protect their assets/profit margin. The only thing that is going to do is raise money for the government. Big oil is just going to pass that cost right on to the customer....

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  3. #2

    TAX the profits of big oil companies...

    These days I'm generally for anything that taxes the profits of oil companies....... However, supply-side solutions just don't work.

    The only way to reduce oil costs--or at slow down the increase--is to reduce demand for oil. And the only way to do that is to get more and more high-mileage vehicles on the roads.

    I would be a big fan of making consumers take responsibility for their life style. For example, if you want to drive a Hummer, fine, but since you have consicously chosen to: 1) make us dependent on oil 2) reduce our national security, 3) cause people to get asthma and related diseases, and thus increase health care costs for the nation, and, 4) increase global warming, which will increase our insurance costs, you should pay a Health-care tax, a DoD tax, a national security tax, and a global warming tax on your vehicle. This "fee" (which I would propose to be around $40,000/Hummer and scaled from there) could then be rebated in the form of tax breaks to those of us who choose to buy a vehicle which minimizes the above costs. Let people buy whichever vehicle they want--or pretend to "need"--but they should take responsibility for their actions.

    I would still like to tax wind-fall profits, since the companies' profit margins are going up at an increasing rate, which means there is some gouging going on. But I would want that money earmarked for more research in increasing fuel economy even more, and probably in increasing fuel efficiency of large trucks--which still deliver most of the goods in our country.

    Supply-side solutions distort the free market and hide the actual benefits/problems of the solution. At least demand-side solutions give taxpayer money directly to taxpayers, which helps preservc a free-market.

    It is cheaper to save energy than to buy it!

  4. #3

    TAX the profits of big oil companies...

    Vince -

    I couldn't agree more. Why tax gas, which even we frugal sorts use, when it's fairer to tax the selfish ones who are using it up faster than everyone else.

    But, I modestly suggest some of that tax go to put the children of every lost soldier through college.

  5. #4

    TAX the profits of big oil companies...

    Tax engine displacement/fuel consumption rating to entice people into smaller, more efficient cars. Tax fuel to entice people into public transit (where available) or to change driver habits (driving at the speed limit, carpools, combining trips).

    I respectfully suggest though, that using the tax to pay for health care, etc, misses the point of the tax, which is to get people off oil dependency. I respectfully suggest that these taxes should be ploughed back into public transit infrastructure development, as that will have a synergistic effect by giving people a real alternative to driving.

    We visit Europe frequently. Last time we did a house exchange that included exchanging our vehicles. We were amazed at how little we drove (in Holland, in a rural area). We had bikes and great bike paths for short trips, and efficient rail transport for longer jaunts. We did drive as well, but much less than we would here in Canada.

    On the other hand the family in our home had no choice but to drive everywhere; our house is roughly the same distance as theirs from a mid-sized town. Their mid-sized town had a rail station, ours does not. Their road to town had bike paths or lanes, ours road to town is suicide for cyclists. Their mid-sized town had hourly rail service during the day and half-hourly in rush hour, putting you in the city (Utrecht) in 1/2 hour, and the station offered free park and ride, so if the weather was really foul, you could drive about 5 km instead of biking, park, and take the train. We have two busses a day to Montreal, at inconvenient hours, and the journey takes 2 hours by bus instead of 1 hour by car.

    Unless we invest in real choices and real infrastructure, we will remaine married to oil, regardless of whether our cars are hybrid, diesel, or the current gas guzzlers.

    Taxes should be used for the purpose they're intended, getting us off oil.

  6. #5

    TAX the profits of big oil companies...

    Mike G., you are exactly right.

    Here in the US, the tax and zoning etc systems have been set up as a sort of positive feedback loop for oil consumption. In most states, the taxes on gasoline must all be used to build roads and infrastructure for automobiles. It is required.

    Similarly, new construction of shopping areas, hospitals, offices, etc. must include a certain number of parking spaces. Developers of housing must add lanes to roads in order to be approved. No one is required to build bicycle paths or even sidewalks that connect outside their own developments. Nor is any consideration provided for subway or rail connections.

    The more oil is used, the more roads are built, the more parking is added, the more advantages cars have over other means of transportation.

    It is circular.

    As you say, oil needs to be taxed much more than it is, and those taxes need to be used to build infrastructure that leads us away from our dependence on oil.

  7. #6

    TAX the profits of big oil companies...

    Personally I'd like to keep my money in my own pocket rather than a politician's.
    Cost per barrel is rising, and I think the market will continue to "drive" people into more efficient vehicles, it's already happening.

    In our area the developers keep building those 500 unit 1.4 acre homes on shaved clear-cut earth but do nothing with the roads which cause huge traffic jams.
    Just plain-ol bad (or no) planning.

    We have a few biking paths but aren't used for transportation, but weekend recreation.
    Many roads have that extra 3 foor wide pavement marked off for bicycles but can't remember it ever being used.

    From the city to the suburbs they have MARTA (Metro Atlanta Transit Authority) electric rail system which is plaged by crime and violence.

    Atlanta suburbs are now 50-80 miles out of the city (Where I live) and bicycling isn't an option.
    Politicians won't win on raising taxes to feed MARTA.

    Perhaps in my case MARTA's monopoly bus system could be boken up and made available for small business.
    As it is today the regulations are so bad it is impossible for the free, open market to open its own transportation system.
    I'd bet free market competition would solve the transportation problem into/out of our cities without imposing more new taxes.
    Cleaner, more efficient, more secure and more people would ride them to work.

  8. #7

    TAX the profits of big oil companies...

    The problems you describe where you live are interrelated and would not exist without an underpriced supply of gasoline.

  9. #8

    TAX the profits of big oil companies...

    I for one would be against any extra tax on any type of vehicle, People should be allowed to purchase what ever suits there needs, Not have to pay some tax because thier needs may be different form the smug people on this board.

    Hybirds don't create smog but they sure do create smug owners

  10. #9

    TAX the profits of big oil companies...

    I believe Oil companies are already being taxed. So are we to start taxing more because something that makes a profit. Taxing oil companys will not lower prices and just gives government more money burn. Oh believe me the people would get no tax relief from it just more idoitotic spending. I live in a state that taxes everything from food to medicene even TAXES go figure.

  11. #10

    TAX the profits of big oil companies...

    Well said Wayne. Finally, some common sense on this board

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