More proof that we are governed by bungling fools

gunwalkergunwalker MemberPosts: 471 Member
The news reports that for the first time since 1978, the federal government authorizes the export of oil. Proof that supply is not an issue. We are held captive by commodities traders who care nothing about this country or the economy. We need to keep our oil at home. Second we need to approve the keystone pipeline before the Canadians lose patience and sell to China. And as icing on the cake, some in congress want to raise the federal gas tax. They argue that since people are driving less, revenues are lower. So lets see, if folks drive less due to higher gas prices and the fed increases taxes and gas goes up even more, will people drive even less? IMHO, the better choice would be to lower the taxes to the point that gas prices will encourage more driving,thus increasing tax revenues.
We do not view the world as it is, but as we perceive it to be.

Replies

  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,599 Senior Member
    Its all a lie. The gas tax is to keep more people from driving, thereby 'saving' the environment, less carbon, global climate change, yadayadayada
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    Mobility is not a transportation issue, it's a freedom issue. And freedom is anathema to the progressive agenda. Anything the government can do to infringe upon any and every aspect of freedom will be done. CAFE and "safety" standards have added so much to the cost of automotive R&D and production, that only 28% of Millennials (born 1980-1995) have even bothered to get a driver's license. We Boomers lived for our qualifying birthday, when the best present we could ever get was that trip to the DMV. If allowing the exporting of oil helps to limit domestic supply and keep retail prices high, you can count on government's blessing. Liberals are very uncomfortable with people traveling at their own discretion.

    Oil is inexhaustible, and the theory that it's abiotic has never been successfully debunked. The continents are practically floating on the stuff. True or not, in any case, every year, we have more "proven reserves" than the year before, despite increasing demand. The price of oil has little to do with supply or demand, and very little to do with the actual cost of exploration, extraction, refining and delivery, but is determined by the emotions, fears and panics of speculators and eco-chondriacs, and government greed for tax revenue. Shoot a handful of the right people (speculators and environmental activists) and a gallon of gas will once again retail for around a buck or two.
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,952 Senior Member
    Horselips, if we hadn't devalued the $ so much by printing it willy nilly for the last 50+ years, gas wouldn't cost even $1 per gallon now.

    Devaluation of the dollar is the REAL issue here.

    Luis

    ps. I agree with you about it being a freedom/control issue though.
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • Dr. dbDr. db Senior Member Posts: 1,541 Senior Member
    Al Capp, author of the comic Li'l Abner, had a political character, Senator (?) Jack S. Phogbound. Name says it all.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,788 Senior Member
    Lots of issues here to address and provide some education on. I'll try to break this down into separate posts in the chance someone might actually read some of them and learn something...

    First with the easy one. The gas tax.

    I'm absolutely in favor of increasing the gas tax! The gas tax hasn't been raised in 21 years. The price of building roads and the number of roads we have to maintain has grown significantly in that time. The highway trust fund is insolvent. The congress keeps funneling money to it from the general fund (read your income tax/debt). The gas tax is essentially a user tax on roads and is much more preferable than the alternative which has been thrown out there of charging people based upon installing GPS or other tracking mechanisms in vehicles and charging by the mile. Frankly the biggest freeway freeloaders are heavy trucks. They by far cause the most road damage, because road damage increases exponentially with the size of the vehicle, but they only pay a tiny bit more in taxes due to lower fuel economy. I'm open to better suggestions on how to increase revenue to the highway trust fund, but increasing the gas tax seems to be the easiest and least detrimental.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,788 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    Mobility is not a transportation issue, it's a freedom issue. And freedom is anathema to the progressive agenda. Anything the government can do to infringe upon any and every aspect of freedom will be done. CAFE and "safety" standards have added so much to the cost of automotive R&D and production, that only 28% of Millennials (born 1980-1995) have even bothered to get a driver's license. We Boomers lived for our qualifying birthday, when the best present we could ever get was that trip to the DMV. If allowing the exporting of oil helps to limit domestic supply and keep retail prices high, you can count on government's blessing. Liberals are very uncomfortable with people traveling at their own discretion.

    On millenials and driving:

    As a borderline millennial I can field this one. The base answer is that we define freedom very differently than you boomers did. Freedom is information, it is connection, it's the internet and our smart phones. You old farts don't get it. It's ok. You don't' have to. You'll be gone, or at least retired sitting on your front porch on a rocking chair, shaking your cane at us soon enough.

    We generally assign lower value to "stuff". The great quote from the move Fight Club resonates with a lot of us: "The stuff you own ends up owning you". To many of us cars don't represent freedom, but instead a hassle and a burden. Car payments, insurance costs, high fuel prices, constant repair costs. They can suck up a large fraction of a person's income. The idea of living in a cookie cutter suburban neighborhood and spending a huge fraction of our income to own and fuel a new car so I can sit in traffic driving back and forth to work with stops to McDonalds and TGIFridays is about as close to a soul crushing existence as I can imagine. We live in smaller places, closer to work and are comfortable or even prefer walking, biking, or using public transportation to get around. We don't want to isolate ourselves from other human beings, we want to be in the heart of where the action is. We want restaurants and bars in our neighborhoods and could care less about green grass and picket fences. The money we save on cars and other stuff gets spent on experiences like nights out, concerts, and travel.

    Of course all this is generalization, but it applies to some degree or anther to a large fraction of the younger generation. Many of us still need cars, but it doesn't mean we like them or see them as some larger symbol of freedom like the boomers did.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,788 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    Oil is inexhaustible, and the theory that it's abiotic has never been successfully debunked. The continents are practically floating on the stuff. True or not, in any case, every year, we have more "proven reserves" than the year before, despite increasing demand. The price of oil has little to do with supply or demand, and very little to do with the actual cost of exploration, extraction, refining and delivery, but is determined by the emotions, fears and panics of speculators and eco-chondriacs, and government greed for tax revenue. Shoot a handful of the right people (speculators and environmental activists) and a gallon of gas will once again retail for around a buck or two.

    Please never talk about this again. I know you read it on the internet so it must be true, but no serious geologist believes this crap.

    PS it's a hypothesis, not a theory, and not a very good one at that.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,788 Senior Member
    On oil exports:

    The issue here is that not all oil is created equal. For a bit of education, the generic term "oil" is used to describe a wide range of compositions of organic soup. Oil from different formations can have a very different composition. The general components of the soups are hydrocarbon chains of different lengths (number of carbon atoms per molecule). So called "light" oils consist mostly of molecules with short carbon chains, while "heavy" oils consist mostly of molecules with longer carbon chains. Light and heavy oils have very different properties and are good for different things. Further complicating matters there are also what are called "condensates" which are very light and volatile hydrocarbons that are produced with natural gas, but can often be blended with other oils to produce fuels. The role of a refinery is to take in the raw soup from many different types of oil and split it up and recombine it into useful fuels. The various fuels and outputs are defined more by a specified range of physical properties such as density and volatility rather than the actual absolute chemical composition. The composition of the various soups you have coming in defines what you can produce coming out, but a refinery generally has to be set up to deal with a certain range of input materials. If the input oil changes significantly a refinery may have to be reconfigured which is not a cheap or easy process.

    This is where the problem comes in. Most of the new oil being produced from shale formations is condensates (or extremely light oil) and our existing refineries are having trouble incorporating the large volume of condensates into their mix. It's much easier (read cheaper) for them to just keep using the imported oil that they've been using rather than switching to the new stuff. This has depressed the prices for condensates in a lot of areas which is why the oil companies are asking for the ability to export them. The problem is with matching the type of crude with the right kind of refining capacity. Over time no doubt our domestic refiners will adjust to the new mix, but that process takes time. On net if they do export we will still a significant net importer of crude oil and that won't change anytime soon if ever, we'll just essentially be selling one type of oil and buying another. Long term of course exporting is far from ideal. These new plays are already starting to approach a plateau, so we can expect growth in domestic production to slow fairly rapidly over the next few years and could return to decline as soon as 5-6 years. Also, while we've found a lot of productive natural gas shale formations, we have found far fewer "liquids plays" (shale with condensate).
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,886 Senior Member
    I'm on the tail end of the so-called "boomer" generation - and I didn't get my DL until I was almost 21. I remember thinking my fellow teens were idiots: Get a job to support a car to be able to drive to work. Made - and makes - ZERO sense to me. I'd *LOVE* to not have to own a car - as it is, I own 3 of them. After I retire, I'm gong to cull the herd down to no more than 1.

    But then again, smartphones are a frightful waste of money and pretty much useless to me. Now get off my lawn!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    I'm on the tail end of the so-called "boomer" generation - and I didn't get my DL until I was almost 21. I remember thinking my fellow teens were idiots: Get a job to support a car to be able to drive to work. Made - and makes - ZERO sense to me. I'd *LOVE* to not have to own a car - as it is, I own 3 of them. After I retire, I'm gong to cull the herd down to no more than 1.

    But then again, smartphones are a frightful waste of money and pretty much useless to me. Now get off my lawn!

    Soooo, you never made use of that back seat eh?
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,886 Senior Member
    What back seat? When I finally did start driving, it was pickup trucks!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Frankly the biggest freeway freeloaders are heavy trucks. They by far cause the most road damage, because road damage increases exponentially with the size of the vehicle, but they only pay a tiny bit more in taxes due to lower fuel economy.

    OK, stick a monocle in your belly button so you can read this post with your head stuffed firmly up your butt! The average 18-wheeler pays annual license and registration fees in the thousands of dollars, the fees are levied by state, city, and federal bureaucracies, and virtually none of the government-generated cost of operating those big rigs ever finds its way back to maintaining the roads they run on. Check into the cost of geting that little ICC number that's stenciled somewhere on the cab of every truck that operates in interstate commerce sometime- - - - -and that's in addition to all the registration fees and use taxes common carriers have to shell out. Better yet- - - -get yourself a CDL and drive a big rig for a while before you commence pontificating. You have all the credibility of a divorced marriage counselor!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • Dr. dbDr. db Senior Member Posts: 1,541 Senior Member
    Of course liberals want to increase the gas tax because they hate poor people and want them to be dependent. The independent trucker, the hard working but poor person who drives an older less fuel efficient car will be hit harder by any tax increase, those people are the antithesis of what liberals want for the American people. But if an increase in the gas tax does occur then the progressives can propose a government program to address the problem the tax increase caused.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,788 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    And in true liberal fashion we ignore the real issue behind the insolvency of the highway fund which is out of control spending and corruption. Why should we throw more money at it when it already take 7 flag guys and 5 supervisors to stand over the one guy with a shovel...
    you're telling me in 21 years the costs of building roads should not have gone up? I would love to buy a house or car or gas for what it cost in 1993, but we somehow expect to be able to build roads for the same cost? At a bare minimum the tax should be indexed to inflation.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,788 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    OK, stick a monocle in your belly button so you can read this post with your head stuffed firmly up your butt! The average 18-wheeler pays annual license and registration fees in the thousands of dollars, the fees are levied by state, city, and federal bureaucracies, and virtually none of the government-generated cost of operating those big rigs ever finds its way back to maintaining the roads they run on. Check into the cost of geting that little ICC number that's stenciled somewhere on the cab of every truck that operates in interstate commerce sometime- - - - -and that's in addition to all the registration fees and use taxes common carriers have to shell out. Better yet- - - -get yourself a CDL and drive a big rig for a while before you commence pontificating. You have all the credibility of a divorced marriage counselor!
    Jerry
    None of that has anything to do with the subject at hand. Is trucking over regulated in other ways, maybe, probably, but that's not what we're talking about.

    What I was talking about is that outside of weather big rigs are the primary cause of road damage. You can argue if their impact should be subsidized by other drivers or out of income taxes (as they are now), I just don't agree.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    What back seat? When I finally did start driving, it was pickup trucks!

    Tailgate
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    None of that has anything to do with the subject at hand. Is trucking over regulated in other ways, maybe, probably, but that's not what we're talking about.

    What I was talking about is that outside of weather big rigs are the primary cause of road damage. You can argue if their impact should be subsidized by other drivers or out of income taxes (as they are now), I just don't agree.

    So are you saying that because you don't own a car you don't like your tax dollars going to highway upkeep? Even though every thing you eat, drink, or wipe your butt with comes in on a big rig. You use the highways more than you know.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,246 Senior Member
    The problem is that no matter "how" the tax is collected, the end "Payer" of the tax is us. Raise the tax on the fuel we use to run our cars, we pay it. Raise the tax on diesel so that the shipping costs go up, the cost of consumer goods goes up to pay for it, we pay it. We fund the highways from our income taxes, we pay it. No matter how it gets "funded" we all have to pay for it. Maybe the guy living in a cave in Montana eating field mice won't see a change in his outlay day to day, the rest of us are paying for it.
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,788 Senior Member
    The problem is that no matter "how" the tax is collected, the end "Payer" of the tax is us. Raise the tax on the fuel we use to run our cars, we pay it. Raise the tax on diesel so that the shipping costs go up, the cost of consumer goods goes up to pay for it, we pay it. We fund the highways from our income taxes, we pay it. No matter how it gets "funded" we all have to pay for it. Maybe the guy living in a cave in Montana eating field mice won't see a change in his outlay day to day, the rest of us are paying for it.
    This is true, I'm just generally a fan of linking the taxes more closely with the user, but you're absolutely the collective we will end up paying no matter what.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,788 Senior Member
    So are you saying that because you don't own a car you don't like your tax dollars going to highway upkeep? Even though every thing you eat, drink, or wipe your butt with comes in on a big rig. You use the highways more than you know.
    for the record I do own a car, I just try to drive it as little as possible.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,319 Senior Member
    Is there any issue that the liberal answer isn't to raise taxes?
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 716 Senior Member
    Is there any issue where the conservative answer is to not cut taxes?
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    waipapa13 wrote: »
    Is there any issue where the conservative answer is to not cut taxes?

    The question is perhaps more complicated than you know, because our tax code is. History has shown that when you cut capitol gains tax rates, revenue to the Treasury goes up. From that tax. There are other examples like this and we need tax reform in the worst way. Hopefully the reforms can be weighted in such a way so as to starve the Federal government.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,319 Senior Member
    waipapa13 wrote: »
    Is there any issue where the conservative answer is to not cut taxes?

    You say that like it's a bad thing.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,788 Senior Member
    Hopefully the reforms can be weighted in such a way so as to starve the Federal government.

    Already well on our way...
    Roads D

    Forty-two percent of America’s major urban highways remain congested, costing the economy an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually. While the conditions have improved in the near term, and Federal, state, and local capital investments increased to $91 billion annually, that level of investment is insufficient and still projected to result in a decline in conditions and performance in the long term. Currently, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that $170 billion in capital investment would be needed on an annual basis to significantly improve conditions and performance.

    Of course roads aren't the only infrastructure system that's in deep need of investment in order to just maintain the status quo, not even get to get net improvements. There was a time when we viewed high quality infrastructure as necessary and vital for vibrant economic growth. No longer. Of course we still want all these things, we just want someone else to pay for them (be they other tax payers or future generations).

    http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,319 Senior Member
    Already well on our way...



    Of course roads aren't the only infrastructure system that's in deep need of investment in order to just maintain the status quo, not even get to get net improvements. There was a time when we viewed high quality infrastructure as necessary and vital for vibrant economic growth. No longer. Of course we still want all these things, we just want someone else to pay for them (be they other tax payers or future generations).

    http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/


    Already well on our way? The Fed is taking in record levels of taxes...in a shrinking economy.

    I agree we need infrastructure repair. Wasn't there a big chunk of the stimulus supposed to do that? What did we get for that trillion dollars?
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 716 Senior Member
    "The question is perhaps more complicated than you know, because our tax code is. History has shown that when you cut capitol gains tax rates, revenue to the Treasury goes up. From that tax. There are other examples like this and we need tax reform in the worst way. Hopefully the reforms can be weighted in such a way so as to starve the Federal government."

    Gotcha, thanks for that, we generally don't have any capital gains tax (kinda, but not really on anything your average person deals with) the left is trying to bring it in, good luck, the federal government needs a good prune.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,140 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    Mobility is not a transportation issue, it's a freedom issue. And freedom is anathema to the progressive agenda. Anything the government can do to infringe upon any and every aspect of freedom will be done. CAFE and "safety" standards have added so much to the cost of automotive R&D and production, that only 28% of Millennials (born 1980-1995) have even bothered to get a driver's license. We Boomers lived for our qualifying birthday, when the best present we could ever get was that trip to the DMV. If allowing the exporting of oil helps to limit domestic supply and keep retail prices high, you can count on government's blessing. Liberals are very uncomfortable with people traveling at their own discretion.

    Oil is inexhaustible, and the theory that it's abiotic has never been successfully debunked. The continents are practically floating on the stuff. True or not, in any case, every year, we have more "proven reserves" than the year before, despite increasing demand. The price of oil has little to do with supply or demand, and very little to do with the actual cost of exploration, extraction, refining and delivery, but is determined by the emotions, fears and panics of speculators and eco-chondriacs, and government greed for tax revenue. Shoot a handful of the right people (speculators and environmental activists) and a gallon of gas will once again retail for around a buck or two.

    I group oil depletion proponents in with global warming tinfoil hat people.

    Of course it's finite on a preposterously gigantic scale. But not like they say.

    Commodities financiers are driving gas prices exclusively. Oil can remain $80/barrel, but pump prices go up $0.50? It defies supply-demand and thus, is corrupted in practice.

    And the EPA doesn't allow new refineries to be made? They WANT the old ones to fail so ALL refining can be moved overseas to jack up gas costs because now we have to import GAS...nevermind crude...and just wait until these sadists stop coal mining.

    We use the same amount of oil, roughly on average, each year with a fairly predictable growth pattern. And the sandbox exports the same amount of oil almost constantly. OPEC, bankers and commodities traders can blow me and rot in hell--all of them.

    And we've been exporting oil for years, FYI. Years.

    I've got a wood bench, straps, towels and water buckets. Send me some bankers.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • gunwalkergunwalker Member Posts: 471 Member
    Thanks to all who replied. Interesting discussion that helped me form opinions. Some have not changed. For example, I still think it is a huge mistake to export any form of energy. As Mookie says, not all oils are created equal, and I agree. However the refining process can and does refine from all types of crude. It's just that some oils require less refining. And that means lower cost. But we do not have dedicated refineries, that is one does gasoline only while another does diesel only,etc. As our friend Dr. Phil says "no matter how flat a pancake ,it still has two sides". There are some other factors that are impacting domestic oil supply. More and more manufacturers of vehicles are moving to synthetic oil. Therefore less demand for regular oil. synthetic is part petro chemical so it is not a one for one swap. But still less demand for regular oil. Another big factor is the decline of agro chemicals which are petroleum based. The states hugely I'mpacted by drought are using far fewer of these products and that will have a long term effect. Therefore domestic supply increases.
    Another issue is the oil markets. We are enslaved by commodities traders and it does not have be that way. I know that there is not going to be a change in my lifetime but I think it should be a priority of our government to free us from price increases having nothing to do with supply. Of course that would fly in the face of our free market philosophy. The lobbyists would win. But there could be an oil market made up of domestic suppliers only. Only the oil bought from foreign countries would be subject to the wild price swings,but that would be a small amount of our total consumption. There is no reason for gasoline to increase in price when supply is not the issue. Before someone says that could not work, look at the NYSE. A lot of the corporations listed there do business outside of the U.S. But how are they regulated? By the S.E.C. In other words fluctuations in stock prices are mostly caused by domestic traders and it is in their interest to have a stable market. Oil could work that way too. Our enslavement happened because for years we depended on foreign suppliers. As we become less and less dependent, the market can change. And at some point our Canadian friends will lose patience with governmental dithering and sell to China.
    Concerning raising the tax on gas, I remain against that idea because of the inflationary effect of an economy that is still stagnant. I agree that all of us will pay in some form but there are other ways that are less inflationary. For example, a small increase in state sales tax dedicated to infrastructure repairs. Most consumers will not notice a very small increase and a sales tax would generate income from the citizens who do not drive, but who benefit from a delivery system. It would cause far less distress than increasing gas tax. And so ends the rant. Thanks again.
    We do not view the world as it is, but as we perceive it to be.
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