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August 04, 2008 – Comments (13)

After I returned from vacation last week, I visited my favorite website (this one) and was treated to this post by one of CAPS favorite players and someone I genuinely respect, TMFBent.

"ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Barack Obama called for a $1,000 "emergency" rebate to consumers to offset soaring energy costs amid fresh signs of a struggling economy with the nation's unemployment rate climbing to a four-year high.

Sen. Obama told a town-hall meeting the rebate would be financed with a windfall profits tax on the oil industry.

Sure, Barack. Fight inflation caused by massive demand by giving people more money so their demand keeps up. And make sure you do it by taking away money from the oil companies so they can't reinvest it in obtaining more fuel.

Oh, and do it right after slowing demand has begun to cause price drops.

This guy is a pandering disaster."

What Obama said was:

"There are genuine ways in which we can provide some short-term relief from high gas prices – relief to the mother who’s cutting down on groceries because of gas prices, or the man I met in Pennsylvania who lost his job and can’t even afford to drive around and look for a new one.  I believe we should immediately give every working family in America a $1,000 energy rebate, and we should pay for it with part of the record profits that the oil companies are making right now."

So lets see.

First, St. Petersburg, Fla. gets the quote wrong by turning the word "families" into "consumers" and increases the number of checks written to 300mil US consumers from 77mil families. This causes rd80 to become mathematical and somehow figure out 50 bil in in quarterly profits could not pay for 100bil in annual rebates. And then complain about Harvard math teachers. Since the article also left out the phrase "working" in front of "families" and some families aren't working the math says less than 77bil dollars will be paid out of almost 200bil in annual profits. The math is good even if the policy is not.

Second,

The first round of rebates delivered by GWB arrived as checks to be spent in any fashion on any product and were spent on gasoline prices that increased from $3.00 to $4.00 and pretty much nothing was left for anything else. St Petersburg, Fla calls the rebates an "emergency" rebate even though Obama does not. Obama referred to them as an "energy" rebate. It is possible that the rebates will be linked to energy efficiency purchases such as flourescents or insulation, which would put the popular "econ 101" principle of supply and demand to work in favor of lower fuel prices by reducing demand and leverage those dollars to the benefit of those families with fuel savings far in excess of the rebate. Of course the assumption I just made is as invalid as Seth's assumption that this rebate would be a cash handout like you get from Republican Presidents.  You would not get the idea I suggested unless you read the whole speech with its emphasis on energy conservation and energy sources other than oil. In either case I would like more detail about the rebate.

Would anyone like to read the other 51 paragraphs from the speech for yourself? There might be a balanced energy policy in there somewhere, but to hear lordz tell it you would not think so. Some of it is pretty good, although I don't like the drilling or nuclear. Curiously it takes into consideration that drilling more oil out of the ground eventually leads to more greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. And believe me, turning Americas breadbasket into a desert is probably a bad thing for Cheerios. And why are we complaining that Barack wants to send us back $1000 of our hard earned money anyway? What are we, nuts?

Please don't respond if you don't read the speech. And don't misquote him. We have news services to do that for us. 

See you tomorrow.

13 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 04, 2008 at 11:29 PM, lepersinmyhead (28.32) wrote:

Yeah, I'm confused.  If tax cuts for folks making over $133,000 is good for economy and not pandering, than how is giving back $1,000 of taxes bad for economy and pandering.  I admit that I am no economic expert, but trickle up economics seems as valid as trickle down economics.  Que no?

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#2) On August 05, 2008 at 12:54 AM, jahbu (90.02) wrote:

Yes give me more worth less dollars!  Yahooooo! Print more, borrow more!   Whatever it takes give me another $1000!

this is awesome, more more more

We all might be millionairs by next year!

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#3) On August 05, 2008 at 1:12 AM, LordZ wrote:

LMAO @ seeing LORD Z get mentioned...

in a BENT blog...

BARACK is pandering votes, instead of working on real world solutions, hes suggesting silly gimmicks as if excessively taxing the oil companies would bring solutions, instead of rebates that you will have to wait for and i'm sure fill out tax forms for and wait till the tax year is over. Why not work on real solutions ?

Someone mentioned that these oil companies already pay the highest tax rates going ? and yet we look for people to blame for high oil prices ? first we looked to hang those evil speculators, than we closed our eyes and looked at the shear size of the bottom line on these companies, but their profit margins are not excessive, and it requires billions upon billions of dollars to find, drill, and safely produce this oil.

Does Barack talk about refiners, how about the fact that there hasnt been a new refinery built within the last 20 plus years ?

All of these politicians are responsible for a lack of energy policy and stupid he said she said political games all the while the simple man suffers and is to be told that some stupid 500 dollar eventual rebate will make everything better.

Thats only 5 fill ups. which by the time comes to fruition will be nothing given the increase taxes Obama will seek as  well as the cruelest tax of ALL........

INFLATION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#4) On August 05, 2008 at 1:58 AM, jahbu (90.02) wrote:

Lordz, dont you want 1000 bucks?  Its awesome, maybe Obamy can throw in some food stamps and give us all a SUV.  Heck I'll take one of those condos in Florida while we are at it.

This is sweet, who woulda thought socialism could be so much fun!  Let the good times roll...

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#5) On August 05, 2008 at 2:55 AM, AnomaLee (28.52) wrote:

"Someone mentioned that these oil companies already pay the highest tax rates going."

- No...

"Thats only 5 fill ups."

- Most people aren't driving vehicles with 25+ gallon tanks...

We have one of the worst Congresses in U.S. history approving some of the most economically destructive legislations in U.S. history. This is the only war in U.S. history that has been waged without increasing taxes. Now, two of its members are arguing over who is less damaging to our country and claiming that they are able to get things right...

No wonder elections are held every leap year...

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#6) On August 05, 2008 at 3:00 AM, AnomaLee (28.52) wrote:

*This is the only war in U.S. history that has been waged while decreasing taxes.

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#7) On August 05, 2008 at 10:31 AM, givmeabreak (28.97) wrote:

Let's cut throught the crap Devo.

You believe that Obama should play Robin Hood with oil profit. Why not do that with big Ag and other large profit centers? Food prices have gone up big too. Why not tax big Ag and redistrubute that money to help pay for food. We could put cute red stars on all the rebate checks. We could then follow the great models that were/are Russia, Cuba, and China.  

The oil companies already pay taxes.

What Obama (and McCain) should be saying is: we need to SEVERLY cut spending and stop the dollar printing press. Have the courage to stand up and say we are going to truly save the dollar and balance the budget. And point out how the high oil prices are a function of a dollar purchasing less. Oil prices are only up $15 in terms of Euros.

Until a candidate does that, they are just playing politics as usual and, yes, pandering. And you participate in the best scenario for them to thrive: keep the people arguing about things and distract them from the real issues. -That would be reckless spending, increasing size of government and programs, and tinkering with the capitalist system via socialism.

Then you buy into the notion that the government can solve all your problems, and you become dependent on them more and more. And they grow more and more. No problems are solved though, gauranteeing their job security because they can always blame the guy before them.

They motivate your allegence through fear and train you to hate capitalism even though it is not directly implied.

Again, he should not play Robin Hood. We are a capitalist sysyem. That is not capitalism. Its called socialism, which leads down a dangerous path. Socialism does not work. Look at all the attempts at it, and tell me you like what you see.

And then you say no drilling or nuclear. So what are we supposed to use for energy? You sound like a eniro-wacko that wants no energy at all. Implies to me that you feel humans are bad, and anything we do is bad for the planet. That the planet would be fine if it didn't have that dang human problem.

I guess you will be happy when we all read by candlelight and burn compressed dung from our composting toilets.

Even if you think alternatives will work eventually, what are we supposed to do in the next 10-29 yrs?

 

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#8) On August 05, 2008 at 10:58 AM, Gemini846 (57.52) wrote:

Trickle up economics does not work because the bottom produces nothing. You have to borrow or steal to give them anything.

Trickle down economics does work because you are taking less of the production of a producer. The producer is already producing. You just take less of it to encourage more production.

Living in FL there is an issue that I am kind of torn over and I know how I feel about it, but my logic tells me something else.

Local Corp Tax Credits for job development.

Pros: Jobs stay in this community, tax revinues stay in this community.  St Petersburg has been able to keep Jabil Circuit here for a while.

Cons: There is no accountablility. Neilson TV Ratings promised Oldsmar about 3,000 new jobs for a tax break, but they have failed to produce the jobs. If Oldsmar tries to get its money back, Neilson just moves to greener pastures. Chase got a huge credit from the city of Tampa a few years back, and then they did the same thing citing costs.

Right now I think Nuclear is our best short term (30-50 yr) solution. Many places could take more advantage of solar.

Taxes on oil are designed a sin tax to push up the price indirectly rather than to encourage developments of cheeper energy solutions. It won't help the net revenue because consumption will go down. I promise if gas was $10/gal people would stay home or find a way to ride the bus.  Obama knows that, but he can't tell the bitter americans "clinging to guns and suv's" the truth or he won't get elected. He has to deceive them with $1000 rebate checks that will come from printed money which he can recover as the gas tax sucks people who have no alternatives dry.

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#9) On August 05, 2008 at 11:25 AM, MakeItSeven (32.33) wrote:

Does Barack talk about refiners, how about the fact that there hasnt been a new refinery built within the last 20 plus years ?

He doesn't talk about it because it would be dumb.   Refinery companies have been expanding capacity at the same locations.  There is no shortage of refinery capacity except for a short period after Katrina hit.

If the ultimate objective is to reduce oil comsumption then what's the point of wasting money in new refineries ?   Just look at the stock prices of refinery companies.  They moved up with the popularity of SUVs and they are now tanking when people become more concious on gas economy.  Those companies DO NOT want to build new refineries and the future direction is clear that no new refineries are needed.

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#10) On August 05, 2008 at 12:03 PM, LordZ wrote:

Put me down for 12 rebates....

shakes head....

O great Satan...

wake up...

don't just copy what someone says and add smart additions that don't relate to the real issues.

No one wants refiners because of the added pollution, not because of capacity, we are the worlds most users of oil, yet we will soon be dependent on new refineries in foreign places.

How many refineries do we have that handle the harder sour crude ??? none ???  I'm sure there is someone in America who would want to invest into building top of the line safer efficent refineries, heck in Iran they have gas shortages because of a lack of refinery. We could buy the oil and sell it back at a profit...

However as people only want the benefits without the price.,..

things will stay the same and like spectators at the Roman colesium we will cheer and smile when they throw out the free bread, however when someone finds himself among the hungry lions, well that smile will quickly disapear...

 

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#11) On August 05, 2008 at 8:24 PM, lepersinmyhead (28.32) wrote:

Wow, the moneyed class has all you nice little worker bees defending their right to keep control of the capital of this great capitalist system. 

It's really a joke.  Hey, I love being from this country.  It allows me generally to go about my business without interference from a police force or vindictive bureacrats, and if I ran into interference, there is a system that tries to give me a shot at getting some justice.  But your naivete over the even-playing field we are supposedly playing on and "the producers" and "risk takers" is disturbing for educated people.  There is some real, big money in this country that has the system gamed and leaves us the droppings.  I can deal with that reality, but the sad thing is seeing my fellow scrap eaters defending the "man".  Just pathetic.  How's that Reagan revolution going?  Newt ... is that you Newt?

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#12) On August 05, 2008 at 8:25 PM, devoish (98.58) wrote:

Givmeabreak,

Gimme a break. That response was ignorant, imaginary and rude. Very little of what you wrote accurately reflects Obama's speech or my positions. Do I know you? My friends call me Devo. And aren't you becoming leary of of Fascist-Americans promoting Capitalism ahead of Democracy yet?

Gemini,

I consider trickledown just about the greatest sales pitch ever. To convince so many people that everyone who is bad at keeping money will get more money by changing tax policy to put more money into the hands of people who are good at keeping it for themselves. What a joke. The pretense that the wealthy will put their money to work benefiting society and the poor do not is ridiculous beyond belief.

I don't think you read the speech either.

Lordz,

Have you been drinking? The later in the day you post, the less lucid your posts become.

And to all who read. It is my opinion that the best answer to energy is renewables. It is the only option that provides independence, and an answer to Global warming. Just because the current bad gov't does gov't badly and to personal benefit does not mean the next one will. You elected Fascists and you got fascists. You could have had a Nobel prize winner. Don't let the fascist's supporters tell you your vote does not matter, or that Obama and McCain are almost the same. And don't let anyone tell you what Obama or McCain said. The lies are in full gear. Read their speeches for yourself. You might decide you like McCain. Personally I don't like McCain's speeches trumpeting drilling and nuclear over renewables, I like Obama's promoting renewables with coal and drilling being secondary, better. I also like Obama's position of spending on working out nuclears' waste disposal problem. Our parents pushed the GHG problem onto our kids. I will not push nuclear waste problems onto our grandkids. Solve it, prove it, then build it.

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#13) On August 05, 2008 at 9:57 PM, rd80 (98.47) wrote:

Thanks for the shout out.

My reply got kind of long so I posted it on my blog.

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