Other than Barry “Almighty”, of course, who is it among us that thinks gas prices are just too low? And I pretty sure that ever since the bottom essentially fell out of the price for a barrel of oil, Barry must have been pulling his hair out. Because I’m just as sure that he was quite happy when we were all being made to pay nearly four dollars for a gallon of gas. And all along I knew he was busy trying to figure out some way to stop it from going any lower, and to, if possible, even make it go higher.
Well, it would appear that he has now finally come up with a plan. Because Barry is now calling for a $10 per barrel ‘tax’ on oil, the money from which, or so we’re told, will be used to pay for mass transit, high-speed rail, self-driving cars and other infrastructure projects which he believes will reduce America’s carbon footprint. To be clear, this is nothing more than a tax on gasoline, diesel and other fuel, paid for by Americans, at a time when they’re finally enjoying reasonable prices at the pump.
And it would be the U.S. Energy Information Administration which estimates that a single barrel of crude oil produces 45 gallons of petroleum products. Nineteen gallons go toward gasoline, 12 gallons toward diesel fuel, 4 gallons for jet fuel, 7 gallons for other petroleum liquids for the petrochemical industry to make items like plastics, and the rest go toward such things as liquefied petroleum gases and home heating oil. So this ‘tax’ of Barry’s will effect more than just the price of gas.
But assuming that this tax is spread proportionally among all the products a barrel of crude produces, that $10 per barrel tax equates to roughly an increase of 22 cents per gallon of gas. And in an effort to put that into context, the federal gas tax already stands at 18.4 cents per gallon and the federal diesel tax is 24.4 cents per gallon. The national average for regular gasoline is $1.76. Lower gas prices have provided a huge windfall and are putting money back into the wallets of American households.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that cheaper gasoline saved families approximately $700 in 2015. The huge boost in disposable income gives them the opportunity to spend money going out to eat, on electronics or at department stores. And an analysis from Merrill Lynch estimates that consistently low oil prices “will push back $3 trillion a year from oil producers to global consumers, setting the stage for one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history.”
Barry would very much like to change all that by more than doubling the federal gas tax. And, make no mistake, it would be a tax that disproportionately hurts low-income families the most because transportation and residential energy costs represent a larger portion of their budget. The median family spends about 5 cents out of every dollar on energy costs; low-income families spend about 20 cents of every dollar. Not that any of that matters to Barry and his Democrat Party.
And along the same lines as that we which always hear from this administration regarding taxes, it was Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council who did his best to argue the point that “This is not a gas tax. This is a per-barrel fee on oil paid by the oil companies.” And it’s those same magic beans Zients sold you that really will grow a giant beanstalk. Because, plain and freaking simple, these costs will most certainly be passed down to consumers in the form of higher energy prices.
While we would all like to think that Barry’s tax plan is DOA in Congress, the current eagerness of our Republican leaders in Congress to give him everything he asks for, makes it far from certain. And it does provide to us an important look into the Progressive mindset. When free enterprise increases energy supplies, lowers prices for families, provides new job opportunities and makes Barry’s politically preferred sources of green energy even more uncompetitive, something must be done to curtail that growth. Voila, a new Barry “Almighty” tax!