Displaying their true colors
By John D. Turner
19 Jun 2008

For years I have been saying that the Democratic Party is misnamed. Today’s Democratic Party is not the Democratic Party of my father (although he still maintains loyalty to the brand). Were the party to be appropriately named today, it would be called the Social Democrats, the Democratic Socialists, or perhaps just the Socialist Party (although that moniker is already taken in this country).

The cat peeked out of the bag late last month, when Congresswoman Maxine Waters called for the Congress to “Socialize…err nationalize big oil.” Yes, the Honorable Ms. Waters let slip the dreaded “S” word. She hemmed and hawed quite a bit, and replaced the “S” word with the more politically correct “N” word; Nationalize.

Of course, they mean the same thing.

We have come a long way down a dark path in this country, a path that started with a nation founded on the principles of the free market, property ownership, and little government interference to one that now is openly advocating government ownership of private companies.

Yes, last month it was a slip. Now it seems to be party policy.

The latest Democratic (or should I say Socialist) Party move to counter President Bush and Senator McCain’s call for allowing U.S. companies to drill for U.S. resources within and off shore of our own country is – Drum Roll Please – to Nationalize the nation’s refineries.

Yes folks, they all lined up in the House, one after another, loudly proclaiming how the Government should control the nation’s refineries because then they can arbitrarily set the price of gas and control the output. One after another they spouted the party line that “drilling is not the solution”, and went on about how great it would be if they were in charge instead of those greedy oil companies, who are only out to make a profit at our expense.

Wait until food prices get high enough and they want to control that as well. After all, by the same logic, if food prices go up, the solution is not to grow more food, it’s for the government to regulate the supply. In the old days, we called this “rationing”.

And you thought they would be satisfied with nationalizing health care.

This is a bad idea people. All you have to do is look at other countries where this has been done. Most of them we now refer to as “dictatorships”. (All these ugly words. Good thing I am not in Canada – in that sterling example of democracy to our north; I would probably be hauled up on charges of “hate speech”.)

In Venezuela, food prices were going up. The solution? Hugo Chavez took over control of the food industry. Now people are starving. But “big food” isn’t making nasty profits of the backs of poor folks.

In the 70’s we tacked on a “windfall profits tax” to “big oil” to punish them for making nasty profits on the backs of poor folks, and incidentally, to fatten the government’s coffers as well. Wouldn’t want Uncle to miss out on all the fun! The result was long lines at the gas pumps, increased reliance on foreign oil, capping of many U.S. oil wells, and the projected government tax windfall failed to materialize. Not only were receipts not what were expected (less gas was sold), but the oil companies simply wrote off the tax against their other tax liabilities and pressed on.

So this time around, the Democrats are not content to simply apply a tax or regulate. They want to own. I wonder how many of these elected officials have degrees in economics and really understand what they are doing when the decide that they know better than the oil companies how to run what is in reality the life blood of our country.

Since most of them are lawyers, I would expect not many. If you were in an operating room, and decisions concerning your blood were being made, would you want them to be made by a doctor or a congressperson?

I find it rather amusing that the Democrats zeal to lower our gas prices does not extend to removing the Federal tax on gas. That is considered “too small” to make any difference. Instead they want to target “big oil’s” profits.

The Federal government’s take is 18.4 cents on every gallon of gas sold. So how much do the refineries make on each gallon? Approximately 8 cents. They have to pay for the feedstock, oil, after all in order to refine it. It isn’t “free”.

18.4 cents vs. 8 cents. My elementary math tells me that the former is bigger than the latter. In fact, my eight year old could discern the same thing. Why is it that when folks go to congress they seem to leave their brain behind? (Ok, so I am making what may be an invalid assumption…)

So now the Democrats are saying that they need to take over the refineries in order to bring down the price of gas at the pump. Well, they only have 8 cents to work with, unless they want to run a deficit.

Not that they have any problem with that. Particularly if they can spin it to make it look like it is the Republican’s fault. “Happened on Bush’s watch – it’s his fault.” “McCain is Bush III.” “Drilling is not the answer.” Nice sound bites; nice slogans.

If you think we have deficit problems now, wait until you see what happens when Congress arbitrarily sets the price of gasoline at what they think is a reasonable amount; a number they really haven’t discussed – I doubt even they know. I can just see them taking over the refineries, and then squabbling for the next six months over just what the price of gas should be at every service station in the country.

Because they can’t just set the price and walk away. If they do that, every refinery in the country will go broke within a week. In order to make this work they would have to subsidize the refineries with federal dollars to make up the difference (so they can, whisper it softly, make a profit.)

Alternatively they could put the entire kit and caboodle under the Department of Energy (what a winner that) and make all refinery employees civil servants. Talk about ballooning the cost of government! Then not only do we have to pay salaries, we have to pay retirements as well!

And don’t forget that they will have to pay the refineries fair market value for what they take. That is part of UN Resolution 1803, passed in 1962. The resolution, called "Permanent Sovereignty over National Resources," States that in the event of nationalization, the owner "shall be paid appropriate compensation in accordance with international law."

Only the bad guys take thing without paying for them. And the Libs/Dems/Socialists can hardly ignore UN resolutions – they champion the UN loud enough.

So now, where will the billions in compensation to the owners of the refineries come from? The Dems are great at telling the Republican’s they can’t do something because there is “no way to pay for it.”

Well how about that “peace dividend” that we will get when we call off the Global War on Terror and withdraw from Iraq? That will be billions more that we can spend! (And believe me; plans are already under way to do just that. Once Congress gets their hands on a pile of money they clutch it like Midas in his counting house.

Of course, none of that money is in the budget anyway. If we pull out, it should all simply go away. And the budget itself is $300-400 in arrears already.

All this means, you guessed it, more taxes. Of course, they will refer to it as an “investment.” And since they supposedly work for us, does that mean we will get a dividend? No, what we will get is the bill.

And what better tax to pay for all of this than raising the federal gasoline tax? A user-fee after all, and one that falls heavier on those evil SUV owners that are killing the planet.

And we started this whole thing because?

Oh that’s right. Politics. Power. Ultimately, a fully socialized, planned society, run by the fat heads (excuse me, “big brains”) in Washington who we elect to handle our affairs because we can’t handle them ourselves. Don’t think they are doing this for you – they aren’t. They see themselves as your caretakers, not your peers.

And it doesn’t stop there. As a government employee myself, and having viewed socialist constructs elsewhere, this is guaranteed to totally ruin our energy sector, and make energy cost even more. Why?

Because improvements to infrastructure, maintenance, spare parts, etc will now become part of the federal budget process. Take a look sometime at some of the buildings we have on our military installations. Some date back to WW II. When it comes to funding, there is never enough money, and maintenance is always low man on the totem pole.

The reason we can keep up our existing, aging refineries (haven’t built a new one in 30 years, remember?) is because oil refineries make a profit, which they can then reinvest back into their infrastructure to ensure that they continue to make future profits.

Keep in mind too, that the Democrats really don’t want the price of gas to go down. Among others, Barack Obama has stated it publicly. They want high gas prices because they perceive that it will lead to you consuming less gas, and thereby decreasing CO2 emissions. They “feel your pain”, and promise a band aid to fix your owie, but what they have in mind is not a Curad.

What they really want is control. Control of the gasoline sector, control of the energy sector, control of the health sector, and ultimately, control of your life.

For your own good, of course.