I struggled with Atlas Shrugged; the damn book took me six months to finish, and I was only able to read it for at most about a half-an-hour at a time until the incessant philosophical clubbing-about-the-head gave me a blistering headache. Two things stuck with me after the end of the book: first, that Ayn could not write her way out of a paper bag; and, second, that she was right, and the pain was going to eventually be worth being able to see where the world was going and why.
Of course, I never imagined she was going to be this right this fast:
Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a "Reasonable Profits Board" to control gas profits.
The Democrats, worried about higher gas prices, want to set up a board that would apply a "windfall profit tax" as high as 100 percent on the sale of oil and gas, according to their legislation. The bill provides no specific guidance for how the board would determine what constitutes a reasonable profit.
The Gas Price Spike Act, H.R. 3784, would apply a windfall tax on the sale of oil and gas that ranges from 50 percent to 100 percent on all surplus earnings exceeding "a reasonable profit." It would set up a Reasonable Profits Board made up of three presidential nominees that will serve three-year terms. Unlike other bills setting up advisory boards, the Reasonable Profits Board would not be made up of any nominees from Congress.
The bill would also seem to exclude industry representatives from the board, as it says members "shall have no financial interests in any of the businesses for which reasonable profits are determined by the Board."
I am just about speechless. Just about.
Duly-elected Representatives Dennis Kucinich, John Conyers, Bob Filner, Marcia Fudge, James Langevin, and Lynn Woolsey should never be re-elected to their current positions – or any positions within any American government – but you and I both know they will be. Why? Because those petty bureaucrats are not the problem, they are just a symptom of the problem.
By dint of our very means of running it, we, the American people, receive the government we want and deserve. We just keep re-electing self-absorbed, megalomaniacal scum because our scum is better than their scum, because they promise our state money, because they help us with pork barrel projects, because they keep "social" programs alive, because we are told they are "electable" and other options are not; and then we have the nerve to act "surprised" when, predictably, scum exposes itself as scum. When someone shows a marked disdain for the Constitution, for free-market economies, for freedoms, for liberties, for all those things that once made America a great country, and you re-elect them, you are no longer permitted to be astonished that they just go on doing what they were doing before.
Which is pretty much exactly why I am voting Third Party in this coming Presidential election, as well as any other election where I am dissatisfied with both the incumbent and his/her challenger. I simply do not care any more if someone arbitrarily dictates whether or not a certain candidate is "electable"; I only care about what kind of job he or she will be doing in office. Honestly, if more people paid attention to / cared about that, our country would be in a lot less hurt right now.
Just to break out the partisanship, though, it almost goes without saying that all of the meddling authoritarians behind this proposed bills have "D"s after their respective names, and it is no surprise that this comes after Our Glorious President took it upon himself to kill not only a cheaper source of oil, but also a massive job creator.
And to completely switch tracks for a moment, does anyone see a problem with folks who may not necessarily understand anything about the oil industry being allowed to arbitrarily set "reasonable" profit levels for that industry without any oversight or actual direction as to what "reasonable" may or may not mean? Furthermore, given that $0.184 of every gallon goes to the Federal Government as an excise tax, when are we, the people, going to formulate a "Reasonable Taxation Board" to control government taxes, or a "Reasonable Income Board" to control congressmen’s income, or a "Reasonable Legislation Board" to strike down blatantly idiotic legislation such as this?
It seems like that time is rapidly coming upon us.
(Courtesy of The Freeholder.)