Monday, May 24, 2010

Congress to Quadruple Gas Tax? HR 4213

Posted by Jared Law
May 24, 2010

So now on top of everything else, Congress may increase the FEDERAL Gas Tax (most gas taxes are state taxes, so this will make the Federal portion far and away the largest in most states, significantly increasing the cost of Gasoline & Diesel fuel for all Americans).

How many Americans do you know who will go along with yet another highway robbery? This is obscene! They spend $Trillions, commit us to TENS of $Trillions more, and our taxes are raising at a dizzying pace.

HOW CAN ANY AMERICAN REMAIN ASLEEP? The answer is to CUT SPENDING. I realize the Democrats have a vise-grip on the reins of power, but some of them HAVE to be good people! Why aren't they standing with Republicans and doing the right thing? How can ANYBODY think that ANY of this is sustainable, to use one of their favorite words?

It simply boggles the mind that ANYBODY, regardless of how high they are, how into American Idol they are, how many hours a day they spend gaming online, playing FarmVille on Facebook, or gossiping on the phone, is still asleep. Isn't 20% unemployment (26.8 Million Unemployed Americans) enough to awaken the rest of America? Well over $10 Trillion of federal debt, with $13 Trillion of debt, $55.7 Trillion of "total debt," $108.8 Trillion of unfunded liabilities, $5.6 Trillion of Government Takeovers/Bailouts, and an over 90% Debt-to-GDP ratio!?!?

Seriously, how much more 'hope & change' can we take? What will it take to wake the rest of America? Blood running in the streets? Cleared-out store shelves? Real, unavoidable hunger? The death of loved ones?

It is chilling to see how bold they're being. I realize this isn't nearly as bad as many things that have been done, and many more to come, but don't they realize that ENOUGH of us are awake to throw them out of office? Yes, I know many of them don't care, but ENOUGH of them certainly should! The only explanation is they don't fear us anymore. And that is a scary thought, indeed.

Oil spill...there's no reason to believe that the White House wants to see this fixed anytime soon. It is a crisis that cannot be wasted, from their point of view. The mask is almost off, for all to see. Those of us who already see it, and have seen it for quite some time, I hope we're all continuing to EDUCATE ourselves, INVITING our friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, clients/customers, church congregation members, and others, to join us, and going door-to-door in our neighborhoods to contact those we don't yet know, to spread the word and awaken all who are willing to be awakened!

Here's the story:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Responding to the massive BP oil spill, Congress is getting ready to quadruple—to 32 cents a barrel—a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade.

The tax is levied on oil produced in the U.S. or imported from foreign countries. The revenue goes to a fund managed by the Coast Guard to help pay to clean up spills in waterways, such as the Gulf of Mexico.

The tax increase is part of a larger bill that has grown into a nearly $200 billion grab bag of unfinished business that lawmakers hope to complete before Memorial Day. The key provisions are a one-year extension of about 50 popular tax breaks that expired at the end of last year, and expanded unemployment benefits, including subsidies for health insurance, through the end of the year.

The House could vote on the bill as early as Tuesday. Senate leaders hope to complete work on it before Congress goes on a weeklong break next week.

Lawmakers want to increase the current 8-cent-a-barrel tax on oil to make sure there is enough money available to respond to oil spills. At least 6 million gallons of crude have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico since a drilling rig exploded April 20 off the Louisiana coast.

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders have said they expect BP to foot the bill for the cleanup.

"Taxpayers will not pick up the tab," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday.

BP executives told Congress last week they would pay "all legitimate claims" for damages. But the government needs upfront money to respond to spills, as well as money to pay for cleanups when the responsible party is unable to pay, or is unknown. Money spent from the fund can later be recovered from the company responsible for the spill.

The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund has about $1.5 billion available. Under current law, only $1 billion can be spent from the fund on a single incident. The bill would increase the spending limit to $5 billion.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the tax increase was hastily put together, without adequate study, to help pay for an unrelated bill. The tax increase was unveiled Thursday, without any congressional hearings to study its impact.

Even with the tax increases, the bill is projected to add $134 billion to the federal budget deficit.

"I have seen no analysis on how this would impact energy security, how this would impact domestic production, how this would impact the overall economics in the country," said Christopher Guith, vice president of the chamber's energy institute. "There hasn't been any sort of deliberation on this."

The American Petroleum Institute has not taken a position on the tax increase, though a spokeswoman said Congress should study the ramifications before acting.

"We understand we need to have an insurance policy in order to cover people in the event of a spill," said the spokeswoman, Cathy Landry. "At the same time we need to have a vital oil and gas industry."

The bill does not address a federal law that caps liability at $75 million for economic damages beyond direct cleanup costs. Democratic Senators tried to pass a bill last week that would have increased the cap to $10 billion, but they were blocked by Republicans.

The oil industry says such a high cap would make it difficult, if not impossible, to insure oil rigs.

BP said Monday its costs for responding to the spill had grown to about $760 million.

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