Sunday, April 30, 2006

Government remains biggest oil profiteer

Thomas Bray reports:
"From 1986 to 2003, using 2004 dollars, the real national annual average price for gasoline, including taxes, generally has been below $2 per gallon," noted the Federal Trade Commission in a 2005 report absolving the industry of collusion. "By contrast, between 1919 and 1985, real national annual average retail gasoline prices were above $2 per gallon more often than not."

In other words, gasoline prices were lower than at anytime since 1919 for much of recent history. Some conspiracy! Maybe somebody should have been investigating consumers for "gouging" the oil companies.

And just who is the profiteer here? While the average profit on the sale of a gallon of gasoline is nine cents, the average state and federal tax on that same gallon of gasoline is about 45 cents (and 52 cents in Michigan). And if we must have an investigation, how about investigating the extent to which government regulations drive up prices and block new production?
9 cents versus 45 cents.Government sure is greedy.