'Today' Asks for 'Action' on Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax
MRC's Brent Baker has noted ABC News' hyper-ventilation over Exxon's 'breathtaking' profits. This morning it was NBC's turn.
As everyone knows, the way to decrease the price of a product is . . . to raise taxes on it? As contradictory as the notion might sound, it appears to be the Today show's preferred solution to $3/gallon gas.
It was the news of Exxon's $10.3 billion second-quarter profit that gave Today an opening to air its n-th iteration of the 'soaring gas prices' story. In an innovative bit of demagoguery, Today even displayed a clock informing us that Exxon racked up profits at the rate of $1,317.66 per second.
Well, if an American company is making big profits, something must be done to stop it!
Today had no problem finding a lady-in-the-street [at the wheel, actually] willing to weigh in to the effect that it was 'disturbing' that a company could be earning that much money.
NBC chief financial correspondent Anne Thompson, who narrated the segment, informed us "There's a new round of outrage in Washington." Republican Sen. Mike DeWine of Ohio was shown complaining that "there's something wrong when we're paying record prices at the pump while oil companies are making record profits." He didn't tell us just what was wrong, but I guess the message for folks back in Ohio was clear: "I care."
Here's where Thompson started her pitch: "Yet bi-partisan calls for windfall profits tax have gone nowhere."
Byron Dorgan then popped up. The Dem senator from North Dakota bemoaned the fact that 'the oil companies have a lot of friends here in Washington, DC and at the end of the day they pretty much get what they want."
Guess what?: ethanol mandates have contributed to the high price of gasoline, and the ethanol companies also have 'a lot friends in Washington,' including . . . Byron Dorgan, who not long ago got a plaque from something called the 'National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition' in recognition of his 'leadership' promoting the use of ethanol. But while Today informed us that oil companies have made $61 million in campaign donations, they didn't get around to telling us how much ADM & friends had dropped in the DC till.
NBC reporter Anne Thompson closed the segment with one last hand-wringing plea:
"Consumers are using more gasoline this summer than last as prices continue to rise. With no end in sight the question is how high do they go before words turn into action?"
Right. Just when will our legislators get around to taxing our way to lower prices? Needless to say, there was not a word about legislation that might actually make a difference: opening up drilling in ANWR or offshore areas.