In reference to my previous post on Hillary's gripe with OPEC, I've also got a few excerpts from Jonah Goldberg over at National Review Online, on the proposal to tax the "windfall profits" of oil companies:
Imagine this. You've built the better mousetrap... You take your invention and, with your last few pennies, manage to bring it to market. It’s a smash hit. It starts flying off shelves. You earn back the investment in raw materials and maybe something close to compensation for your time. Now you’re ready for the big payoff. There’s just one thing left to do: make an appointment with the regional Reasonable Profits Board to find out how much of your windfall is reasonable for you to keep... members of the Reasonable Profits Board will determine how much of your already-taxed profits cross the “rational threshold.”
“Windfall,” of course, is just another word for “undeserved,” which is why windfall profits are defined as the profits earned by someone other than you.
If you tell oil companies that they won’t be able to keep their profits past a certain point, you know what they’ll do? They’ll make money right up until that point and then they’ll stop. Unlike the guy building the better mousetrap, oil companies aren’t in it for the glory, they’re in it for the money.
Meanwhile, less investment in exploration and efficiency will cause pump prices to rise (less supply = higher prices) and, as in the 1980s, cause us to rely on more foreign oil. But, by all means, let’s do it, because Big Oil is bad and someone — or everyone — has to pay for it.