Friday, June 01, 2007

Divestment NOW

The Wisconsin Democrats are advancing a plan to create a 2.5% tax on oil companies as the proposal survives a split party line vote in the budget writing committee. The Democrats reason oil needs to be taxed because gasoline prices are going up.

Governor Jim Doyle: “Big oil companies have been reaping huge profits on the backs of middle class families for years – reaching record profits while families across the country struggle to afford to fill up their gas tanks.

“It’s time for big oil companies to stop driving up gas prices. With no major geo-political events, no weather-related events, and no real market problems, there is absolutely no reason for these kinds of spikes in gas prices. Our families, our state, and national economy cannot afford this market manipulation.”

The facts, that market forces drive prices and profits are the result of spending discipline relative to revenue, will not change the minds of elected officials who either sincerely believe oil companies have the ability to manipulate retail gasoline prices or who are disingenuously misrepresenting reality to the public in an attempt to grab extra cash with the power of taxation. The Republicans need to counter propaganda with propaganda and demand the Democrats act in a manner consistent with their rhetoric.

If oil companies are exploiting the citizens of Wisconsin for profit and these profits are ill gained monies, then it is time to require the State of Wisconsin Investment Board divest themselves of all oil company stocks. If oil companies are engaged in business practices detrimental to the citizens of Wisconsin then the state has a moral duty to several all ties with these companies. Governor Doyle – divest the oil companies now!