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Old 2012-02-25, 22:34   Link #3041
monsta666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
I just want to say, that with the US petrol tax being as low as it could go already, the only way Obama could lower the price of petrol is if he subsidises gasoline for the ENTIRE PLANET.
I suppose if Obama really wanted to do some kind of price reduction on gasoline he wouldn't have to go that far. He could set some sort of ceiling on petrol prices. I don't know let us say $2.50 a gallon as Gingrich promised. If the cost of gasoline exceeds that amount then he can promise the petrol companies that the government will pay the difference so those companies don't have to sell at a loss. Sure it would cost billions but I suppose maybe he could offset some of those costs if he ended the Bush cuts or cut military spending. By doing it that way he may not be spending all that much as he just directing the federal budget into another source. Now I doubt even this suggestion is workable and you can certainly question the long-term wisdom of it because it will encourage more gasoline consumption but it is a way of lowering gas prices without resorting to something truly heroic and out of this world.
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Old 2012-02-25, 23:20   Link #3042
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monsta666 View Post
I suppose if Obama really wanted to do some kind of price reduction on gasoline he wouldn't have to go that far. He could set some sort of ceiling on petrol prices. I don't know let us say $2.50 a gallon as Gingrich promised. If the cost of gasoline exceeds that amount then he can promise the petrol companies that the government will pay the difference so those companies don't have to sell at a loss. Sure it would cost billions but I suppose maybe he could offset some of those costs if he ended the Bush cuts or cut military spending. By doing it that way he may not be spending all that much as he just directing the federal budget into another source. Now I doubt even this suggestion is workable and you can certainly question the long-term wisdom of it because it will encourage more gasoline consumption but it is a way of lowering gas prices without resorting to something truly heroic and out of this world.
Still, at that point Obama would literally be using tax dollars to pay for petrol... Which gets nowhere because the taxes came from the population.
It would be like me paying you cash that I obtained from your savings account. You are not actually getting cheaper petrol if you are picking up the tab anyway.

Of course, Obama could Nationalise the oil companies... But that's what Hugo Chavez and Putin does. Capitalism demands that a hot commodity stays expensive. Socialism is the only way out. And if you don't want socialism, get used to paying fair price for oil.
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Old 2012-02-25, 23:23   Link #3043
Irenicus
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^I was curious, and went about doing some silly, rudimentary math:

CIA estimates US consumption of oil to be 19,150,000 barrels per day (that's...a lot) in 2010.

Current crude oil price, using the WTI standard, is at 109.62$ as of this moment. Round up to 110$ for ease of calculation. Brent standard is at a not very pretty 125$.

So the USA is using, at the very least, 19,150,000 x 110$ = 2,106,500,000 $ (2.1 billion) worth of oil per day.

Now, current oil price per gallon in the USA is slightly above 3.50$; your hypothetical situation would push it down to 2.50$. In other words, the US government will be subsidizing around 28% of the current oil price. I'll just round it up to 30%, which means it will be subsidizing 2,106,500,000 x 30% = 631,950,000 $ per day. That accounts for a yearly subsidization of 631,950,000 x 365 = 230,661,750,000 $ (0.23 trillion).

The annual budget of the US government is about 6,300,000,000,000 $ (6.3 trillion).

Doable? Maybe. A measly 3-4% of the national budget you could say. Though I think you should probably say it's an obscene 3-4% of the national budget of the world's premier superpower, going literally down the black hole for no particular reason.

Take into account that I haven't at all accounted for the effects of, among countless other factors: one, the increased frivolous usage that the lower price entails; two, market manipulation that aim to cash in on this free offer to loot the US treasury; three, dated data, with consumption likely higher right now to accompany the changes in GDP; four, flunctuations, i.e. high summer oil prices; five, the sheer stupidity of it all. All of which would by a considerable margin increases the pressure on the Federal Government. Especially the last factor.

Not to mention, of course, that the 6.3 trillion budget is already scraped together on a deficit. It's not exactly the best time to be funding bread and circus subsidies when you have to borrow obscenely to do it, or tax your population more which has the direct effect of redistributing wealth from the general population to the oil industry, while reducing the burden on the general population only slightly.

When I say "income redistribution" I don't think I want it to mean get the rich even richer.

A few final, but very important notes: first, the USA is already subsidizing the oil industry in a number of ways, though not through a direct per gallon price subsidies; tax deductions, exploration cost subsidies, etc. Some think tanks attempt to translate these indirect subsidies into an $ per gallon number, but I don't want to get into discussions about their calculation methods. Second, gasoline tax in most countries aim at reducing usage, spurring research into alternative energy technologies, and reduce the dependence -- which is a strategic liability. And third, that 0.23 trillion is 0.23 trillion we do not have, and which even if we do I'd really rather see put into NASA so we can start saving the human race from itself.
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Old 2012-02-25, 23:54   Link #3044
monsta666
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Like I said, the scenario I painted is hardly workable nor wise for the reasons you pointed out. I didn't believe this plan should be taken as it is not wise and very expensive. I should have made that more clear in my first post so apologies for that. However what I suggested was perhaps the cheapest way of doing it and if the US government was prepared to cut in other areas to offset those costs then the tax payer would not be paying more tax. In effect the tax payer is getting their money back by implementing those cuts because instead of money going to the military that money is used to reduce the tax payers living expenses.

And even if the tax payer does pay indirectly through taxes the subsidy would also bring price stability. If the cost of the subsidy became too costly the government can give a reasonable warning they will reduce the subsidy and thus the price would go up. But then the US consumer can plan their finances that much better because they know exactly when the price is going up. They won't be put in a scenario where the price of gasoline shoots up by 30 cents in the space of the month. Perhaps that is a cost some people or businesses are willing to bear. Such predictability is not just good for consumers but also for businesses who can base their long-term plans on stable prices of gas.

And I do agree that the oil industry is subsidised in various ways: from tax deductions, wars to certain costs being externalised such as pollution. The oil industry is getting plenty of breaks and furthermore at the end of the day oil is a finite resource. Subsiding a finite resource (which will result in increased demand) will only insure that the resource is depleted that bit quicker which is a major liability; a liability so great that it would be an issue of national security. For that reason alone I would not advocate such a plan. My main intention with the post was merely to highlight a way Obama could lower the price of gas without having to subsidise the entire world or to drill so much that he could reduce world oil prices (which I think is impossible to do in the US).
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Old 2012-02-26, 00:02   Link #3045
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Still, the very idea of artificially lowering the price of oil is anti-capitalist isn't it?
My mind boggles that GOP is thinking that they could make that argument.

My mind boggles even more than GOP supporters are starting to take the bait.
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Old 2012-02-26, 00:13   Link #3046
Irenicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monsta666 View Post
Like I said, the scenario I painted is hardly workable nor wise for the reasons you pointed out. I didn't believe this plan should be taken as it is not wise and very expensive. I should have made that more clear in my first post so apologies for that.
It was already clear, no worries. I was merely painting your scenario in more concrete terms because of my own curiosity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant
My mind boggles even more than GOP supporters are starting to take the bait.
I don't think the average GOP supporters are free-traders, ideological capitalists so much as they are, er, average GOP supporters.
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Old 2012-02-26, 00:20   Link #3047
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
I don't think the average GOP supporters are free-traders, ideological capitalists so much as they are, er, average GOP supporters.
So what's all the fuss about universal healthcare then?

Having cheap health insurance is apparently evil, but cheap gasoline is not evil?

Americans have expensive healthcare that they can't afford, and GOP voters are okay with it. So why so upset about expensive gasoline that they can't afford?
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Old 2012-02-26, 00:33   Link #3048
monsta666
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It is anti-capitalist and I doubt this is what the GOP is suggesting by lowering gas prices. I think their solution is drill baby drill and/or to lower tax rates on gas. And on a side-note this low tax rate is one of the reasons the highways and bridges are falling apart. If you want to repair/build those roads the last thing you should think about is further tax cuts.

As for the drilling bit, I doubt any further drilling will make any meaningful difference to world oil prices. And even if that drilling did increase production significantly we got to remember all these recent increases in production largely came about because of fracking or deep-sea drilling; both methods are more expensive and are only viable drilling operations because oil is priced at about $100 a barrel. If the price of barrel were to plunge to $20-30, as was the case 10 years ago, then people would stop fracking or drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Fracking is not new technology and the oil companies have known about the shale oil in North Dakota for ages; it was just until recently uneconomical to drill because the price of oil was too low to justify the cost of fracking and it would therefore be unprofitable to drill such fields.

Then again most people do not consider such things so when the GOP say more drilling or less taxes because people buy it. This is especially true when the Republicans say stuff like Obama is an idiot etc. I do think it is a silly game to play because if they do manage to win and defeat Obama they are basically stuck with an unsolvable problem. I suppose when thinking about it, the GOP could suggest they can lower gas prices by limiting the amount of speculation people can make in the futures market. But I have not heard the GOP talk about taking much action against speculators, all I am hearing is drill baby drill, too much regulation/taxes. Not lets stop those evil speculators. Then again I am not living in America so perhaps I missed something here...
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Old 2012-02-26, 00:42   Link #3049
solomon
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No you really didn't miss anything. Speculators NEVER come up in speeches.
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Old 2012-02-26, 03:31   Link #3050
Ithekro
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The complaints on gasoline prices has a lot to do with memory. There are a lot of people that can remember when gas cost 0.25 cents a gallon. I can remember when it was less than a dollar for a gallon of gas.

Add to this the price differences within the country itself. The gas prices are supposedly highest in New York and California for various reasons. You go to maybe Nevada or Iowa and you will find a cheaper price. Sometimes by a few dollars. The ones usually complaining are those that have State Taxes or Enviromental regulated additives added to the cost in the gas in an area verses the lower price someplace else.

I paid $4.29 a gallon today and fulled the tank with nine gallons out of fourteen as a safety factor for the 70 or so miles I drove today. I have a 40 year old car that gets about 20 miles to the gallon on the freeway, but less in town, and there is always the possibility of heavy traffic. I nearly protested when gas went up to $2.11 almost ten years ago. And I knew gas was more expensive in the UK as I'd calculated that they were paying when I was there in mid-2001 about $5.00 a gallon.
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Old 2012-02-26, 05:29   Link #3051
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I don't follow it and don't care. But it seems hard to live in America. It is just never good. First Bush and now Obama.
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Old 2012-02-26, 05:36   Link #3052
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by Yurichan View Post
I don't follow it and don't care. But it seems hard to live in America. It is just never good. First Bush and now Obama.
I am not sure what you specifically believe Obama had done that made him infamous. He is a politically weak president who couldn't get many things done, but other than that I am not sure where the animosity should be coming from.
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Old 2012-02-26, 11:46   Link #3053
Zetsubo
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why is obama politically weak ?
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Old 2012-02-26, 12:51   Link #3054
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Originally Posted by Zetsubo View Post
why is obama politically weak ?
Rules of the Senate and the House that stymie any legislation the majority might want.
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Old 2012-02-26, 13:19   Link #3055
solomon
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Yup it's the way the country was set up, which people normally forget (or like to ignore).

Weithier it's a Dem or GOP, don't hate the player hate the game is generally the operating word when it comes to president and his influence on domestic policies.
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Old 2012-02-26, 15:07   Link #3056
solomon
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Speaking on Oil and Energy,

here is a great interview with Christiana Figueres the UN Climate Chief.

It's a good interview with good questions by the interviewer, highlighting the skeptism a certain number of scientists have on Climate Change, the as of yet very modest productivity of said energies and the US's balking on alternative energy sources.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/...316343238.html

Figueres basically says that, Alt Energy is a growing (necessary) compliment/addition to the energy sources avaliable along with fossil fuels, NOT a mere substitution. And she says that the US is looking at this too much as a "anti-captalist, no to regulation" question as opposed to being "a technological leader" and "Made in USA" question.

She is generally enthused by gradual growth in the sectors and if the US wants to stay out of that aggressive development, then whatever. She implies that it's a loss for us though (hinting that for all the made in USA hollering, we'd be investing in such tech from Abroad included the DREADED Chinese).

Watch it and then see what you think?
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Old 2012-02-26, 18:27   Link #3057
ganbaru
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Santorum win in Michigan could be chaos for Republicans
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...81P0OE20120226
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Old 2012-02-27, 08:26   Link #3058
ganbaru
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Santorum Makes Case for Religion in Public Sphere
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/27/us...ic-sphere.html
That guy should be running for the highest post in Iran insted of the USA.
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Old 2012-02-27, 09:52   Link #3059
SaintessHeart
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So what are the politicians going to do about this now?

Huawei places $6-billion chip order with U.S.

China is now hiring from US due to the lack of skilled tech labour at their side, so are the Congress going to see this as a job creation opportunity, or China-enslaving-US opportunity?

Unless of course, the three companies had their production plants outside of US.

P.S I am starting to find that market-research-oriented news sites are providing more information about the economy and job market of US than the regular Reuters and WSJ.
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Old 2012-02-27, 11:18   Link #3060
ganbaru
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Romney: I have friends who own NASCAR teams
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_1...-nascar-teams/
So it seem tha the republican will have to choose betweem a christian nutjobs and a 250 millions gouvernor than fail to understand the middle class, and even less the poors.
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