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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 28, 2008 / 23 Iyar 5768

Windfall-Profit Nonsense

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to raise the price of oil, as well as most everything else, and lower the value of the pension and mutual funds that union members and retirees depend on.


Of course, they don't describe their plan that way. Instead, they call for a windfall-profits tax on the oil companies.


But it's the same thing.


Taxing a "windfall" sounds appealing, but stock prices are based on expected profits. Throw a new tax on profits, and retirement portfolios of regular people take a hit


"Hillary will impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies and use the money to temporarily suspend the 18.4 cent per gallon federal gas tax and the 24.4 cent per gallon diesel tax during the upcoming peak summer driving months," says her website .


"They sure can afford it," she told an audience in Indianapolis.


Whom does she think "they" are?


Obama says: "It isn't right that oil companies are making record profits at a time when ordinary Americans are going into debt. ... That's why we'll put a windfall profits tax on oil companies..."


Taxing "windfalls" is politically rewarding, but in the final analysis, only people pay taxes. When a corporation is taxed, the burden falls on workers (through smaller raises), consumers (through higher prices) and shareholders (through lower stock prices).


Do Clinton and Obama really want to tax these innocent people just to spite oil executives for high profits?


Anyway, what is a "windfall"? Any answer is arbitrary. Obama says it's the profit made off oil that's priced above $80 a barrel. Why not $70? Or $90? Did he pull that number out of a hat?


At least he's honest enough to call his tax a windfall profits "penalty." But why do the companies deserve to be penalized? Have they behaved badly?


It's not their fault that demand for oil skyrocketed because of booming economies in China and India, and that tensions in the Middle East pushed prices up. It's not their fault government regulation keeps them from drilling in promising locations like Alaska and offshore, and harasses them when they want to build new refineries or expand old ones. It's not their fault the dollar has deteriorated dramatically.


Being in the oil business is profitable, but not as profitable as you may think. Last year, average earnings in the industry (net income divided by sales) were 8.3 percent. (They are lower this year.) Other industries have done better. Beverage and tobacco firms had returns of over 19 percent.


Yes, oil company profits have surged as the price of oil rose, but bigger profits are good for America. The vast majority of the money goes not to the pockets of oil executives, but to exploration for new oil. If you take the money away, who is hurt?


We don't have to speculate because we have experience to draw on. "We tried this windfall profits scheme in 1980," The Wall Street Journal writes. "It backfired. The Congressional Research Service found in a 1990 analysis that the tax reduced domestic oil production by 3 (percent) to 6 (percent) ...".


Repeating that would not be a good thing for the harried working families Clinton and Obama claim to champion.


Spiking prices and profits encourage investors to take risks to find more oil, develop oil substitutes and increase efficiency. We don't need a "national energy policy" because we already have one. It's called the free market. When oil prices rose a few years ago, old fields with hard-to-reach oil in Oklahoma were suddenly worth operating.


Economics 101: incentives matter. Now that the price of oil has reached a new high, oil companies and other entrepreneurs have more incentive to find new sources of energy.


Only that — letting the profit-motive work — will bring the price of oil down. Interfering with markets may be good for politicians, but it's bad for everyone else.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JUST OUT FROM STOSSEL
Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel --- Why Everything You Know Is Wrong  

Stossel mines his 20/20 segments for often engaging challenges to conventional wisdom, presenting a series of "myths" and then deploying an investigative journalism shovel to unearth "truth." This results in snappy debunkings of alarmism, witch-hunts, satanic ritual abuse prosecutions and marketing hokum like the irradiated-foods panic, homeopathic medicine and the notion that bottled water beats tap. Stossel's libertarian convictions make him particularly fond of exposes of government waste and regulatory fiascoes. Sales help fund JWR.



JWR contributor John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20." To comment, please click here.


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