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Mr. Speaker, the government answer to government-created problems is to tax people and businesses that are producing. The economic philosophy is simple: Punish success by the power of the tax.
The latest government tax plan is the energy tax. The idea is, tax anything that uses energy. And it contains several philosophies. The first one is raise the gasoline tax 10 cents. I guess the government bureaucrats don't think gasoline prices are high enough already. Americans pay 18 cents in Federal gasoline tax, about 20 cents in State tax; and gasoline is approaching $2 a gallon, so they are going to raise taxes and make it harder for us to drive.
But that is not all. The idea also is to tax mileage of cars. It is called the car user tax. In other words, for every mile an American citizen drives, they are going to get taxed for that mile. Of course, that hurts people in rural areas, it hurts people who don't have mass transit and don't have a choo-choo train to ride to work. But it is the car user tax, and we don't know yet how much that is going to be.
But we have more. The idea also is to tax the use of energy in your home. In other words, when you turn on the lights, you are using electricity and you are going to get taxed for using that energy. If you have hot water in your home and you use a hot water heater that is run by natural gas and you turn on the hot water, since you are using natural gas you are going to get taxed again for the use of energy. And of course in the winter in some places in the United States they use home heating oil to keep warm in the winter. And since they are using energy, they are going to get taxed for that. It is the home use energy tax on all Americans. And of course the same is going to be applied to businesses. But businesses, they are going to pass their taxes on down to the consumer who has to pay all of those taxes as well.
There is more. There is the cap-and-trade tax, or the cap tax as I call it. What that is, it is based on the unproven mythical theory of global warming and the use of CO
2; so if you use any CO
2, you are going to get taxed for that.
There are other taxes. Those include taxes on energy production. What that is, is those businesses--we call them oil companies--that produce energy for the rest of us to use, they are going to be taxed with so many different taxes I don't have time to go through it; but what it amounts to, it will cost the American consumer another 41 cents per gallon of gasoline to pay for that tax on energy production that is being passed from the oil companies down to the American consumer. And, of course, the effect of that, whether intended or unintended, will be to send those energy-producing companies, those oil companies, somewhere else. We already find out that some of them are moving to Switzerland.
When that happens, we will get less tax revenue to begin with. You see, we already have the second highest corporate income tax in the world. And why would we fault oil companies for moving overseas when they are already paying so much taxes? And these energy taxes will increase and encourage people to move offshore and to other places.
Mr. Speaker, whether people know it or not, we do not have alternatives for the use of crude oil or gasoline yet. Some day we might have one of those electric cars that we all get to drive around in, but we don't have it now. So if we keep sending energy companies overseas, make it harder for them to produce, tax the energy consumption, it is going to be more difficult for us to exist in this world.
So why don't we do something a little novel. Why don't we allow more energy exploration, instead of continuing to subsidize the Middle Eastern oil countries who don't like us anyway.
If we explore more, that will create jobs that stay in America. It will bring revenue to the American Treasury, because those oil companies have to pay for those leases. We can then get more tax revenue from those oil companies, and money will stay here, instead of shipping it overseas to foreign countries. A novel idea. And there is not a tax included in any of that.
But it seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that the current bureaucrats never saw a tax they didn't like. So we will all just get to ride bicycles and freeze in the cold dark of winter, and for light we will have to use candles since we can't afford to pay the electricity tax on our homes.
And that's just the way it is.
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