Sunday, June 29, 2008

California - The Real Windfall Profiteer

This past Tuesday, I had the rare opportunity to talk with Michael Genest, who serves as the Director of the California Department of Finance, about the state of the California State Budget. During the discussion Genest pointed out that there is not enough revenue to repair California's roads and highways. I was incensed since I had just filled my gas tank before going to the meeting. I calmed myself before speaking and told him that I had just spent $201.80 filling my tank at $4.57 per gallon. I drive a Ford Excursion. I told him that nearly $90 of that cost goes to the state in taxes and fees. Genest said that I am wrong about that because the excise tax is only 18 cents per gallon.

I had to remind him that the true tax revenue is not just the 18 cents per gallon. There are two other sources - the Board of Equalization's list of taxes and fees per gallon of gasoline and the Corporate profit and loss statements of the gas company from which the gas was purchased. Oil companies compute the corporate taxes, fees, property taxes, and income taxes in the price of gas as well as other business costs. Genest seemed to be very surprised by my response. Genest did capitulate to my understanding.

Unfortunately, California does not see itself as the problem with the high price of gasoline. Left Wing Liberals, who are currently in leadership in California, exclude their destructive role and scapegoat the Oil Companies. Of that $4.57 price per gallon I paid, $2.04 went to the State and local governments. About 9.3 cents per gallon went to Chevron (the gas station where I made my purchase).

This windfall revenue must be eliminated in order to immediately reduce the price of gasoline. Only afterward should other energy sources be pursued. What is very sad is that businesses are closing in Sacramento and all over California due to the crushing impact of high gasoline prices. However because of the state budget deficit and the projected continuation of this windfall revenue in the 2008-09 California Budget, Left Wing Liberals are reluctant to give immediate relief to us California Residents. Just as their socialist dictators do in other countries, they are using all of their legislative power and public influence to direct our anger from them to "Big Oil".

My hope is that we residents resist that manipulation and apply as much pressure a possible on these legislators to do unto themselves what they wish to do unto the oil companies - reduce their profiteering on the price of gasoline.

Mali D. Currington

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