Orange Mordita

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Trump rode a wave of average man outrage into the Oval Office. But the Orange Man could be swept out of it just as easily if he pursues what he has hinted at doing – raise the federal tax on gas.

Not by a little bit, either.

Nothing could be more politically suicidal. Besides which, it is just a terrible idea. More money to Uncle means, inevitably, less freedom for us. More ways to extort the states to impose more freedom-stifling outrages – everything from (historically) dumbed-down DUI standards – and the vile East German-style checkpoints to go with – as well as “buckle up” laws and dumbed-down speed limit regimes.

Giving Uncle more money is – as the saying goes – like giving an idiot child a machine gun. Trump ought to know this. Don’t feed the Swamp Thing.

People – his supporters, at any rate – never bought into the confected “collusion” narrative. They will abandon him to the wolves if he hits them with an increase in what is already the most obnoxiously regressive (to use a favorite word of “progressives,” as wealth-snatching leftists like to style themselves) taxes in existence.

The federal tax is currently 18 cents per gallon – and states pile on an average of 34 cents in addition. Some even more. That’s 52 cents in overt taxes per gallon – and doesn’t count the hidden taxes per gallon, which includes the cost of the rent-seeking “renewable fuels” (ethanol) mandate, which forces us to subsidize the corn lobby and costs us again – in the form of reduced miles-per-gallon, since a gallon of ethanol-adulterated “gas” – it’s typically 10 percent ethanol in most parts of the country – will not take you as far as a gallon of 100 proof gasoline.

But leave that aside for the moment.

The federal/state gas tax mordita works out to about 25 percent of the cost of each gallon, despicably folded into the cost of each gallon rather than added in, after the fact – as other taxes on things we buy usually are. This is done to hide the cost of the tax – and shift the anger away from the busybodies and control freaks who constitute “the government” and direct it toward the Evil Oil Companies.

They are To Blame.

Yet – unlike busybodies and control freaks who constitute “the government” – and tax us until our hides bleed – “Big Oil” provides us with a useful product most of us appreciate and on which it makes very little profit, at least relative to the government.

The net profit margin on a gallon of gas is about 19 cents, with about 3-5 cents of that going to the retailer (i.e., the gas station) so about 15 cents goes into the pockets of “Big Oil.”

Which, let’s remember, is providing something useful, that people freely buy.

Unlike the government – which practices extortion and sometimes returns a pittance of what it takes by force in the form of benefits conferred upon some people – usually those who didn’t pay for them.

A 25 percent bite used to be considered usurious – and still is, only it’s legal now.

Well, the Orange  Man has floated the idea of raising the mordita by another 25 cents – more than doubling the federal tax and bringing the total tax to a ruinous 75 cents-plus per gallon.

Which would also be ruinous to his 2020 re-election campaign, as well as to the economy his policies have helped to partially resuscitate. OM’s stated reason is to fund rebuilding of admittedly decaying infrastructure and to build more.

But bankrupting the people isn’t the way to do it – unless the object of the exercise is beautifully paved and very empty highways, on the North Korean model.

Trump – who is a billionaire – may not appreciate how much damage a doubling of gas taxation will do to the already precarious finances of people who aren’t even hundred-thousand-aires. People whose finances are precarious because of the serial tax-rape they endure on every dollar they earn before they even open the fuel door of their vehicle.

Federal and state taxes on income. Plus the Socialist Insecurity and Medicare mordita. Now Obamacare on top of that. Then the rent-in-perpetuity on their homes, even if long ago paid for. The Marxist property tax recommended by the bearded one himself. To make “owning” property an impossibility.

Together, these consume probably half or more of every dollar earned by most wage-slaves. It doesn’t leave much margin for a doubled gas tax, which will increase the tax they pay to about 40 percent of the cost of each gallon.

This would shame most loan sharks; not even the mafia is this cruel.

Besides, there is a much better way to fund admittedly needed infrastructure. A way that won’t stick it to the average wage-slave.

And Trump has already indicated he is favorably inclined.

That way is to divert the billions in electric car subsidies to fund roads and so forth. To stop lining the pockets of billionaires like Elon Musk at the expense of tens of millions of thousand-aires, in order to prop up his perpetually sickly “business” – which is nothing more than a fadish rent-seeking scam.

The federal EV subsidy alone is estimated at between $15-20 billion, plus another $400 million or so at the state level. This could buy a lot of infrastructure, without imposing any new taxes on hard-pressed Americans.

And it would get the potholes fixed without costing the Orange Man re-election.

He might want to consider it.

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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54 COMMENTS

  1. Raising the Federal gas tax is going to look like child’s play compared to the “Green New Deal” and other assorted insanity the Left will impose on this country if Trump loses in 2020.

    The fact is, like him or not, Trump is our last best hope — and he’s a circus act on a tightrope. One slip and he’s gone… and we’re all going down with him.

    That’s not a situation I like to be in… but that’s where we’re at.

    • x, I don’t worry about the new green deal. She submitted it and had co-sponsors….or a sort. It was voted down unanimously.

      • Evan as crazy as today’s Democrats have become they are not stupid enough to vote for that shit. However what they do have planned for us if and when they seize power this time around is bad enough.

    • Exactly, X.

      And why I will vote for the Orange One. Playing for time is important all by itself. The country may recover its senses- or at least, come apart in reasonable good order – as the old Soviet Union did.

        • Agreed. They will simply drop the pretense of ‘democratic society’. The people will do nothing to stop it other than a Tweet about how unfair it all might be, but they can’t remember for sure. That will be the extent of the opposition as an overwhelming majority of the masses are fully domesticated now. The few outside the fence will be dealt with as required and the herd will rejoice as the ‘terrorists’ (anyone not them) are taken out.

        • Brent, there is an unlimited amount of sheeple ripe for the picking and they know it. If it takes killing a few million Americans and that many or more around the world, so be it. They’ll still be making a “killing” so to speak. Has the value of human life….or the value of Americans ever stopped the deep state from doing it’s worst?

          • Morning, Eight!

            The events of you-know-when ought to have opened everyone’s eyes as to what these people are capable of. If insufficient, I refer people to hard facts – indisputable things – such as Operation Northwoods, presented by no less a person than the chairman of the joints chiefs of staff. These people are capable of anything.

            • Morning eric! We watched Mockingjay 2 last evening. I was struck by how few humans seem to exist in that world.

              When TSHTF as in a shooting revolution, it will involve countless people and I have no doubt WMD’s will play a big role in it. I can see it being catastrophic to life on earth since it’s obvious these people think they can and will survive anything.

              I’ve seen the bomb-proof, end of life proof(so they think) shelters being built all over the world. I think they’re misplaced and could do something better with their resources but whatever floats your boat.

              It would seem they expect they can get by without the people who actually allow the infrastructure to run and exist long term. One application of cluster bombs to some children won’t even be noticed in this world, regardless of whose children they are.

              I could go out smiling if I thought the present players(too many to list but you know who I’m speaking of)were going with me.

            • What they are capable of was evident at least as early as Abe Lincoln. What I see isn’t pretty because I imagine what Abe and his friends did but with modern technology. We already see it overseas. Well we aren’t supposed to see it. Which is why they are so concerned over the wikileaks founder over the release of that video of gunning people down for giggles. They’ll do that to us per the 1980s “Running Man”.

  2. President’s oath of office:
    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Can’t find the authority to impose a federal tax on gasoline in the document.

  3. If tumpists didn’t care about the huge tax cut given to the rich and corporations, why would they care about this issue. They have one issue which is being a racist doesn’t mean I am a bad person (see Mencken).

    • Hi Reef,

      Trump is a tough one – in terms of ginning up arguments to support him. I do – reluctantly and by no means unconditionally – because several of his positions are crucially important, in my view, toward at least delaying the destruction of the country. These include his openly dismissive attitude toward “climate change” and his rescission of the Obamacare mandate/penalty. Those two alone aren’t small potatoes.

      I learned an important lesson from Lenin: Be practical as well as principled. Do not insist on the perfect (your goal) if you can achieve some of your goals.

      Trump annoys the right people, too. That alone makes him worth my vote.

      As far as “racist.” I don’t get this. Has Trump made derogatory comments about races? Has he urged people be abused on account of their skin color? Or is it the usual leftist garbage that criticism of leftist policies such as open borders and “free” stuff for all is “racist”?

      Please explain.

      • I agree with you on the issues of climate change and mandated healthcare premiums.

        These are the views Trump and his voters share with Mencken, of course they do not use such frank language, they use well polished “code language” and memes.

        “I admit freely enough that, by careful breeding, supervision of environment and education, extending over many generations, it might be possible to make an appreciable improvement in the stock of the American Negro, for example, but I must maintain that this enterprise would be a ridiculous waste of energy, for there is a high-caste white stock ready at hand, and it is inconceivable that the Negro stock, however carefully it might be nurtured, could ever even remotely approach it. The educated Negro of today is a failure, not because he meets insuperable difficulties in life, but because he is a Negro. He is, in brief, a low-caste man, to the manner born, and he will remain inert and inefficient until fifty generations of him have lived in civilization. And even then, the superior white race will be fifty generations ahead of him.”

        “The Jews could be put down very plausibly as the most unpleasant race ever heard of. As commonly encountered, they lack many of the qualities that mark the civilized man: courage, dignity, incorruptibility, ease, confidence. They have vanity without pride, voluptuousness without taste, and learning without wisdom. Their fortitude, such as it is, is wasted upon puerile objects, and their charity is mainly a form of display.”

        • Hi Reef,

          Mencken was far more complex and nuanced than these quotes imply.

          https://www.citypaper.com/news/features/bcp-was-mencken-a-racist-or-a-civil-rights-hero-professor-larry-gibson-offers-an-answeror-at-least-promi-20140909-story.html

          I’m not doubting you, but could you provide links to the sources for the quotes you provide?

          As for Trump, I’m aware that tons of articles claim that he won due to racism, the problem is that the voting data does not support that claim.

          https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/social-science-fails-to-prove-racists-elected-trump/

          From the article: “Of those who did turn out, Trump actually won a lower share of the white vote than Mitt Romney. He was able to win because he won a larger share of Hispanics and Asians than his predecessor, along with the largest share of the black vote of any Republican since 2004.”

          But, if you want to guarantee that Trump wins again, keep pushing the “Trump voters are racist” narrative. That failed for Hillary, it will fail again.

          Cheers,
          Jeremy

          • Although Wikipedia is not an authoritative source it can provide first-order information for further study. Regarding Mencken and Jews:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._L._Mencken#Jews

            The quote is from the 1930 edition of “Treatise of the Gods”. Mencken ordered it stricken from subsequent editions and additionally he was one of the first journalists to decry the treatment of Jews in Germany. Hardly the actions of a rabid Aryan Warrior type. (Possibly he ran across some unpleasant people who happened to be Jews and felt a need to vent his spleen, after which cooler heads prevailed. Certainly there are unpleasant Jews just as there are unpleasant Christians, etc.)

            Of course the proud members of the White Race that quote Mencken should also be aware of what he stated about Anglo-Saxons – that if there was such a thing as a pure “Anglo-Saxon” race, it was defined by its inferiority and cowardice. Mencken said: “The normal American of the ‘pure-blooded’ majority goes to rest every night with an uneasy feeling that there is a burglar under the bed and he gets up every morning with a sickening fear that his underwear has been stolen.” (No doubt by those wily wascally Jooooos.)

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._L._Mencken#Anglo-Saxons

            • Hi Jason,

              Thanks,

              When people criticize Mencken for racism or anti-semitism it’s usually hypocritical virtue signaling combined with a cheap jab at a perceived political foe. Funny, their moral outrage usually doesn’t extend to Lincoln, Wilson or FDR, all of whom killed a lot of people. Margaret Sanger usually gets a free ride as well.

              Mencken, unlike the above, never advocated that “inferiors” be harmed, or actually harmed anyone (except for verbal evisceration). Lincoln believed that blacks, because of their inherent inferiority, could not live with whites and advocated colonization up until he died, Sanger and Wilson embraced eugenics and Wilson was a virulent racist who re-segregated the Federal government. FDR was antisemitic and refused to alter immigration quotas to allow Jewish refugees into the country, even though he was informed of their likely fate were they denied. Oh, and there was that Japanese internment thing as well.

              People are complex and it is possible to admire some traits and dislike others in the same person. Hell, I admire John Calhoun and Malcom X. But, the expression of moral outrage, over “racist” statements is usually selective, and thus insincere.

              To Reef, I know nothing about you and I am not claiming that you are guilty of this characterization. But, your implication that all or most Trump supporters are “racist” is lazy and tiresome.

              Cheers,
              Jeremy

              • Jeremy, I agree with you. Very few people know….or will admit Malcom X did a 180 in his assessment of the white/black thing and reversed nearly everything he had said for years.

                This was too much for the deep state, a “negro” speaking truth, real truth to power, could not be tolerated. As long as he said things that would incite black people to side with him, he was walking fine ground. They wanted nothing more from him….but when he had rethought his positions and realized the truth….and was willing to say he’d made mistakes, he was a marked man.

                • Hey Eight,

                  I even liked the guy when he was a full on racist. He always preached independence, radical self-reliance, black entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, commitment to family and community, etc… Hell, if you remove the specific reference to race from much of what he said, he often sounded like a conservative libertarian type.

                  But, as long as he was saddled to the NOI and remained an obsequious underling of the fraudulent Elijah Mohammed, he could be dismissed as a racist crank. When he repudiated the NOI, Mohammed black nationalism and was becoming more appealing to young whites, that’s when he became dangerous.

                  Cheers,
                  Jeremy

        • Hi Reef,

          How does opposition to the “climate change” religion and Obamacare make one “racist”? I’m genuinely curious. I’m just tired of being ordered around and mulcted. I’m not “oppressing” anyone; I just want to be left in peace to live my own life and take care of myself – and not be forced to take care of others.

          • @eric “I agree with you on the issues of climate change and mandated healthcare premiums.”

            I live in Cali and have not voted for a local Democratic candidate for ten years now.

            Trump is a semi-illiterate, vulgar, clownish, third rate con-man. He is embarrassing to conservative causes. He has no morals or integrity. He is the “white” embodiment of degenerate “rapper” culture.

            • Hi Anonymous,

              I don’t disagree in re Trump. However, she would have been worse. For example, it is a near-certainty that we’d have carbon taxes – or be on the way to having them; the U.S. would certainly still be a party to the Paris Climate Change accords. I’d certainly still be forced to pay a “shared responsibility” payment to Uncle, were it not for the Orange Man.

              So, he’s got his good points.

          • Eric, it is because some see certain people as “less fortunate” and if you are not using their religious virtue signalling to “help” those people then it must be (ancient aliens leap) because you are racist.

            They also think those of us who help people via the free market are greedy. They never see the benefits of making goods and services more affordable. Or making things that people use to make a living themselves. You know what I do, it’s an industry that supports a ton of small and family businesses around the world. Never once does anyone get a lick of credit outside the industry making it such that someone with a few hundred bucks can start his own one man business out of the back of his vehicle. Some are small as a teenager with a bicycle and trailer for it.

            They can’t see it. They only see good by handing out free stuff and being in a position above others. Obamacare is after a century of making medical care unaffordable they will now grant people medical care. It’s so sick and twisted. It’s the old quote about breaking someone’s leg and handing him a crutch.

            • Well-said, Brent… unfortunately.

              I have always had an appreciation for things which make life better – without it being forced on anyone. It is a tragedy beyond words that we have access to more information than any previous generation of humanity, the tools to make life on earth so much freer for everyone… and instead, ignorance is venerated and power lusted after.

    • Reef,

      What did the rich ever do to you? How did they ruin your life? Can rich people pull you over and extort money from you at GUNPOINT? Can rich people hit you with ruinous taxes and regulations? Can rich people determine what cars you can buy? Do rich people tax your home in perpetuity so that you never truly OWN it? Do rich people tell you what you can and cannot do with ‘your’ property? Do rich people take your rights away via DUI checkpoints? I could go on, but you get my point: to wit, it’s not rich people we need to worry about; it’s the GOVERNMENT…

      • Amen, Mark!

        I don’t grok the desire to punish people for having money – assuming they didn’t steal it, of course. But assuming it’s honestly earned, they have the moral right to keep every last cent – and no one else has a moral claim to a cent of their money. No matter how much they have.

        It’s just as wrong to steal from a millionaire as it is to steal from a plumber. Theft is theft.

        • My comment assumed that they didn’t steal their money, but rather created a product or service that others wanted. Either that, or they built a better mouse trap. But yeah, rich people don’t ruin our lives like the gov’t does. As Pres. Reagan said, the most terrifying words are: I’m from the gov’t, and I’m here to help you.

          There’s not only that, Eric; it’s that rich people are the ones in position to create jobs. Either they have their own companies employing people (e.g. Pres. Trump’s companies), or they buy things that create jobs (like yachts or private jets). In any case, you won’t see many poor people creating jobs.

        • There is a belief system that anyone who is better off is better off because they are a thief. This of course is used and taught to justify more government. The more government there is the more the route to wealth is theft. It’s self-fulfilling and circular.

  4. Eric,

    I live in rural Maine, Downeast, if you know the area. I drive 22 miles to work – this time of year more than a half cup of coffee with a lid is NOT possible. The roads are “patched” with SAND in the holes, and before and after the frost heaves.

    The local POPO patrol THE ONLY STRETCH that one can exceed the posted limit, due to awful road condition.The money I SPEND on gas taxes is spent in Augusta & Portland, to my detriment, and I still get to pay additional auto expenses for repairs due to the atrocious conditions.

    I resent paying for something I do NOT receive. State legislators are playing thumb twiddling games…

    And now we have a loser for Gov. …NOT MY vote,…

    QHM

  5. Eric, I’m surprised that you did not even mention the gas tax as being a MAJOR strategic tactic in the war on the internal combustion engine. Regulating IC out of the reach of the “common people” will surely increase demand for “alternatives”.

    • You’re right, Anonymous… I ought to have mentioned it.

      I read something interesting – and very dark – the other day. The gist being that Trump is pushing this as a way to maintain oil hegemony; i.e., to reduce civilian/citizen demand for oil so as to assure America can export more domestic production, to fund the federal government.

          • eric, once again we get down to what Jesse Ventura says and I’ve said for a long while. When you vote for either of the Republocrats you’re simply voting, as the Fugs said in 1965, the lesser of two evils.

            Until we can get everyone voting for independents, and there was a large increase in that the last election, esp. in Tx., we just keep going down the same road…expecting the usual bad places to not be so bad.

            I’m not criticizing you. I too voted for Trump, held my nose and all of that. I only went to the mid-terms to vote for Cruz as opposed to Beto the slimy. But Cruz isn’t a Texan, not even a US person. He’s a Canadian and that’s rarely good in Texas. But the average voter doesn’t know any more than the ads they see and the slogans they hear and see.

            Watch that tv. Then you’ll be “learned up” on everything. So that’s what the sheeple do. As JC said, “I hung my head, I hung my head”. And after getting this written I see I have become logged out in the last hour. How the hell does that work?

  6. Of course the umpteen billions of dollars funneled into the black hole of the Pentagram for our “security” would repair a ton of infrastructure. The orange one said he would end the wars and get the US out of NATO, but that was before he won the election. NATO especially is long past it’s expiration date, but then all those useless occifers would have to get honest work.

  7. this same thing started the mass media ignored yellow jacket protests in France. It unlikely our sedated and obese population would do anything similar. Btw – Notre Dame cathedral is burning down. Good analogy for France overall.

    • Hi Jeremy,

      I saw that. I haven’t met Tucker yet or spoken with him but I like the way he eviscerates lefties. He’s good at his gig and – for a mainstream pundit – generally solid.

      I strongly suspect that, as things grow worse, people like him will begin to see the importance of making common cause with people such as myself – and taking a more principled tack when it comes to discussing what ails us.

      I’d welcome an invite to be a guest on his show.

      • eric, you’d be a great guest for him. You have it all in your head and can get it out there smoothly. The gas tax would immediately raise the cost of everything else. I don’t think he fully grasps that it’s the opposite of his mandate to Saudi Arabia to produce more cheap oil to avoid inflation, something a gas tax would do in a heartbeat.

  8. Hey Eric,

    Totally off topic but:

    I read you liked Mencken’s “hoist the black flag and start slitting throats” quote.

    Here’s another quote of his to add to the collection, one of my personal favorites.

    “A misogynist is a man who hates women as much as women hate one another”.

    Be looking forward to listening to you and David Knight again.

    Take Care,
    AF

    • Excellent, AF!

      I am pretty sure I have a comprehensive collection of the maestro’s works. I revere him, both for his style as well as how he used it.

      I’ll be on Bill Meyer’s show tomorrow, 9:35 eastern.

  9. Most of the V-Dot budget is spent on funding private enterprises. The “Smart Road” to nowhere, for no public use – EVER. And most recently, 40 Million to build an intermodal terminal to GIVE to Norfolk Southern, who, incidentally, didn’t want it to begin with, and refused to build such with their own money because of it’s complete lack of profitability. The rest is spent on NOVA, and supervisor salaries and pensions. I cannot divulge my source, but it is internal and reliable, albeit almost redundant , because V-Dot is fairly candid about what it is doing with public funds that they make clear are THEIRS to spend, and NOT ours.

  10. “gallon of 100 proof gasoline.”

    I know what you were trying to say but proof is not the same as percent. It varies around the world but;

    In the U.S., a baseline was settled on in the mid 19th century, making a 50% alcohol by volume spirit exactly “100 proof.”

  11. Kick a working man while he is down. Richmond just imposed 7.1 cents more on a gallon. I guess beginning July 01 ? They say to improve I-81 in Virginia. Yeah, sure, right! I’d bet the farm that most of the new extorted revenue either funds NoVa or disappears to fatten more ass sitters in Richmond. And 10 years latter, we need more money …. again to improve I-81. If the population at large would give as much attention to politicians like they do to “reality” tv, smart phones and other meaningless bullshit, we’d have better accountability from those who lust power over us.

  12. The fuel tax was last raised in 1993. The tax on diesel is almost 0.25 per gallon. They’re crying they need more due to inflation. The inflation they caused and are still causing. They’re crying they need more because of the increased vehicle mileage they required and because the EV’s use no gasoline which they have dictated and as you say waste millions on kickbacks to the Musks of the world. .

    I’m not so sure it would cost him an election. First, there is no one of any consequence running against him, Second, Americans have become very meek and cowardly when it comes to governments. Third, Elections are staged so there’s that.

  13. Plenty of money for roads and bridges. The problem is its being spent on trains and public transportation. Locally here in MN they spent 1 billion to create a new train that goes from saint paul to minneapolis. Train was completed back in 2017. There isn’t even a gate check in. You just step on the train and a conductor is supposed to check the tickets. Then you are only traveling 35 mph and have to stop at lights. They estimate it will cost annually 150 million to keep running. it will never be self sufficient. No one really rides it besides people too young to drive or too poor to drive and most don’t even have a ticket. All the money used to fund this train is from fuel taxes. Meanwhile your road will get a black top patch on top of the patch. I could be wrong but i bet fuel taxes are like social security. There is no lock box. It all goes to the general fund and will be used accordingly.

    • The reason is that public transport is probably one of the greatest cash cows (after the MIC) for crooked government contractors and connected politicians/bureaucrats…… Not only does it cost a fortune to make…. it also costs a fortune to run….. giving a continues revenue stream from the taxpayer….

    • Fuel taxes go into the “Highway Fund” in Texas. At the end of the year you can see the various ways the fund is robbed of most of the funds. We could have 8 lane highways to everywhere needed and 4 lanes would replace 2 lanes in a great deal of the state…..if we had the money from the “highway fund” to spend on……highways.

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