A War Tax at the Gas Pump?

Gas PumpInteresting point of view from Jeff Klein on Counterpunch:

It’s hard to miss the higher cost of gas every time we fill up our cars these days, but the News Media doesn’t do a very good job of explaining why. There isn’t any mystery, though, if you read the financial press and oil industry sources: We’re paying extra for gas because of rising tensions in the Middle East and especially the scare over a possible US or Israeli attack on Iran. In effect, we’re paying a “war tax” at the gas pump, and the cost will only get higher unless we put aside the talk of war and get down to serious diplomacy to settle the differences in the region.

Here’s what the Wall Street Journal had to say recently, under the headline “Oil Rise Imperils Budding Recovery”:

Rising oil prices are emerging once again as a threat to the U.S. economic recovery just as it appears to be gaining momentum. Oil prices have climbed sharply in recent weeks as mounting tension with Iran has raised the threat of a disruption in global supplies. On Wednesday, oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $1.06 to $101.80 a barrel on reports that Iran had cut off sales to six European countries in response to the European Union’s newly stepped-up sanctions.

The world market price for oil is headed upward of $110 a barrel, which could translate into $4 gasoline before too long. If an actual war breaks out, we could soon be remembering the current price at the pump as “cheap gas” …

Read More from Jeff Klein on Counterpunch

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  • Neil455

    Nobody seems to mention commodity speculators.
    Demand for oil should b lower in a recession.
    With low interest rates huge amounts of $ have been pumped into commodity markets.
    Iron ore, silver, gold, oil etc
    The war premium is on top of this.

  • DeepCough

    Americans seem to have forgotten that the military runs on taxes, otherwise they’d be bitching less about welfare recipients.

    • Jin The Ninja

      60 cents of every dollar…

  • Phantom

    Greed in all sectors of the oil process.  Even when after it’s processed the greed continues.  Can you really believe the reports that oil companies release to the public?  But hey, salesmans all over the world sucker people into paying more than they should.  Is crude oil rare to come by?  How can you prove or disprove the oil company reports?  Or any reports for that matter?  

  • Redacted

    I’m one of the guys who went and got that oil, so shouldn’t I get an employee discount or something?

    • Jin The Ninja

      at the very least free public transit for life.

  • Elmyr23

    sounds good for oil companies.

  • PepperAnn

    I’m so sick of people whining about the price of oil.Higher gas prices encourage people to walk/bike or use public transportation. We have the cheapest gas prices of any first world country and we are complete addicts to oil, its disgusting. Just shut up! Seriously

    • Jin The Ninja

       ”higher gas prices encourage people to walk/bike or use public transit”

      it’s a lovely sentiment really. but totally wrong. first, you need a massive public transit infrastructure already extant for people that actually use public transit. Lower income people already make a large proportion of public transit demographics. So what happens in places like the deep south or southern california which have poor public transit systems and a car is generally needed to access social and economic quotidian things, is that those people lose income by being functionally inert (of no fault of there own) as a result of high gas prices.

      secondly, you need a pedastrian culture- which outside of a few major US cities, simply does not exist- urban planning must specifically engage in a culture of walking- creating what jane jacobs said was vital to a city which was multi-use (small commercial locally owned stores with apartments on the top and houses on corresponding blocks, green space, public transit hub) mixed income, ethnically diverse, walkable neighboorhoods.

      you also need a healthy and viably fit population who can bike for long distances. As we know the healthcare situation in the US is dire.

      again what you said was a lovely, middle class greenwashing neo-liberal sentiment, but it has no bearing on the economic reality. Rich people can still afford to fuel their cars, and industries continue to ‘produce’ or promote consumer garbage (and pollute the environment). high gas prices change nothing, but rather continue a culture of disenfrachisement.

      i also must note, that i am sick of hearing supposed weekend eco warriors use the personal responsibility mantra – it’s capitalism, corporations, war and industry that’s made this planet sick. the little people? maybe, but it’s negligible in the face of the real culprits.