Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Noted Without (Much) Comment

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, remedial economics division:

Gov. Jim Doyle's top deputy insisted today that Wisconsin can levy a new $272 million tax on oil company profits over the next two years and stop them from simply passing it on to consumers by raising pump prices.

"We will make it absolutely clear" that oil companies who simply boost gas-pump prices to offset the tax will be prosecuted, State Administration Secretary Mike Morgan told legislators who opened their review of Doyle's 2007-'09 budget.

"You will not manipulate markets," Morgan said, referring to statements from Republican legislators who said oil companies will simply find one way or another to raise pump prices by up to 5-cents per gallon to offset the tax.

"We will fight them here, in the federal courts and in Washington," added Morgan, who is an attorney. "The governor will not allow big oil to defeat a very good policy."

Since everyone knows oil companies have a bottomless pit of money just waiting for the people's representatives to find and put to good use, it is natural that passing a law prohibiting such a thing will be sufficient to prevent the Governor's new tax from being passed on to consumers, or indeed to have any resource-allocation effects whatsoever.



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