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Letters to the Editor

More facts

March 27, 2012

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To the editor:

I both commend and second the “pertinent facts” submitted by Walt Hull and published in the March 22 Journal-World, an excellent summary of truths too few people know about, much less care about.

I’d like to add one more item of equal truth value to Hull’s list: a clip from an article in the March 22 Kansas City Star: “A statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly, inflation-adjusted prices and U.S. domestic oil production by the Associated Press shows no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump. If more domestic oil drilling worked as politicians say, you’d now be paying $2 a gallon for gasoline. Instead, you’re paying the highest prices ever for March.” (p. A7).  The simple truth is that the current status of stability vs. tensions in the Near and Middle East at any given time, compounded by speculation in the world oil market, influences prices at the pump many times more than any amount or lack of domestic U.S. production.

Hull did omit, however, the other side of the story about government “borrowing” from Social Security. It’s my understanding the Social Security law requires that taxpayers’ payments be invested to earn a return for the benefit of the taxpayers, but that same law permits such investments only in the safest possible vehicles in existence: i.e., U.S. government securities. So one man’s borrowing from Social Security is another man’s following the law in order to provide maximum protection for the taxpayers’ investments.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

Politicians may well be the most uninformed group in America.

They are too busy chasing down special interest campaign money and finding out what they are to tell we taxpayers..... not exactly a fact finding mission.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 9 months ago

Yet we keep voting for them. We're getting exactly the government we deserve.

camper 2 years, 9 months ago

"Politicians may well be the most uninformed group in America"

This comes to mind. Very sad.

parrothead8 2 years, 9 months ago

Here's some math for you: The federal excise tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon. Last time I took a math class, 18.4 cents was less than 50 cents, so Uncle Sam isn't getting as big a "pile o' money" as you claim.

Kansas imposes a 24 cents per gallon state tax (26 for diesel), so you can ask your beloved Brownie where that money is going.

George Lippencott 2 years, 9 months ago

Interesting. Apparently oil does not respond to supply and demand according to the research you referenced as posted by the Kansas City Star. Of course the increases in prices because of world tensions that you referenced is then not related to supply and demand as most smart people believe.

As to social security we may wish to remember that the same people that frame the issue as protecting the trust fund are the people who have spent it on other government activities. It is also the same people who do not want to face the mathematics of now repaying the trust fund as it goes into a net payout mode. Perhaps actual securities would now avoid having to raise taxes to pay for the program

jhawkinsf 2 years, 9 months ago

Oil does not respond to supply and demand because an oil cartel, OPEC, artificially controls supply. Oil companies and governments around the world exert pressure, trying to achieve whatever is in their own interests.
For supply and demand to work, there needs to exist a free marketplace. Oil might be the worst example of that.

George Lippencott 2 years, 9 months ago

Not really.

If OPEC holds to its production quota prices will rise and fall with non-Opec supply. for example us

Putting on more US supply will not work if OPEC withdraws supply.

No matter what if we produce more of what we use we will not be running a balance of payment problem. WE also will have more control over prices if we choose to do so as we can regulate US supply.

somedude20 2 years, 9 months ago

Like, we need to do something about this like oil problem right now! Like I went to watch like the Hunger Games , like15 times this past weekend, and like had to pay an extra like $6.00 each time like for the butter-like oil they use to grease up the corn like. Like, this stinks and sucks and all!

Fossick 2 years, 9 months ago

I like the Hunger Games better when it was called, "The Running Man."

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

The problem with "investing" the SS trust fund in government securities should be obvious.

Where will the money to pay the government bonds + interest come from?

It's like borrowing money from your left hand and paying it back with the right one with interest.

Fossick 2 years, 9 months ago

"but that same law permits such investments only in the safest possible vehicles in existence: i.e., U.S. government securities"

Oh, please. So the government 'invests' SocSec earnings in its own debt obligations? Jafs is exactly right. That's a shell game, no different than writing yourself a check for a million dollars and then claiming that since you now have a million in assets, you're a millionaire.

Geiiga 2 years, 9 months ago

US Treasury Bonds are a shell game? Wow.

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