- The Washington Times - Monday, May 23, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I’ve lived in a number of different countries and have always been amazed at the way other nations regard major companies with respect while in the United States, our political class regards private companies as the enemy.

Over the years, we have been inundated with negative criticism aimed at electric utilities, telephone companies, insurance companies, automakers and oil companies. The price of oil is quoted in U.S. dollars, and the current administration has taken steps to inflate our currency, reducing its value. While the current administration has inflated the money supply with a vengeance, previous administrations have not been blameless.

Many of us clearly recall the 1970s and ‘80s, when mortgage rates were as high as 20 percent because of the efforts of then-Presidents Johnson and Carter. Think back a few decades, when a new car cost $2,500 or a nice home was priced at $20,000. Today, a similar car sells for $30,000 and a comparable house is advertised at $750,000. Despite the obvious reason for price increases, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid et al. insist upon shifting the blame and punishing oil companies.

Raising taxes on oil companies will do nothing to bring down the price of gasoline. It will, however, greatly hinder economic growth. Oil stock prices and dividends paid by oil companies will be reduced, while gasoline prices will be increased. While oil companies may suffer, we will live with more inflation and economic dismay, thanks to political ignorance.

JAMES R. CAMPBELL

Arlington

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