I shred an Ann Coulter argument
In her latest column, Ann Coulter writes the following:
"The Democrats' only objection to current gas prices is that the federal government's cut is a mere 18.4 cents a gallon. States like New York get another 44 cents per gallon in taxes. The Democratic brain processes the fact that "big oil companies" get nearly 9 cents a gallon and thinks: WE SHOULD HAVE ALL THAT MONEY!"
Her point is that this current situation is unjust: oil companies get only 9 cents on every dollar of gas that's sold, while the federal government gets 18.4 cents.
This is total BS.
First, that 9 cents is the oil companies' PROFIT per dollar. I don't know what amount they "get" (we call this revenue), which then goes back for R&D, salaries, paying for equipment, etc. Ann Coulter doesn't know either. It's a complicated equation. Second, everybody acts these days like tax money just evaporates. This is not the case. I will be the first to admit that the tax system today is ridiculously complicated and unjust, but this doesn't mean that tax money just goes away. As I've argued before, how much your taxes benefit you is nearly 100% determined by WHAT YOU DO and not HOW MUCH YOU MAKE. Neither I nor Ann Coulter knows how much of that 18.4 cents per gallon goes right back to the oil companies in deferred taxes, subsidies, uncollected royalties, and money in the pocket of consumers who can then buy more gas.
The clear example I gave in the past is as follows: taxes that pay for education benefit software companies greatly, because such taxes give schools and colleges more money to spend on software and computers. Microsoft benefits enormously from property taxes. Other people don't. To figure out exactly who benefits from what tax is time-consuming, difficult, and requires lots of research.
That's why Ann Coulter writes columns like the above.