Karl Rove did a piece in the WSJ yesterday, calling out these two pandering politicos on their blatant b.s., the most painful example of which may be the idea of taxing "windfall" profits (of course, avoiding any discussion of what, exactly, constitutes said "windfall". Not to go off on a rant here, but wtf is up with the wind references, "windfall", "headwinds", etc?)
Rove accurately points out that margins for the current corporate pariah du jour, oil/energy companies such as Exxon Mobil, are amongst the slimmest in any industry. So, if these populism-promoting politicians aren't defining windfall profits by margins, they must mean by sheer size, right?
It's not the profit margin, but the total number of dollars earned that is the problem, Mr. Obama might say. But if that were the case, why isn't he targeting other industries? Oil and gas companies made $86.5 billion in profits last year. At the same time, the financial services industry took in $498.5 billion in profits, the retail industry walked away with $137.5 billion, and information technology companies made off with $103.4 billion. What kind of special outrage does Mr. Obama have for these companies?
It's one thing when the most liberal senator on Capitol Hill blabbers incoherently about things which he clearly does not understand (as a matter of fact, its pretty much par for the course, no?), but when a so-called "Regan Republican" like John MCcain allows himself to sound similar ignorant, its a sign that we're all in serious trouble.
This past Thursday, Mr. McCain came close to advocating a form of industrial policy, saying, "I'm very angry, frankly, at the oil companies not only because of the obscene profits they've made, but their failure to invest in alternate energy."
So yea, about the title of this post. I'm not kidding. When the next leaders of the free world (ha!) not only say stupid things, but I fear, will actually follow their rhetoric with action, bad things will happen. Very bad things.