Seems to me that all of this non-sense with the “excess” profits tax is a combination of Communism (a planned economy that can deem some profits too big) and Populism (taking from the elite and giving to the people). It’s just wealth redistribution brought about by class envy.

“How dare they be successful businessmen while I have to default on my mortgage for the house I couldn’t afford?”

At a recent of Society of Independent Thought meeting, the topic came up and I alone stood firm against taxing these blokes even further. There was no substance to the arguments in favor, as I recall, just a load of paranoid sniping and conspiracy theories. Unverifiable claims about price-fixing oil cabals and what not. It was all rather surreal, really.

Edit: It also shows a complete lack of understanding of basic economics. As any fool know, increasing the taxes will increase the companies’ overhead, meaning they’ll raise prices. Let’s say the current price for gas is $1.00. If the government increases the tax on the oil companies so that it works out to a five cent increase per gallon so that they can keep their profit margins, then gas will become $1.05. But let’s say the gov’t knocks a full five cents off the price: we’re back where we started.

And this, of course, assumes the mythical 100% efficient government, much like the 100% efficient combustion engine.

Of course, it occurs to me that I include the “to keep their profit margins” clause out of reflex, given that oil is a business run to make profit. Perhaps the politicians assume that the oil companies will just take the hit from their profits and not raise taxes. But it seems to me that such is the kind of thinking that results in the Looters of Atlas Shrugged.