The Real Cost of Gas and Oil

Americans think when they fill up their gas tank that the price displayed on the pump is what they are paying. Many of these people also think they hate Socialism. Yet when they fill up their tank, they are benefiting from what comes down to Socialism.

Oil companies receive direct government subsidies from the federal government of roughly $38 billion a year. However, that’s not nearly all they get from the taxpayer.

Some oil companies have government contracts, federal, state and/or local. Some of those contracts are with the US military, the singular entity which uses more oil than any other entity on earth. More than all of Europe, the UK and all South American military organizations combined. You pay for that.

In many cases, oil tankers have military escorts for their security, whether the tanker is coming in or leaving. We have military vessels in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, providing security for tankers that are not American owned, not delivering anything to or from America. You pay for that.

If a US oil company has a major spill or explosion anywhere in the world, our government pays for 90% of the cleanup. In fact, it does not have to be a US company. Remember BP with the largest oil spill in history? The fine levied on them paid for maybe 10% of the cleanup cost, the US government funded the rest. You pay for that.

When an oil company had a standoff with the Water Protectors over the DAPL using militarized police, you paid for that. Each time police respond to any protest against corporate interests of any kind, you pay for that.

When the government hands money to oil companies which the nation goes further in debt for, including the interest on national debt, you pay for that.

When our government spends trillions bombing other countries for decades for the sake of seizing that country’s resources, you pay for that.

Both major parties approved a tax cut for corporations, which they used to buy back their own stock. That’s still happening. You pay for that.

The thing to keep in mind is that oil subsidies are absolutely a form of Socialism. We all pay for the subsidies, even if a person does not drive or lives off the grid. In other words, they are not buying gas and oil yet they are paying for you to pay less at the pump. Which makes you a Socialist.

You subsidize low gas and oil prices for corporate fleets. You pay subsidies in the form of higher taxes on every dollar you earn, even if you get nothing in return. This helps corporations state higher profits and boost their stock prices. Rich investors and CEO’s get subsidies for their stock values and dividends. You pay for that.

No matter how you view it, this is welfare and Socialism for corporations and the rich. You insure the continued profits for them, no matter what the economy looks like, no matter how many workers they lay off. Capitalism for you, Socialism for them.

Add all the above to how much you pay at the pump and ask yourself how much you are really paying. What is the real price of that gallon of gas? You have no idea and neither do I. Nobody does because it cannot truly be calculated.

Even if you think climate change is not real, how is renewable energy looking now?

Attacking Iran Would Not Be A Small Issue

This past week, Trump first called for a bomb strike on Iran. Then, when that strike was allegedly imminent, he called it off.

I am very happy he called it off. That strike would have, as others have stated, unleashed hell on earth. Iran has a large and experienced military and connections to numerous countries. This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan.

I’ve pointed out on too many occasions to count the fact that most Americans are willfully ignorant of. That we are currently bombing 7 countries. This is not a new development, we have been bombing the same 7 countries for years. If you doubt me, do a web search of what countries we are bombing. The difference is that the countries we have been bombing for so long started off with military forces and capabilities far below that of Iran. In fact, in multiple cases, most notably Syria, Iran has been helping to combat the US-backed terrorist factions those countries have been contending with.

Many Americans want to claim that we have allies in the Middle East in the form of Israel and Saudi Arabia. There are a few big, big problems with that. Both of those countries buy their weapons from the US. Our weapons manufacturing capacity is at it’s limit. We have run out of bombs to drop on multiple occasions. Both of them gain the funds necessary to buy their weapons from the US. Saudi Arabia by oil sales, which Iran would block the shipment of if they were attacked. Israel is freely handed nearly $4 billion a year by the US. If we had an actual war with an actual opposing military, the US would have to stop handing out all that money. We are already responsible for over 1/3 of the global national debt and that amount keeps rising. So if they cannot buy weapons and/or we cannot produce enough weapons, any conflict with Iran would be over almost before it began. Iran produces weapons and buys weapons from Russia and China. We cannot stop that from happening. Russian and Chinese weapons manufacturing are nowhere near capacity.

For manpower and alliances in the immediate region, as I stated above, Iran has helped a number of countries in the Middle East. As those countries have been beating back terrorist groups, they have more manpower they could offer to help Iran. This is true even without leaving their own countries because US forces are in their countries or would attempt to occupy those countries in the event of conflict with Iran. All they have to do is evict our forces or turn on US forces in their countries. Not even kill anyone, just destroy our equipment and take our forces hostage. Think that can’t happen? Look at a map. Iraq and Afghanistan have been at war for nearly two decades because of American actions. Both countries have a majority that wants us gone. We have no forces in Pakistan and only a token illegal presence in Syria.

US forces are stretched to the point where we have had to send Coast Guard forces to other countries. That’s not the CG’s role. Their role is supposed to be guarding US waters. This, while we have yet to meet a maritime threat since WWII.

Trump has promoted the message that the US is a net oil exporter at this time. Note that precise wording. That we are a net oil exporter. That doesn’t mean we produce all the oil we need and more. Oil is one of our top three exports and top three imports. Now, consider that 2/3 of the world’s oil supply for export goes through the Strait of Hormuz, controlled by Iran. If they block oil transport, they bring most of the planet to a standstill. The US does not produce enough oil to meet our needs and that of other countries on a major scale. This would be even more true if major conflict erupted, meaning the military would requisition the remainder of our oil production.

That would open the door for Russia, the world’s third largest oil producer, to step in. It would also be a gain for Venezuela. Both would see massively increased oil and gas sales to other countries currently trading with Saudi Arabia, UAE and US.

Considering just how much the value of the US dollar is dependent on US and Saudi oil sales, military conflict with Iran would result in a massive decline in the value of the dollar in very short order.

Any conflict with Iran would result in the US even further threatening Russia and China, who trade with Iran. Especially China. It would at the very least offend and possibly anger the other nations that signed onto the JCPOA and have defended Iran’s compliance with that treaty, which the US has violated unilaterally. All these countries are not likely to simply accede to further threats and sanctions.

Even without military actions, US sanctions are actively resulting in loss of human lives in Iran (among other countries). Sanctions are acts of war. Sanctions kill. Sanctions also damage Iran’s trading partners economically. If you don’t understand all this and think sanctions are in any way peaceful, or that other countries go along with US sanctions without objection, do more research because it is something you do not understand.

Yes, Trump is extremely unstable. However, in this case the “Resistance” first criticized him for threatening Iran, while now criticizing him for not attacking Iran, no matter what dangers that action would result in.