Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Sep 21, 2009

Control of Iraqi Oil

The US Vice President, Joe Biden, has just returned from a trip to Iraq. According to the Washington Post (9/17/09), Biden has pressed "Iraqi leaders to offer more financial incentives for foreign investors to bid on Iraqi oil concessions." In this article, according to Bill Van Auken " this demand points once again to the real motives that underlay the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq....."

The Iraqi government has not yet responded to US pressures.

American politicians continue to commit mistakes due to the pressure applied on them by lobbyists and big corporations.

Politicians have been talking about developing alternative programs which will make the US less dependent on oil imported from the Middle East. They have failed so far.

Thomas Friedman in an excellent article "Real Men Tax Gas" published in the NYT (9/20/09), quotes the energy economist Phil Verleger who recommended " a 1$ tax per gallon on gasoline and diesel fuel." Such tax Verleger says "would raise about $140 billion a year," and if he had that money he"would devote 45 cents of each dollar to pay down the deficit and satisfy the debt hawks, 45 cents to pay for new health care and 10 cents to cushion the burden on the poor...and those who need to drive long distances."

Verleger expounds a very sound economic proposal that not only discourages people from driving the extra mile, but can also provide the money needed to support President Obama's health care proposal.

I would like to stress here that Western and Northern European countries began to impose taxes on oil ( between $ 4 and $5 per gallon) more than 20 years ago and it did not ruin their economy.

The price of imported oil is controlled by Wall Street gamblers who were mostly responsible for last year increase in gazoline prices which reached $4 -$5 per gallon.

In general, the American public is submissive to the "market conditions," and seldom questions Wall Street financiers' maneuver. But, whenever the word 'TAX" is mentioned, the public complains in spite of the fact that the US is not the highest taxed country in the world. It ranks 12th after other European countries.

Let us be more committed and support a gasoline tax which will benefit our society at large.
The only way to be committed is to make our voice heard.

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