Yesterday on the program you heard a bit of ranting about so-called "Republican" Senator Charles Grassley (IA). Grassley is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and had decided that he's not happy with the money that oil companies are making. Grassley knows that consumers are getting bent out of shape over oil company profits, and being the politician that he is he has decided that when the people are upset there's an opportunity for a politician to address their concerns and garner some brownie points. Grassley is "suggesting" that the oil companies donate a portion of their profits for a decades old "temporary" program to pay for home heating oil for non-achievers. I wrote a column for Townhall.com on this issue, and to my surprise they rushed it to the internet today! I point out in that column that finally we have a Republican politician who has earned the sobriquet of "fascist," at least in the economic sense. Now ... here I am to expand on one train of thought presented in that column. If this Republican senator thinks that it is the role of government to tell privately owned businesses just how they must distribute their profits, here are a few suggestions:
- Automobile manufacturers could be required to spend a portion of their profits on public transit projects.
- Broadcasters, who, after all, are government regulated businesses, should donate a portion of their profits to buy radios for poor people so that they can get the information they need to prepare for disasters like hurricanes .... as if the poor were actually going to prepare.
- Homebuilders could be required to donate profits to low income housing projects.
- Pfizer could be required to donate profits from the sale of Viagra to fertility clinics for the poor. Just what we need, more pregnant poor people.
- Financial institutions could be required to donate profits to a federally subsidized loan program for low-income Americans with bad credit.
- Food processors and manufacturers could be required to donate profits to community food banks.