The nattering about oil company profits and hydrocarbon fuel prices has reached an RPM where it is a populist background whine.

On one hand, we have Fox News’ John Gibson, who should know better, and Bill O’Reilly, who obviously would not. On the same hand, there’s Maria Cantwell (Democrat, Washington) who would like to return to Richard Nixon’s (Republican, Nether Regions) price controls, and George Dubya Bush (Random Dogmatist, Dubya’s World) braying about “price gouging.”

In between (this would be the middle finger if we follow the analogy closely), we’ve got Gov. Mitch Romney (RINO, Massachusetts) barking about “white collar looting” and Gov. Jeb Bush (Sycophant, Florida) forcing gas stations to install generators to power the gasoline pumps, after the State-granted-monopoly power companies failed to keep the gas flowing.

Why not demand they build hurricane shelters big enough to drive around in and wind-proof power lines while you’re at it, Jeb?

From Gibson to Bush the Sunnier, the gasoline pimps have the combined economic acumen of an artichoke.

This anti-capitalist, anti-market rhetoric is all the more remarkable for its amnesia. Remember the gas lines when Carter was President? Hours waiting to get gas into your “Killer” Rabbit?

And does anyone remember what happened to flu-vaccines when they were price capped? It was a big deal in the 2004 election and the Democrats are raising the issue again: We don’t have any serious national capacity to produce them.

What the Democrats are hoping you’ll forget is that Hillary Clinton caused the shortage by driving the producers out of business in the US. “For the children.”

“We cannot handle the threats we face today with a broken flu vaccine system,” said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.., who with Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., introduced legislation Thursday that would, among other things, financially guarantee a market in return for more vaccine production.

Let us not say the woman does not possess balls gall, her latest solution is to guarantee a market. Maybe she really believes “if you broke it, you bought it.” Possibly she is following the Soviet example of guaranteeing both employment and markets for everything from cars (“Not your father’s ZIL – or your great grand-child’s either.”) to bread. Their lines, all of them, were longer than Carter’s.

They imported all their flu vaccine, too, just like we do now that Hillary’s mucked with it.

C’mon folks, even if you have Statist Selective Memory Syndrome about 70’s gas lines and last weeks headlines on flu vaccine, and you’ve never even driven a Yugo* – surely you can recall the Soviet Union? They had price caps on everything, you couldn’t buy anything and you probably wouldn’t have wanted it if you could.

Not that US governments haven’t tried their own brand of production suppression. Really organized crime Government has drubbed us for twice the oil company take:

Since 1977, governments collected more than $1.34 trillion, after adjusting for inflation, in gasoline tax revenues—more than twice the amount of domestic profits earned by major U.S. oil companies during the same period.

… but you don’t hear the oil companies demanding that the government supply gas stations with generators.

Finally, “huge oil company profits” is misleading. Exxon-Mobil’s recently posted record profit of $9.92 billion on revenues of $100.717 billion represents a margin of 9.85%. Pretty much “business as usual.” And not stellar compared to major S & P 500 sectors like financials, health care, and technology, which achieve around 15 to 20% profit margins.

If Big Oil is profiteering from recent disasters, logic dictates that its margins would have increased considerably. In fact, Exxon-Mobil has increased costs that offset profit. Repairing oil platforms and refinery infrastructure costs billions.

Governmental red tape is strangling energy companies’ investment in new refineries and drilling operations. So what is the response of Congressional Republican grifters leaders House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist? More regulation.

This cynical “windfall profits” campaign, by the same bi-partisan coalition who brought us the $250 million Alaska “bridge to nowhere”, is nothing more than posturing. It is statist politics at its worst.

*I know this is not a Russian car, it was Soviet Bloc, and by all reports it was better than the efforts of mother Russia. Also, Yugoslavia made enough to export. Why any were imported is the interesting question. Go figure.

3-Nov, 6:17PM, minor updates