Chuck ‘the Schmuck’ Schumer Is at It Again

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The economically-ignorant (and insufferable) Sen. Chuck “the Schmuck” Schumer (D-NY) is kvetching about “high” oil profits.

“Senator Charles Schumer wants to know why New York gas prices are still so high, saying he suspects prices are being artificially inflated. “There’s ample evidence that the nation’s oil refiners might be engaging in price-fixing,” he said Sunday at a gas station on Manhattan’s west side. Schumer wants to know if refiners have cut back on gasoline stockpiles to decrease supply and inflate the price of gas at the pump. He said refiners’ profits have more than doubled since last year.”

Perhaps Schmuck Schumer, in his infinite economic ignorance, would like to tell us what the “proper” percentage of profits should be? If Schumer really believes the nonsense that “refiners have cut back on gasoline stockpiles to decrease supply and inflate the price* of gas at the pump,” then why are refiners being so generous? Why not decrease their supply to a few hundred gallons per refinery? That would really bid up the price per gallon for the market. They could each make a billion per gallon and save themselves the trouble and the effort of pumping and then transporting billions of gallons a day to supply the market. (Obviously, I’m using an extreme number to make a point. But, in reality, they could cut supply to bid up the price to $20 or $30, or even $100 per gallon—very expensive, but still affordable to upper income people. So why don’t they in order to minimize their production and shipping efforts?)

If Schumer really cared about an artificially suppressed supply of oil (he doesn’t—he just likes grandstanding), then he would make every effort to abolish all of the government-created artificially low supply of oil due to restrictions on drilling for oil in many parts of the country and offshore. (Restrictions, by the way, which he supports.)
*Of course, one never hears Schmuck Schumer complaining about the biggest inflater of ALL prices for the last 100 years—the “Federal” Reserve.

2:46 pm on May 29, 2011