Monday, June 29, 2009

Phraselet No. 90

The largest tax increase in history, an excise tax on petroleum, by being deceptively named, has lulled the American people into acceptance. However, the zeal with which our elected representatives are burrowing into this enormous pile of money (roughly $140 billion) -- it was certainly a windfall for them -- reminded me of something I had read recently ..., the cover story of the November 1979 Scientific American: "Ecology of the Dung Beetle." This fascinating article described in detail what happens when an elephant dumps its load on the African plain. Three different kinds of beetles show up in minutes. The little ones burrow into the pile, others bury little pieces on the spot, and the third kind, the big ones, scoop out big balls and roll them away. Once you read this fine article, the Senate Finance Committee will never look the same.

- Ralph Wagner on windfall profits taxation, quoted in John Train,
The New Money Masters