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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Rising Jet-fuel prices to create a leg-room tax

While getting ready for work this morning, I saw a story on the news about a $15 increase in fair price for an aisle seat.

Northwest Airlines is increasing the fair for aisle seat and exit row seats and the reasoning behind this is because of rising jet-fuel costs and cost-cutting competition. So to try to make more money, they have to raise their prices to compete with their cost-cutting competition. It doesn't completely make sense to me, although I completely understand that the airlines are hurting because of jet-fuel costs.

Analysts are saying the next step is charging for checking your baggage. Other airlines have been charging for food and other services that had always been free in the past.

But here's the thing that I can not comprehend. Why is it so easy for them to raise the prices of flights because of jet-fuel costs? Apparently it's easier for them to raise the prices than to fight with the over-rich oil companies for lower fuel costs.

I heard on the news recently that the big oil companies have had the largest boost in revenue ever...
The industry's third-quarter profits jumped 62 percent to nearly $26
billion as Exxon Mobil, the nation's biggest oil company, posted the fattest
corporate profit in history. Oil company's stocks are up some 40 percent
from a year ago, giving big gains to shareholders.

A hearing being held by Congress is looking at a "windfall tax" to get funds to help low income families cope with rising fuel costs for heating and transportation.

The contentious hearing came as consumers face a jump of 50 percent or more in
home heating bills this winter and gasoline prices have surged 20 percent this
year. At the same time, oil company profits have soared.

So it appears that Congress is trying to do something about the rising fuel costs... Are they?

"To my constituents, today's hearing is about shared sacrifices in tough times
versus oil company greed," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. "Working people
struggle with high gas prices and your sacrifices appear to be nothing."

"In the midst of pain, in the midst of suffering, the public sees headlines about
record profits," Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, pointed out.

Yes, in the midst of pain and suffering the oil companies are boasting record profits. I can only see this making the investors warm and fuzzy, not those that actually depend on the product in their day-to-day lives.

I'm happy that Congress is looking into this problem of the CEO's of the oil companies gouging the American People. Answer me this. Why is Congress looking into taxing their profits, instead of making them loer their profit margin? They all profitted immensely from natural disasters that killed many American citizens. Do they need all these extra billions?

Why is Congress focusing on getting tax money out of the profits instead of asking them why they are raping the American people at the fuel pumps. And in the process putting many airlines into Bankruptcy Court.

Could it be that the oil industry is so embedded into our government that Congress won't take a stand and do something about this? Am I the only person that cringes when I hear of how much money the oil companies are making as I look at the pump scroll through how much money is pouring into my tank?

When is there going to be a change? Is our Government going to do anything about it? Or are the lobbyists and the oil companies the one's that truly run this great nation of ours...

CNN Special Report full coverage

Oil gains as demand back in focus
Oil executives back before Congress
Gas prices up even as crude falls
Exxon Mobil hikes capital spending


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