Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Who Is Making All That Oil Money Again? Part II

Everyone is aware of the continuing dog and pony show politicians are engaging in to blame oil companies for their recent profits. In fact, here is an example of this charade just today. But this little clip showed up in Wispolitics today that points out the benefactors of these profits might not be who you think (read more here):

Ironically, pharmaceutical and energy companies - which politicians have accused of gouging the public - have contributed the greatest gains to the state's $70 billion public pension fund, according to figures through Sept. 30, the latest available from those who run the fund. Retirees often depend on the checks they receive from the agency that administers that fund - the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) - to pay their medical and utility bills.Through the first three-quarters of this year, energy and pharmaceutical companies - including Exxon, Chevron, British Petroleum and Amgen - have added more than $345 million to the State of Wisconsin Investment Board's portfolio.

So we have a Democratic governor and state senators who complain incessantly that oil company profits are evil, when in fact those same profits are going to benefit state employees. So instead of dragging oil executives to a phony hearing that accomplished nothing, why can't Doyle, Decker, and Robson write a bill that sends those profits back to Wisconsin consumers? They are perfectly capable of shifting those poisonous profits out of the state's retirement fund and into the hands of Wisconsin's citizens, who have been "gouged." They can't control how much private stockholders (like Russ Decker and Fred Risser) profit from oil companies, but they can certainly control how much the state is willing to benefit.

Of course, they're not truly interested in doing anything substantial, they are only interested in the occasional insultingly puerile press release.