Every day when I turn on the news, just when I think I couldn’t be more surprised…I am! While watching the reports and the interview about Eric Holder’s whinefest, in which he was crying “racist,” Barack Obama is out on the campaign trail and, aside from his normal lies and spread of misinformation, he actually has the stones to tell Americans he wants to increase the gas tax.
Now, I don’t know about the rest of you in the different parts of the country, but here in Washington state, we are getting “double tapped” on our gas tax. While in office, former Governor “Queen Christine” Gregorie passed a progressive gasoline tax that gradually increases every year. Now put on top of that what Obama wants to do and (at least in Washington) we’ll see $5.00 a gallon for gas before the end of the year. My family has a 2003 Ford Taurus and a 1989 Ford Bronco 4×4 (the Bronco has a 30 gallon tank).
What that means to people like my family with two vehicles is – only one car will be able to get fuel once every payday. That takes a two-car family down to a single vehicle. That also means no vacations because of the ridiculously high fuel costs. Let’s face the facts, gas prices have increased 100% since Obama has been in office. The federal gas tax currently stands at 18.4 cents a gallon, where it has been set since 1993, when gas cost $1.16 a gallon. So imagine another tax increase of .12 cents a gallon and what that will do to the average American family. That also means more increased food prices. As it stands, because of Obama’s idiotic policies, Americans may be making more money, but they bringing home less because of skyrocketing medical, energy and food costs.
As Ronald Reagan famously said, “There you go again.”Of course, Reagan was blaming Jimmy Carter for launching false attacks during a debate. And that line was so effective, it not only helped Reagan win the debate, but a presidential election that would change American history. But “there you go again” can apply equally to President Obama. Once again this week, the president was out on the campaign trail bashing and oil and gas companies. And he continued to spread major falsehoods about this industry, which I guess is the polite way to put it.
Obama is obsessed with oil and gas. He is a prisoner of the left-wing environmental groups. And really, he’s extending his leftist class-warfare attack from rich people to successful oil and gas producers.
What seems to have Obama especially steamed is the fact that the conventional-energy companies are profitable. Especially the five largest. So he wants to tax them. He then wants to redistribute their income to his favorite green-energy firms. Sound familiar? I don’t know which is more important to the president — the fact that he hates fossil fuel, or the fact that he hates success. Or that he wants an energy-entitlement state.
But here’s what I do know, factually.
Oil companies have an effective corporate tax rate well above 40 percent. And they operate within one of the highest-taxed industries in America. According to the Tax Foundation, for more than 25 years, oil and gas companies have sent more tax dollars to Washington and state capitals than they earned in profits. That’s a fact.
Single-handedly, oil and gas companies finance over 10 percent of non-defense discretionary spending within the U.S. budget. According to the Wall Street Journal, ExxonMobil, the world’s largest energy firm, paid out $59 billion in total U.S. taxes over the five years prior to 2010 while earning only $40.5 billion in domestic profits.
And Obama wants to raise taxes on conventional-energy firms by somewhere between $40 billion and $80 billion? Whatever happened to the supply-side principle that if you tax something more, you get less of it?
But with gasoline prices headed towards $5 a gallon, and with oil prices over $100 a barrel, virtually the whole country outside of the White House wants more oil, more retail gas for the pump, and more energy supplies everywhere in order to bring prices down. Raising taxes won’t do it.
Make no mistake about it: Fossil fuel is going to drive the American economy for decades to come. Green energy is not.
Obama’s other line of attack is that oil companies shouldn’t get any subsidies. They made too much money for that. Well, I’m against oil subsidies. There’s about $90 billion worth in the federal budget. Better to end them, slash corporate tax rates across the board, and let the free market decide energy policy and production.
But on the subject of subsidies, so-called renewable-energy subsidies (think Solyndra) are 49-times greater than fossil-fuel subsidies, according to studies by the Congressional Research Service. And the Congressional Budget Office says renewable green energy received 68 percent of energy-related tax preferences in fiscal year 2011, while fossil fuels got only 15 percent. Additionally, oil, natural gas, and coal received 64 cents per megawatt hour in subsidies, while wind power alone received $56.29 per megawatt hour. That’s 100-times what fossil fuels got.
By the way, the so-called subsidies that Obama is talking about are really depreciation write-offs for investment. Oil companies get a 6 percent deduction from income. Most manufacturing industries get 9 percent. And every company in the economy is eligible for faster investment write-offs.
Frankly, the most pro-growth corporate-tax policy would be 100 percent cash-expensing for new investment, a slashed corporate tax rate, and no more subsidies, preferences, and carve-outs. That would be an unbelievable job-creator.
But President Obama is too busy spewing falsehoods to support his ideological agenda than to take account of the facts. And while he’s at it, one of the greatest, pro-growth revolutions ever is taking place right under his nose. It’s the oil and gas shale miracle, which if left unfettered will turn America and Canada into an energy-independent New Middle East inside of ten years.
In fact, the collapse of natural-gas prices brought on by this revolution could become one of the biggest tax cuts for the economy in history, making all our industries vastly more competitive, revolutionizing transportation, and providing more consumer real income at home.
Obama should quit the demagoguery, stop bashing oil and gas, stop taxing success, and let our ingenious, creative, free-enterprise private economy spur America to a new generation of prosperity.
It would be easier I think, to give a wild African bull elephant a rectal exam than it would be to get Obama to tell the truth! In the meantime, you might want to re-think your vacation plans to the Grand Canyon or Disneyland this year, and just buy a “Kiddie pool” for the backyard, because if our president gets his way (legally or not), that’s all most of us will be able to afford for our vacation.Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook and Twitter, and follow our friends at RepublicanLegion.com on Instagram.