Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
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Sometimes you have to wonder: Did our president take a single economics class in college? Even if Barack Obama drank mostly from the well of Keynesian nonsense, he’d have to know that raising taxes on American oil companies will not help consumers — but merely cause the oil companies to pass their higher costs on to consumers.
Alas, Obama would rather play class warfare and cling to failed, redistributive economic policies than take action — allow drilling! — that would help our economy and the ever-straining personal budgets of Americans. From the AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid rising gasoline prices at the pump, President Barack Obama urged congressional leaders Tuesday to take steps to repeal oil industry tax breaks, reiterating a call he made in his 2012 budget proposal earlier this year. The White House conceded his plan would do nothing in the short term to lower gas prices.
The president wrote a letter to the bipartisan congressional leadership on Tuesday, a day after Republican House Speaker John Boehner said he was willing to “take a look at” repealing the multibillion-dollar tax subsidies enjoyed by the major oil companies.
Rising gas prices have become a political weight for the White House, with polls showing that as the cost rises at the pump, the president’s approval ratings have slipped. Obama has increasingly sought to display action on oil, even as he acknowledges that there is no immediate answer to stem costs
“High oil and gasoline prices are weighing on the minds and pocketbooks of every American family,” Obama wrote. But he also added that “there is no silver bullet to address rising gas prices in the short term.”
We’re not looking for a “silver bullet,” Mr. President. We’re looking for derricks and off-shore rigs. All those “oil speculators” you demonize when they correctly predict higher gas prices would take a bath if you would just announce the lifting of the drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. (BTW: Funny how the left and the MSM are silent about speculators when gasoline prices drop. Aren’t they responsible for all movement in oil prices, not just upward movement?)
Obama’s proposal, spelled out in his past two budget plans, would eliminate a number of tax breaks for oil companies that would generate an estimated $4 billion a year in additional revenue.
The tax breaks — some in place since the 1920s — have survived multiple attempts to repeal them in the face of heavy oil industry lobbying.
The Republican response to the president’s letter was dismissive.
A Boehner spokesman, Brendan Buck, said Tuesday that Obama’s suggestions “would simply raise taxes and increase the price at the pump.” Buck said that Boehner’s willingness to examine a subsidy did not mean he was advocating its repeal.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said: “The president’s latest call to raise taxes on U.S. energy is as predictable as it is counterproductive.”
Yup. Raising the cost of doing business for American oil companies, who are but a minor player in a global oil market, will only do one sure thing — raise prices for consumers. Which is, after all, what Obama’s plan has been all along for energy policy in general.