Should one avenue of “increasing revenue” for the government come from jacking up taxes on American energy companies? If you talk to people in the Obama administration – as well as a number of prominent Democrats in congress – the answer is yes. But according to a recent Harris poll, Americans aren’t even remotely close to being on the same page as the administration on this one.
Respondents were asked if they agree or disagree with a series of statements. On the question, “Increasing energy taxes, like taxes on oil and natural gas companies, hurts everyone because those tax increases could drive up energy costs for consumers,” the response was:
AGREE (NET) 69%
Strongly Agree 48%
Somewhat Agree 21%
Neither Agree nor Disagree 2%
DISAGREE (NET) 27%
Somewhat Disagree 10%
Strongly Disagree 17%
When asked if such tax increases “would be bad tax policy, as well as unfair and discriminatory” the results were similar. 63% agreed, while 30% disagreed. But if you click through and dig into the cross tabs on this one, it’ could come as even more of a surprise to the Jack The Taxes crowd. 92% of Harris’ sample voted in the 2012 election. They gave the President a 48 – 47 job approval rating, while giving a thumbs down to Congress by 78 to14 – pretty close to the national averages we see each week. The D.I.R. split was 34 – 29 – 27, which is awfully generous to the Dems. The educational background level was 52% with some college or higher. (Though the 70% white split on the racial demographics was a bit off.)
And yet the President keeps going back to this well. Does the “other side” have any counter proposal to offer? Why yes, they do. The results of a study we first showed you in 2011 haven’t changed at all since then. The proposed tax hikes on the energy industry are estimated to raise $4B per year under the most optimistic circumstances. But if Washington instead adopted new policies supporting domestic energy exploration, the revenue to Uncle Sam would work out to nearly $127 billion in cumulative revenue by 2020 and by 2025 that total would jump to $363 billion.
You do the math. Apparently Washington isn’t going to.