Pete Sepp, Executive VP of the American Taxpayers Union, digs in to Barack Obama’s proposed changes to the corporate tax structure to determine just how terrific it will be if Uncle Sam can manage to dig a little deeper into the pockets of U.S. energy producers. Not only are the projected results predictable, but he finds that the White House seems to be playing favorites here in an effort to specifically target oil producers. He further notes that the oil industry is no stranger to “special treatment,” since they already lay out more cash to the tax man than nearly anyone else.
Far from qualifying as selective or excessive government fiscal policy, many of the tax rules President Obama brands as “oil subsidies” are actually credits available to any U.S. manufacturer–from microprocessor producers like Intel to coffee roasters like Starbucks to conglomerates like GE. Notice, though, that the administration didn’t bother to specifically go after any of those sectors in his State of the Union last month.
Consider this: since 1981, oil and natural gas firms have paid more in taxes than their shareholders have earned in profits. Specifically, between 1981 and 2008, the oil industry paid more than $388 billion to the federal and state governments in corporate income taxes alone, not counting excise, property, and other taxes. It also paid almost twice that amount, $683 billion, to foreign governments. That helps explain why ExxonMobil recorded a larger income tax expense than any other U.S. company last year, some $17.6 billion or 47 percent of pretax earnings.
There seems to be no inclination on the part of the White House to change course from increasing the cost of doing business for those who largely still can’t do any business while the permitorium continues. Is this just affecting the drill rig employees working for the greedy oil barons? As Jim Hoft discovered with the video below, trickle down economics works both ways. Observe the case of Thomas Clements, owner of Oilfield CNC Machining in Broussard, LA.
The present administration need to step up and they need to do this now and start giving out permits, and get us back to work.
I don’t know why we have to ask to go back to work. Everything that they’ve asked for is there. U.S. companies have gone above and beyond the call of duty. And America is the best at — the best at what we do.
The federal government is over here, it’s supposed to be protecting us from foreign companies or foreign entities — that’s my understanding of what the federal government’s role is — and here they are, not doing anything to protect us. We had great news come out yesterday, the Marine Well Containment System, and what’s the president do, the administration? They say nothing. They haven’t said anything, I mean, I would think that’d be extraordinary news for the Gulf of Mexico.
Clements’ business has reported losses in excess of $400,000 since the rigs were effectively shut down. And if things don’t improve by June, his company will likely close, with yet more jobs disappearing from the Gulf region for no reason other than a lack of support from Washington. The work is there to be done and the workers are ready willing and able. But with no permits the economy down there is drying up.
Are you listening, President Obama? Because the voters who need jobs most assuredly are.
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