Petaluma, Calif. - The following is a statement from American Small Business League President Lloyd Chapman:
Every day for more than two years President-elect Barack Obama promised voters that if he was elected president, he would enact a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry to fund a $1000 per household energy rebate. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJPo5IGTd0A)
Just two days after being elected on November 6, President-elect Obama rolled out his transition website, Change.gov, (http://www.asbl.com/documents/Economy_Change.pdf) which contained all of the policies he intended to implement. The top issue under the "Economy" section of the Obama-Biden Agenda was the enactment of a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry. Two days later on November 8, the windfall profits tax vanished from the website. To this day, President-elect Obama has never personally offered any justification or rational for the disappearance of one of his biggest campaign promises.
Now, with America in the middle of a historic economic disaster, which could rival the Great Depression, President-elect Obama's windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry might be the perfect vehicle for funding an economic stimulus plan.
President-elect Obama is now proposing to spend up to one trillion tax dollars to stimulate the nation's failing economy. As opposed to spending approximately $300 billion in taxes to fund a $1000 per household tax rebate, now is the perfect time for President-elect Obama to reconsider the windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry to help fund an economic stimulus plan. There is no question the oil and gas industry actually did make windfall profits during the last eight years and will almost certainly continue to do so.
The oil and gas industry's windfall profits began early in the Bush Administration. The Associated Press began reporting on the windfall profits in the oil and gas industry in 2003, when the average price of oil was $30 a barrel. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60862-2004Jan29_2.html)
Since the oil and gas industry has made windfall profits even when the price of oil was as low as $30 dollars a barrel, it is almost certain they will continue to make record profits no matter what the price of oil.
The greed and lack of regulation of the oil and gas industry was obviously a contributing factor to America's current economic crisis. Someone must pay higher taxes eventually to fund the Wall Street bailout, and President-elect Obama's one trillion dollar economic stimulus plan.
The oil and gas industry needs to be controlled in some way. The price of gas at the pump is on the rise again, and more windfall profits at the expense of working families struggling to cope are a virtual certainty.
President-elect Obama's windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry was a great idea; everyone that voted for him thought so. Now is the time for President-elect Obama to enact the windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry as he promised during his campaign. It will insure energy prices stay low in relationship to the price of oil, and help fund the economic stimulus plan needed to save our nation's economy from what could be the worst economic disaster in American history.