Energy policy central to America’s economy and future
This year, more than any other in recent memory, the presidential election is focused on the economy and policies that will drive investment and job creation. However no substantive discussion about our economic future can occur without first talking at length about energy policy. Energy directly impacts our finances, because when supply and prices fluctuate, so do the costs of consumer goods and services.
So where does President Obama stand in the energy debate? Well, let’s consider his record in the White House. Gas prices were at $1.95 a gallon when he took office, and today they are around $3.75. While many variables go into the price of oil, there is no question his agenda has sent the wrong signals and has played a role in sending prices higher.
Just consider President Obama’s efforts to increase taxes on American energy producers. The administration has pushed Democratic allies in Congress to introduce legislation that would repeal standard business deductions for oil and gas companies specifically. This proposal is an attempt to significantly raise government revenue streams at the expense of American industry and the American people.
To some—like the environmental lobby—President Obama might look heroic for trying to raise taxes on energy companies, but their view overlooks the effect on the American people. In reality this policy serves as a hidden tax that would hit working class Americans the hardest. As we know, taxes always get passed along to consumers. For example, if the government raised taxes on the agriculture industry, the cost of food products would increase accordingly. The same is true for energy.
That’s why this tax policy supported by President Obama would raise energy prices for all Americans, because all Americans are energy consumers in one form or another. However, the most unfortunate part of Obama’s plan is that higher energy prices would be most painful for low and middle class Americans. These are the individuals and families that spend a much larger percentage of their paycheck on energy costs and are most harmed by higher priced goods. Wealthier American’s have the luxury to pay a few more dollars at the gas station or the store and still remain comfortable.
Instead of trying to tax American energy and indirectly taxing the American public, maybe President Obama should acknowledge the many benefits the industry provides our economy, and yes even contemplate ways to lower costs (think less regulations and opening domestic resources). As the National Taxpayers Union points out, American energy is doing its part to invest in our economy. Last year oil and gas companies pumped $36.3 billion into our economy and created almost 150,000 direct and indirect jobs. And if President Obama wants to talk taxes, the industry also handed over more than $95 billion to governments in 2011.
America doesn’t need veiled energy taxes. The country needs more jobs, affordable energy and investment heroes. So let’s change the conversation President Obama, and start thinking of American energy as an economic friend rather than foe.
This post was tagged under: Indiana Politics