Categorized | Senate News Briefing

McConnell To Dems: Drop The Jimmy Carter Energy Policy Of Tax Hikes As A Response To High Gas Prices

The top three Democrat leaders of the Senate, Harry Reid (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), all went to the floor this morning to argue for their plan to raise taxes on domestic energy producers, despite the fact that doing so would clearly result in lost jobs and higher gasoline prices.


The Hill writes, “Democratic leaders and several politically vulnerable members of their caucus are introducing legislation Tuesday that would repeal several tax breaks for the largest oil companies. The bill, which faces major hurdles, represents an escalation of Democratic efforts to criticize oil companies amid high gasoline prices and politically tether Republicans to the industry.”


Speaking on the floor yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell took a dim view of Democrats’ latest political gimmick, saying, “All across the country people are suffering from the run-up in gas prices that we’ve seen over the past few months. It’s squeezing family budgets, tightening margins at already-struggling small businesses, and it poses a mortal threat to any economic rebound. This is a critical issue. Americans are looking for answers. And yet all they’re getting from the President and Democrat leaders in Congress are gimmicks and deflection.


“We’ve seen this before. Every time gas prices go up, Democrats claim there’s nothing they can do about it. Then they propose something completely counterproductive just to quiet their critics. This time it’s a tax increase. That is the Democrat response to high gas prices: a tax hike.”


Of course, as Leader McConnell pointed out, raising taxes will do nothing to lower the price of gas. Instead, according to the Congressional Research Service, those tax changes “would make oil and natural gas more expensive for U.S. consumers and likely increase foreign dependence.”


Further, other Senate Democrats have pointed out that raising taxes on energy producers would discourage domestic energy production and cost jobs in many states. Reacting to a similar proposal in President Obama’s February budget, Alaska Sen. Mark Begich said, “The president’s call for eliminating incentives for oil and gas production is a non-starter and could hurt Alaska’s energy industry.” He also pointed out, “[The President’s proposal] would cost thousands of jobs in Alaska and across the country.” And Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu said, “The administration has put forward draconian taxes on the oil and gas industry . . . . It seems very contrary to our stated goal of being more energy sufficient in the United States. Taxing this domestic industry will instead cut jobs and increase our dependency on foreign oil. . . . We have bipartisan opposition to increasing taxes on this industry.”


As Leader McConnell explained yesterday, “Beyond raising taxes, Democrats insist that there’s nothing they can do about gas prices. . . . [But] Democrats need to stop deflecting attention from their own complicity in our nation’s over-dependence on foreign oil. They need to stop paying lip service to the need for American exploration while quietly supporting efforts to suppress it. They need to end an approach that hasn’t changed since the days of Jimmy Carter. Just like Carter before them, today’s Democrats are using the crisis of the moment as an excuse to push their own vision of the future with a ‘windfall profits tax’ on energy companies; and just like Carter before them, they have rightly been accused of bringing BB guns to a war. This is a serious crisis. It’s time for serious solutions.”

Senate News Briefing 5.10.11

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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