Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 | 2 a.m.
President Barack Obama’s call for more domestic energy development in his State of the Union address is praiseworthy, as is his Interior Department’s recent decision to conduct new oil and gas lease sales in the Central Gulf of Mexico this June. Doing so will boost the economy and, in turn, government revenue without punitive increases in tax rates. During a subsequent visit to a UPS facility in Las Vegas, however, the president then chastised the same companies that will bid for and produce these resources in the Central Gulf for hoarding “excessive profits” and coveting “taxpayer subsidies.”
Strangely, the president’s words fail to mention the administration’s record on behalf of subsidies — especially to “green” energy. He repeatedly touts renewable energy as an investment for the future, yet, he glosses over a stubborn inconsistency: After spending billions of taxpayer dollars for this purpose, Americans are still waiting for those tens of thousands of jobs that were supposed to have been “created or saved.”
Although “equality” was the pervading theme of this year’s State of the Union address, it seems to escape this administration that the current tax code, with its complex web of loopholes and punitive rates, is what unfairly punishes the whole economy.
The author is the executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union.