U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) made the following statement Thursday regarding President Obama’s proposed $3.9 trillion budget:
“The American people know what we should do when times get tough,” Senator Inhofe said. “We should prudently examine every dollar we spend, spend those dollars modestly, and make sure small businesses, which create 80% of the jobs in this country, are not overly burdened so they can create more jobs. President Obama’s budget, by contrast, proposes a lavish, big-government agenda by borrowing yet more money and taxing small businesses.
“President Obama’ budget is the most radical and partisan budget we have ever seen and includes $4.4 trillion in additional deficits, $3.5 trillion total spending for 2010 alone, $1 trillion in taxes on individuals and business, a $634 billion “down-payment” for government-run health insurance, $650 billion in energy taxes for climate change, and $750 billion is set aside for more Wall Street bailouts. I’m very concerned about the direction in which President Obama proposes to take us, and anyone who works hard, plays by the rules, pays taxes, drives a car, turns on their lights, saves, invests, donates to charity, or plans to be successful in this country should be too.
“We should reject a $645 billion energy tax increase on the American people. Energy companies will pass these costs on to consumers, in addition to the capital costs they need to reduce their emissions. The total burden on American families from cap and trade schemes will be at least $300 billion per year according to the Wharton School of Business. The budget covers the years from 2010 to 2019. The cap and trade auctions are set to begin in 2012 and raise approximately between $78 and 83 billion per year for a total of $645 billion. Unlike Lieberman Warner, the bill does not spend any of the proceeds. All allowances are auctioned. The budget assumes an 83 percent emissions cut from 2005 levels by 2050, which is steeper than Lieberman Warner so in our view these costs will be higher, especially in the near term.
“President Barrack Obama’s unprecedented $31 billion proposal in new oil and gas taxes will potentially eliminate tens of thousands of America’s own home grown jobs in the oil and gas industry, painfully increase fuel costs for consumers and businesses, and undoubtedly make our nation more dependent on foreign oil. In the United States, there are nearly 6 million Americans directly and indirectly employed as a result of the oil and natural gas industry. Tax increases of this magnitude will significantly curtail the operating budgets of all exploration and production companies big and small.
“Every marginal well operator in the country should be gravely concerned that these proposals will force the premature plugging of low production marginal wells. And, despite the rhetoric, America’s oil companies are already paying taxes at the highest rates.”
Figures from the Energy Information Agency indicate that America’s major oil producers already pay on average more than a 40% income tax rate. After President Jimmy Carter imposed a similar Windfall Profits Tax [WPT] on the oil and gas industry back in 1980, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service later determined that its results were hugely counterproductive: ‘The WPT reduced domestic oil production between 3 and 6 percent, and increased oil imports from between 8 and 16 percent… This made the U.S. more dependent upon imported oil.’ For American jobs, for the international competitiveness of American companies, and for the consumers at the pump, Congress must reject Obama’s energy tax increases.