Thursday, December 4, 2008

Obama Backtracks on Windfall Tax...Windfall Being a Misnomer

I have been trying to educate myself on what exactly a windfall tax is. To put it simply (I think), if oil companies make above a certain percentage of profit, they are taxed on it. The argument seems to be that it is unfair to tax these windfalls as it just disincentives the oil companies to do R & D. Their thinking apparently is, why would they spend money to explore or develop innovative ways to create new energy products when all they're going to do is be taxed on those profits. And, the right wingers say all taxes are bad for the economy. Right. I'd like them to realistically explain where we would be without them.

But, PUHLEASE. I understand that corporations should be free to make barrels of money because they're in business, and that's the whole point of being in business, right? But shouldn't they also have a conscience? There's a diagnosis for behavior that 'withholds' like that, it's called passive aggressive. Corporations that withhold
their R & D, or whatever Damocles sword they hold over the government's head, are bad citizens and need therapy.

Now is exactly the time that these corporations should be kicking in $ of their own free will to help out the economy. Instead of paying PR firms to gussy up their image, they could do it themselves by being good corporate citizens and volunteer(!) a percentage of their obscene profits. Just think of the mileage they would get out of it. Let's say Chevron - who has a big reimaging PR campaign going on right now - took that PR money, and, instead put it into an emergency fund to help consumers (and no top-heavy administration costs to fritter it away).

During the primaries, Obama talked about repealing the tax breaks for oil companies that are already in place. What happened to that? Boy, I would hate to think that he is already caving to the oil companies. For what? Why?
And, this I don't understand...what difference does it make if the price of oil is down for now? That's ostensibly the reason that Obama retreated from his promise of an "emergency energy rebate" for the beleaguered middle class. We all know that what goes down will also go up. Eventually.

I seem to have posed more questions here than comments...I guess because there are so many unanswered questions about how Obama will make good on his promise of taking on corporations. Please President-elect Obama, show the corporations some tough love, and hold their feet to the fire. Make 'em do the right thing. And, show US, the little guys, some real love, and go to bat for us as you said you would. That's why we voted for you; that's why you are where you are. We love you, but don't piss us off. Please.

No comments: