Revitalizing the economy with tax increases?

By Brian Kasal | Jul 8, 2010

Our economy is in the tank and we want to keep it there, but the only way we can do that is by stifling everything necessary for recovery. So, let's all get together on this and do our best to discourage business expansions and job creation. Most important, let's increase taxes on oil production, so the ripple effect of higher prices will depress demand throughout the economy and forestall recovery for months or even years to come.

No, I've not gone mad and I don't mean a word of what I just wrote. But, if the paragraph above doesn't capture the mentality of government officials advocating proposals that will only make matters worse, I don't know what does.

Of course, they don't say they're trying to exacerbate the problems; in fact, they insist they're offering solutions. But it doesn't take a Ph.D in economics to know that you can't foster recovery by raising the cost of everything.

Right now, Congress is considering legislation that will impose billions of dollars of new taxes on the oil industry – an industry that supports nearly 10 million American jobs, comprises nearly one-twelfth of our nation's GDP, and generates fuel that is vital to other industries and to the American consumer.

Are Sens. Dick Durbin and Roland Burris and our other representatives in Washington unable to foresee the effects of such ill-advised tax increases?

Do they want to discourage business expansions and job creation? Do they want to make matters worse? Do they want to delay recovery?

We certainly hope not, but actions speak louder than words, and their support for disastrous tax hikes is drowning out their platitudes.

Brian Kasal
State Chairman,
Illinois Energy Forum

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