Feb 13, 2016
Focus on Energy Taxes in South Carolina
Post by Derek Yale
Arlington, VA – The issue of energy taxes is dividing conservatives in South Carolina, and it should be front and center during tonight’s GOP Presidential debate.
Earlier this week, President Obama released a budget that included a $10.25 tax on every barrel of oil. Experts estimate it would increase the cost of gasoline by as much at 25 cents per gallon. It was nearly universally panned by Republicans in Congress.
At the same time, South Carolina is debating a gas tax of their own. With the support of some state Republicans, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is proposing a 10-cent per gallon gas tax hike combined with a cut in income taxes.
Increasing taxes on energy disproportionately impacts lower- and middle-income families who are forced to spend a larger percentage of their income getting to work and heating their homes.
At tonight’s debate, the moderators should ask each of the candidates:
Will you oppose regressive energy taxes that increase the cost of gasoline in order to pay for more government spending?
Despite making the middle-class a central theme of their campaigns, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have not yet taken a position on the President’s $10.25 per barrel tax proposal.
DEBATE OVER ENERGY TAXES DIVIDING CONSERVATIVES IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Debate Over A 10-Cent Increase In The Gas Tax Is Front And Center In South Carolina. “In South Carolina, AFP has zeroed in on the GOP-controlled legislature and Gov. Nikki Haley’s push for a 10-cent increase in the gas tax to pay for transportation projects.” (“Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity Invests In Red States To Take On GOP,” Tarini Parti, Buzzfeed, 1/21/16)
THE PRESIDENT’S NEW TAX INCREASE WOULD IMPACT MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES
The President’s Oil Tax Amounts Could Add As Much As 25 Cents To The Cost Of Gasoline, Amounting To A Massive Tax Increase On The Middle Class: “[B]y raising the specter of new taxes on fossil fuels, it could create a political quandary for Democrats. The fee could add as much as 25 cents a gallon to the cost of gasoline, and even with petroleum prices at historic lows, the proposal could be particularly awkward for Hillary Clinton, who has embraced most of Obama’s policies but has also vowed to oppose any tax hikes on families earning less than $250,000 a year.” (Michael Grunwald, “Obama to propose $10-a-barrel oil tax,” POLITICO, 2/4/2016)
MOST REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS CALL THE PRESIDENT’S PLAN DEAD ON ARRIVAL
POLITICO: “Republicans Savage Obama’s Oil Tax Plan.” “Republicans and the oil industry teed off on President Obama and his plan announced on Thursday to impose a $10 tax on every barrel of crude oil to pay for green transportation projects. The GOP outrage that greeted Obama’s plan, first reported by POLITICO ahead of its release in next week’s White House budget, showed the tax would get no traction in Congress — and it gave Republicans a platform to blast the president’s environmental agenda as bad for the economy.” (“Republicans Savage Obama’s Oil Tax Plan,” Elana Schor, POLITICO, 2/4/2016)