Rhetorical dodge hides sinkhole for taxpayer dollars

08/01/2011
In the sleight-of-hand on display throughout the US showdown over fiscal policy, no one has performed the rhetorical dodge better than President Barack Obama. “Before we stop funding clean energy research, let’s ask oil companies and corporate jet owners to give up the tax breaks that other companies don’t get,” he said July 22 at the University of Maryland. “I mean, these are special tax breaks.” No, they’re not special tax breaks if what Obama means to imply—as he surely does—that they let oil companies pay effective tax rates lower than those of other companies. Those “special” tax mechanisms just accommodate the oil and gas industry’s unique activities. Effective tax rates of big oil ...
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