Taxing dividends

In his 2 years in office, US President George W. Bush has dealt aggressively with issues important to oil and gas companies. The energy plan his administration produced early in its tenure was comprehensive and bold—too bold, as things turned out, for Congress. In terms of the potential effect on oil and gas companies, however, Bush's most sweeping proposal didn't appear in his controversial energy policy. It didn't appear until this month and isn't specifically about energy. It's the proposal to end double taxation of corporate earnings distributed to stockholders as dividends.Like the energy policy, which encouraged oil and gas leasing in part of the Arctic Nat...

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