Watching Government - The windfall word

The story in the Oct. 29 Washington Post about oil companies' improved third-quarter earnings might have made industry lobbyists pause because it included a still volatile word—windfall—to describe the bottom-line impact of higher prices and strong demand. A mischievous copy editor went one step further and, on the inside page where the story continued, wrote a headline reading, "Oil Companies Awash in Windfall Profits."The wording evokes the windfall profits tax, enacted in 1980 to make phaseout of crude oil price controls politically palatable. It also raises a question: Might the recent surge of crude prices revive interest in a windfall profit tax?"It still commands a ...

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