BUDGET PACKAGE BAD ECONOMICS, POLITICS

In a way, the federal deficit-reduction plan enacted this month in the U.S. affects the oil industry the same way it does the middle class. It will hurt both-but not directly. Like the middle class, which makes no sacrifice evident in the income tax tables, the oil industry dodges a bullet but awaits a barrage. President Bill Clinton had proposed a BTU tax with a special levy on oil. The idea gave way to a less-damaging 4.3/gal tax on transportation fuels in a package of tax hikes otherwise

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