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Obama's Oil Tax Puts Clinton In "Awkward" Position

- February 4, 2016

As Part Of His Budget, Earlier This Year Obama Pushed For A New $10 “Fee” On Every Barrel Of Oil That “Would Presumably Be Passed Along To Consumers” To Pay For A $300 Billion Spending Spree. “President Barack Obama is about to unveil an ambitious plan for a ‘21st century clean transportation system.’ And he hopes to fund it with a tax on oil. Obama aides told POLITICO that when he releases his final budget request next week, the president will propose more than $300 billion worth of investments over the next decade in mass transit, high-speed rail, self-driving cars, and other transportation approaches designed to reduce carbon emissions and congestion. To pay for it all, Obama will call for a $10 ‘fee’ on every barrel of oil, a surcharge that would be paid by oil companies but would presumably be passed along to consumers.” (Michael Grunwald, “Obama To Propose $10-A-Barrel Oil Tax,” Politico’s The Agenda, 2/4/16)

Obama’s Proposed “Fee” Could Amount To A 25 Cent Gas Tax Increase On American Drivers. “But by 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’s The Agenda, 2/4/16)

How Can Clinton Continue To Embrace Obama’s Policies While Claiming She Won’t Raise Taxes On Middle Class Families?

Obama’s Proposal Is “Particularly Awkward For Hillary Clinton” As She Simultaneously Embraces Obama’s Policies While Vowing To Not Raise Taxes On The Middle Class. “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’s The Agenda, 2/4/16)

  • Clinton Has Already Brought Up “Reforming The Business Tax Code” To Pay For Her Own $275 Billion Infrastructure Plan. “Hillary Clinton on Monday unveiled the most sprawling — and costliest — government program of her campaign to date…The plan would increase federal funding for infrastructure by $275 billion, with $250 billion from direct public investment and $25 billion to create a national infrastructure bank. The campaign said the plan would be fully paid for by reforming the business tax code, but did not provide additional details.” (Amy Chozick, “Hillary Clinton Unveils $275 Billion Infrastructure Investment Plan,” The New York Times’ First Draft, 11/30/15).

Clinton Has Flipped-Flopped On Raising Gas Prices Before When It Benefitted Her Politically

As A Candidate For Senate, Clinton Opposed Suspending Or Repealing The Gas Tax, Saying The Tax Benefitted New York To The Tune Of Hundreds Of Millions of Dollars Each Year. “Earlier in the day, Mrs. Clinton gave a detailed response to Mr. Lazio’s contention that the Clinton administration is to blame for federal gasoline taxes that have caused higher prices at the pumps. She argued that New York stands to lose millions of dollars in revenue for highway construction if those taxes are suspended or repealed, as Mr. Lazio urged by calling for the 18.3 cents per gallon federal tax to be lifted.” (Elisabeth Bumiller, “Lazio Accuses Mrs. Clinton Of Waging Fear Campaign,” The New York Times, 6/28/00) 

Then, During The 2008 Presidential Election, Clinton Supported Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) Plan To Suspend The Federal Gas Tax For The Summer Travel Season. “Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton lined up with Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, in endorsing a plan to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for the summer travel season.” (John Broder, “Democrats Divided Over Gas Tax Break,” The New York Times, 4/29/08)

Clinton Criticized Then Senator Obama As “Out Of Touch” With Ordinary Americans For Refusing To Support A Gas Tax Holiday. “But Senator Barack Obama, Mrs. Clinton’s Democratic rival, spoke out firmly against the proposal, saying it would save consumers little and do nothing to curtail oil consumption and imports. While Mr. Obama’s view is shared by environmentalists and many independent energy analysts, his position allowed Mrs. Clinton to draw a contrast with her opponent in appealing to the hard-hit middle-class families and older Americans who have proven to be the bedrock of her support. She has accused Mr. Obama of being out of touch with ordinary Americans who are struggling to meet their mortgages and gas up their cars and trucks.” (John Broder, “Democrats Divided Over Gas Tax Break,” The New York Times, 4/29/08)


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