Republicans like Mitch McConnell are pushing the idea that if America lowers taxes on the wealthy and corporations, the price of gas will fall.
Here is the video from CNN:
CROWLEY: But, senator, just in terms of the fairness issue, which is very important to Americans and to politicians, one hopes, the oil companies are making record profits, and yet taxpayers are paying for these loopholes for oil companies, which are basically tax breaks. And so just on the face of it, sir, it certainly does seem to a lot of Americans that people who are making record profits shouldn’t be taking taxes that we’re paying on April 15th, to get their tax breaks.
MCCONNELL: Well, you know, with all due respect, you’re using all the Democratic talking points. And that’s all quite interesting.
CROWLEY: Well, I use the Republican ones for a Democrat. So, you know.
MCCONNELL: All right.
But let me make the point again in case anybody missed it. The issue is the price of gas at the pump. If you raise taxes on the producers of gasoline, you drive the prices even higher. Does anyone think we need higher gas prices when they’re already at $4 a gallon?
I mean, this is not the way to lower the price of gas at the pump. This is not so much about a diversion, about discussion of fairness. We do need to reform the whole tax code. We’re in favor of that. It’s been 25 years since we actually reformed the tax code. As of today, we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. As of April 1st, the highest corporate tax rate in the world. And some people may think, gee, that’s great. All that does is make our companies uncompetitive. And even the president himself has said we need to get a corporate tax rate down.
At the same time, he’s trying to selectively raise taxes on some corporations, and to do that would drive the price of gas at the pump even higher. This is a terrible idea.
Mitch McConnell was arguing that if we lower taxes on corporations, and he also favors more tax cuts for the wealthy, than gas prices will come down. He claimed if the country does what President Obama and the vast majority of Americans want to do, which is to get corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share gas prices will go up. This is also the same logic that Republicans used to justify billions of dollars of annual subsidies to Big Oil.
The problem with McConnell’s claim is that it isn’t true. George W. Bush signed the most sweeping reduction in corporate taxes in two decades in 2004, but by 2008 gas prices hit record highs. There is no correlation between tax rates and the price Americans pay at the pump. Obama isn’t causing the price of gasoline to rise because he wants the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share. The price of gasoline is rising because the wealthy and corporations are driving prices up through speculation.
The McConnell cutting taxes will lower gas prices is a talking point that you can expect to be repeated by Republicans and their media outlets far and wide this week. Trying to tie their unpopular idea that the rich and corporations shouldn’t pay their fair share to blaming Obama for gas prices is not only bad politics. It is an insult to the collective American intelligence.
The Republican world view has become that the United States will be a utopia for all if the wealthy and corporations are given everything that they desire. They have taken their ideological bedrock that a rising tide lifts all boats to an absurd extreme.
Every time it looks like the Republican Party couldn’t possibly have a lower opinion of the American people, they do something that demonstrates just how dumb they really think we are.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association