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Tax the Oil Companies? But, "They're Our Friends!"

Reported by Melanie - August 6, 2007 -

Before leaving for its August vacation on Saturday, the House approved "$16 billion in taxes on oil companies, while providing billions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives for renewable energy and conservation efforts." Fox is against this, of course; it's against anything having to do with taxing corporations or the rich. But given that oil companies probably rank somewhere down around the level of used car salesmen in popularity, Fox is having a heck of a time figuring out how to spin it.

It made an attempt today (August 6, 2007) but I don't know -- you tell me -- I think this one would play far better on Comedy Central than on Main Street.

Ben Stein was Neil Cavuto's guest in a segment titled, "Taxing Oil Companies: Where Does it End?" Stein said he doesn't "understand why we're punishing the oil companies. I mean, to raise their taxes just to punish them" for being such successful companies? He said it takes "hundreds of thousands of people working very, very hard to get it to us. Most of them are paid very modestly. Most of the stockholders are pensioners or people waiting for retirement. Why do we want to punish them?"

Cavuto said, "I think it comes back to the eye-popping numbers," and Stein said pensions and mutual funds, and "tens of millions of Americans [are] sharing in those profits..." "Why tax the ordinary school teacher or fireman or policeman who's got it in his pension account? Why tax that guy because the oil company executives are doing a good job? Why punish them?"

"We hate the oil companies because we're dependent on them," Stein continued. "Why?! We should love them and be grateful to them. They are doing us an incredible favor getting us all this energy at a decent price. I mean, they're not even setting the price. I mean, why are we bashing them? We need them. They're our friends!"

Comment: Isn't that pitiful?