Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer called President Barack Obama‘s plea to end oil tax breaks “staggering cynicism,” explaining how Obama’s rhetoric contradicted his past actions on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Obama spoke from the Rose Garden outside the White House, calling on Congress to end tax credits to the five major oil companies. Soon after the president’s remarks, the Senate voted to end debate on a Democratic bill that would have redirected $21 billion in “big oil” tax breaks to “green energy” companies and deficit reduction. Some Democrats joined Republicans to kill the bill by a 51-47 vote, short of the 60-vote requirement to bring it up for a vote.
“I think any objective observer would look at what the president said today in the Rose Garden on this and conclude as I did: it is truly staggering cynicism,” Krauthammer said on Thursday’s broadcast. “Number one, when he was in the Senate, Obama supported the subsidies he’s denouncing today. And when our own Ed Henry asked Jay Carney about that, Carney had no answer. He was looking for a hole to hide in.”
“Second, the Congressional Research Office in March of 2011 showed that if you remove the subsidies, if it has any effect whatsoever on the gas prices, it will be to increase them, and the president is pretending he is trying to lower the gas prices,” he continued.
Ending the tax breaks would do little to solve the deficit spending problems plaguing the federal government, Krauthammer claimed. The Senate bill that Obama supported would have put about $10 billion in “big oil” tax cuts toward deficit reduction.
“Lastly, it is a trivial effect,” Krauthammer explained. “If you collected this subsidy, this tax from the oil companies for the next 100 years, it wouldn’t cover four months of deficit spending under this administration. And here he is in the Rose Garden standing up and saying again and again as he has before, ‘I am for all of the above — all kinds of sources of energy.’”
“This is three days after the EPA issued a regulation — which was overlooked in all the Supreme Court stuff about Obamacare — issued a regulation which means the end of any new coal-fired plant in America, ever. It’s the end of the coal industry in time as the old plants age — millions out of work, the coal industry shutdown and in time, raising electricity rates and really destroying a great natural resource America has,” he said.
“But of course, if you are Obama, who needs coal when you know what we have: algae.”