Both Matthew Yglesias and John Cole agree that the Obama/Clinton proposal to tax the “windfall profits” of the oil companies is a bad idea, and you’ll get no argument from me. However, one thing that I did notice when I was doing a little google-fu on the issue is that there appears to be approximately 20 to 50 billion dollars spent by the federal government per year on direct subsidies (as opposed to tax breaks) given to the oil industry each year.Kevin Drum puts icing on the cake:
[. . .]
Not only would that generate more revenue than the “windfall tax” (estimated to be $15 billion), but it would do so without getting the federal government into the problematic business of deciding how profitable companies are allowed to be.
Anyway, this really ought to be the liberal rallying cry: forget a windfall profits tax, let's work first on getting rid of the massive corporate welfare infrastructure we've constructed for an industry that really, really doesn't need it. Not as sexy as a gas tax holiday, maybe, but it makes a helluva lot more sense.