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Neeeever mind (again!): Obama abandons windfall profits tax

By Michelle Malkin  •  December 3, 2008 11:25 AM

Reality bites Barack Obama in the ass again.

Here he was in May/June of this year, vowing to punish the oil companies and redistribute the wealth: “I’ll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we’ll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills,” the Illinois senator said.

And now? Barack Obama is morphing into SNL character Emily Litella. Neeeever mind:

President-elect Barack Obama has shelved a proposal to slap the oil and gas companies with a new windfall profits tax because oil prices have dropped so much in recent months, the transition team confirmed today.

“President-elect Obama announced the policy during the campaign because oil prices were above $80 per barrel,” a transition aide said. “They are currently below that now and expected to stay below that.”

Obama’s proposal had called for using the proceeds from the tax to give American consumers an energy rebate worth up to $500 per individual or $1,000 per married couple.

As Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, put it: “A windfall profits tax is bad policy at any price.”

Another Obama shift:

Asked whether the energy rebate plan had likewise been put on hold, the transition aide said the rebates were included in a middle class “rescue plan” Obama released last month.

That plan calls for a permanent tax cut of $500 for a worker or $1,000 for a family, with the Internal Revenue Service using 2007 tax returns to send out the checks. Tax cuts also would be extended to seniors.

The policy shift came to light after officials at the American Small Business League noticed that the windfall profits tax language had been removed from the transition team’s Web site in what the group called “an unceremonious and abrupt manner.”

Yeah, that’s happening a lot lately.

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