A windfall tax would be good for working people


March 24, 2022

To The Eagle:

As Americans struggle to pay their heating bills and fill their gas tanks, petroleum giants Shell, Chevron, BP, and Exxon, are posting billions in record profits. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine promises them even greater crisis driven dividends.

How are the oil companies using this windfall? To increase production output and refinery capacity? No. The petroleum industry and its Wall Street profiteers will maximize gains by limiting supply and raising prices instead. Despite that, Republicans would rather just curse Joe Biden at the pumps.

Big oil companies can afford to absorb the higher costs of crude oil. They won’t. They’re so big they don’t worry about losing market share to competitors. They’re passing their higher costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices, while pocketing record profits. America’s corporate monopolies are rapaciously exploiting the post Covid economic rebound. They get their inflated profits, while all we get is inflation. It’s simpler to turn a blind eye to predatory Capitalism and just blame Joe Biden.

It’s the same old story. When crisis strikes, the poor and working class get raked over while corporations rake it in. What’s to be done? How about imposing a windfall profits tax on Big Oil.

Democrats have introduced legislation that would tax crisis driven windfall profits of the largest oil companies, and use that revenue to pay quarterly checks to Americans suffering energy price shock. Quarterly rebates to consumers would phase out for individuals earning more than $75,000 or couples earning $150,000.

Republicans as well as Democratic energy industry vassals like senator Joe Manchin, will balk at any tax increase on Big Oil, of course. A windfall tax would be good politics, good policy, and a good way to help average working people get through this fuel crisis.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island


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