CATO slams Palin’s record of tax increases on Big Oil

CATO calls it “uninspiring” and I’d be shocked if any old-fashioned Rockefeller Republican (if any even exist today) is impressed with Palin’s tax policy which includes taxes, including windfall tax provision to Big Oil just like Obama. However, in the case of Obama, McCain attacked Obama and drew comparisons to the Carter plan. If Palin is an energy expert, as the Republicans are saying, aren’t they confirming Obama’s plan?

More from CATO on Palin’s tax increase policy while governor of Alaska. I don’t have a problem with her taxing Big Oil but I’m guessing fiscal conservatives might take issue with her $1.5 billion dollar tax increase on Big Oil. Since John McCain is now 72 years old and has had four bouts of cancer, are the Republicans saying that they want a heavy tax-and-spend VP to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? Really?

Palin supported and signed into law a $1.5 billion tax increase on oil companies in the form of higher severance taxes. One rule of thumb is that higher taxes cause less investment. Sure enough, State Tax Notes reported (January 7): “After ACES was passed, ConocoPhillips, Alaska’s most active oil exploration company and one of the top three producers, announced it was canceling plans to build a diesel fuel refinery at the Kuparuk oil field. ConocoPhillips blamed the cancellation on passage of ACES [the new tax]. The refinery would have allowed the company to produce low-sulfur diesel fuel onsite for its vehicles and other uses on the North Slope, rather than haul the fuel there from existing refineries.”

There are good reasons for an oil-rich state to tax oil production, but a fiscal conservative would usually use any tax increase to reduce taxes elsewhere. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I see no evidence that Palin offered any major tax cuts. She did propose sending $1.2 billion of state oil revenues to individuals and utility companies in the form of monthly payments to reduce energy bills, but that sounds like welfare to me, not tax cuts.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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