Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wants domestic energy producers to forfeit profits to the government in order to issue $500 and $1,000 checks to consumers to help them keep up with rising energy costs.
“This rebate will be enough to offset the increased cost of gas for a working family over the next four months,” Obama said in a Florida speech Friday morning. “Or, if you live in a state where it gets very cold in the winter, it will be enough to cover the entire increase in your heating bills. Or you could use the rebate for any of your other bills or even to pay down debt.”
Obama is specifically calling on oil companies to pay for $500 checks for every individual and $1,000 for married couples.
He is calling the plan an “Emergency Economic Plan” and these rebate checks are only part of the $50 billion economic stimulus package he’d like to enact as president. All of the details of this plan were outlined in a 6-page policy paper released by his campaign.
The plan is described in the policy paper as: TAKE THE EXCESS PROFITS OF OIL COMPANIES TO HELP WORKING FAMILIES DEAL WITH ENERGY COSTS WITH NEW $1,000 REBATE CHECKS AND ENACT A $50 BILLION PACKAGE TO SAVE 1 MILLION JOBS.
Obama’s plan was released a day after Exxon Mobile reported a record high $11.68 billion net income and $138 billion total income in the second quarter. According to CNN, the company paid $10.5 billion in taxes on that income.
On the campaign trail, Obama frequently says taxes should be increased on domestic energy producers in order to fund alternative energy or give assistance to low-income individuals.
He opposes any suspension of the federal gas tax for consumers, a “gas tax holiday,” and increasing the domestic energy supply by allowing energy producers to drill offshore or in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.