That shouldn’t just be of concern to those involved in the energy industry. Senator Obama claims to be a friend of the working class, by promoting progressive tax increases and refundable tax credits for many who currently don’t pay income taxes. Yet even those who are supposed to benefit from this redistribution should be cautious before assuming that an Obama presidency will be a boon to their financial fortunes.
After all, Senator Obama’s definition of who should be subject to tax increases has been changing throughout the campaign. Do we really want to take the chance that once elected, a President Obama would then simply state his previous tax policies were taken out of context, and that all taxpayers (actual taxpayers) will be subject to his costly whims and reversals? Moreover, if Senator Obama advances anti-business policies that “bankrupt” companies, that will lead to greater job loss. No tax rebate is going to replace the financial security that comes with having a paying job.
And Senator Obama’s tax proposals could act as a significant drag on business. He hasn’t suggested explicitly raising the corporate tax rate, yet his campaign has estimated that his efforts to remove “loop holes” will increase corporate tax revenue by 25 percent. Many like to portray business taxes as only affecting “greedy CEOs,” but corporate taxes are paid by all of us: we pay them in the form of higher prices for goods, fewer jobs, and lower wages.
Senator Obama also wants to raise taxes on investment, such as raising the capital gains tax rate and the tax on dividends. Again much of the press depicts these tax policies as affecting only investment bankers and multimillionaires. Yet discouraging investment and savings affects everyone. Such investment is the lifeblood of the economy, allowing businesses to expand and entrepreneurs to create new companies. The end result is new jobs for workers and a healthy economy.
Voters should take Senator Obama’s statement seriously. It isn’t just what he says about coal. His big government vision and plan for a more progressive, anti-investment tax regime threatens workers everywhere.