President Obama proposed yesterday to tax every barrel of oil produced or imported an additional $10, which translates to almost twice the federal gas tax Americans pay at the pump. Last year Obama told senior citizens that they wouldn’t see a 2016 cost of living adjustment in their Social Security benefits because of “cheap oil.” The new tax would only be applied to domestic and imported oil, but not to oil exported to other countries. This means other countries would benefit from the president’s largesse, and penalizing Americans in the process.
This new tax would also be equivalent to a 33 percent increase on U.S. oil, as it’s currently hovering around $30 per barrel. His new tax proposal is in his latest budget proposal and the Republican-controlled Congress has already indicated this new tax would be dead on arrival. The White House says the tax would provide “$20 billion a year to help expand transit systems across the country and more than $2 billion a year to support the research and development of self-driving vehicles and other low-carbon technologies.”
Critics say Obama is picking winners and losers again using crony capitalism. Currently, many tech giants are testing new vehicles that rely on cameras, maps, motion, software, et al, to create so-called self-driving cars. The self-driving cars are also battery powered, but that electricity comes from a mix of natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy. They also want to use the extra money to fix the country’s infrastructure system.