Democrats Pass Their Fake ‘No Energy’ Bill And Rangel’s Tax Tangles

It was done under the cover of the night. No committees, no public scrutiny. The Democrats, once again thumbing their collective noses at their own 2006 promise of bipartisanship and transparency, passed H.R. 6899, 236-189. 15 Republicans sided with the Dems and 13 Democrats voted “no.”

Instead of increasing our energy supply here at home and bringing down energy prices, here is what the bill does:

· Implements vast restrictions on energy drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) compared to what would otherwise be allowed if the current moratorium on OCS energy development were allowed to expire on October 1, 2008.

· Provides states no incentive to allow for the expanded OCS drilling. That is, states would not get revenue shares in any of the newly leased areas.

· Repeals the moratorium on oil shale on federal lands, but prohibits any actual oil shale leasing unless a state allows it via state law. Allowing the current moratorium to simply expire in two weeks would allow for oil shale leasing on federal lands without state approvals.

· Releases 70 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and provides for a subsequent replenishment with a less desirable grade of oil.

· Authorizes $1.7 billion taxpayer dollars to subsidize public transportation ridership already at record levels.

· Includes a requirement, commonly known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard or the Renewable Electricity Standard, that electric suppliers, other than governmental entities and rural electric cooperatives, provide 2.75% of their electricity using renewable energy resources by the year 2010—and increasing incrementally to 15% by the year 2020.

· Directs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop loan products and flexible underwriting guidelines to facilitate a secondary market for energy-efficient and location-efficient mortgages on housing for low and moderate income families—and for second and junior mortgages made for the purposes of energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements.

· Mandates gas stations owned by larger oil and gas companies to install at least one alternative fuel pump (natural gas, E-85, biodiesel, or hydrogen) by 2018.

· Includes the Charlie Rangel transportation earmark for New York by terminating the remaining portions of the New York Liberty Zone tax incentives program (implemented to encourage business investment in lower Manhattan).

· Includes several tax increases—primarily the special carve-out of large (and foreign-government-owned) oil and gas producers from the domestic manufacturing tax deduction, the freeze of this tax deduction for all other oil and gas companies, and a restriction of how foreign oil and gas extraction income is determined for purposes of the foreign income tax credit. The bill also includes a PAYGO gimmick that will force energy companies to remit $3 billion in estimated taxes in FY2013 sooner than they otherwise would have to.

So, we Americans are left with record high energy prices and in addition to that, the Dems have saddled us with even higher taxes which will mean even higher prices as those taxes go into effect and they are passed along to us consumers. Apparently, the leftists are still living in the fantasy world where everyone believes that higher taxes somehow help a sagging economy, rather than the real world knowledge that high taxes will more deeply hurt an already sluggish economy.

Here is what is not in the bill:

· Litigation reform, so that American energy exploration and development, including that authorized by this legislation, is not further halted by environmentalist lawsuits.

· Allowing energy exploration and development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

· Expedited petroleum refinery permitting.

· Expedited nuclear reactor permitting.

· There is also no language regarding futures markets speculation.

In short, this bill bows to the extreme left while brushing aside the concern of mainstream Americans.

You can access the roll call vote on-line here:

FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 599

House of Representatives
September 16, 2008

And you can access the highlights of the bill on-line here:

Blackburn Denounces Another Sham “No-Energy” Energy Bill
Terry Frank
TerryFrank.net
September 16, 2008


So what does it mean when the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee doesn’t understand the tax code? It means that the current tax system must be scrapped and rebuilt.

From the Associated Press:

Rep. Charles Rangel paid no mortgage interest on a beach resort property for about 15 years, a lawyer for the powerful House committee chairman said Friday.

The New York congressman’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, told The Associated Press that Rangel got his no-interest deal for the villa in the Dominican Republic because he was an original buyer in the resort development.

The Democratic chairman of the Ways and Means tax-writing committee has come under scrutiny for his vacation property and apartments he rents in his home district of Harlem. Davis said Rangel failed to report rental income from the resort property on his taxes, but didn’t realize it was necessary because of the way the deal was structured.

Uh-huh. Rep. Rangel is supposed to be the foremost expert on tax law in America and we are supposed to believe he doesn’t understand the system? I’ve got two competing theories on that.

1) He does understand the system and was trying to game it for personal gain.
2) The tax code is now so complicated and convoluted that it is no longer a workable tool and must be done away with.

Either way, Rangel’s little caper shows, with clarity, yet another reason why we must get rid of the current tax code and replace it with the FairTax.

The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.

The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 1025) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.

The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.

The FairTax:

  • Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks
  • Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions
  • Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities
  • Allows American products to compete fairly
  • Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy
  • Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding
  • Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation
  • Abolishes the IRS

The FairTax also addresses three end-goals that no other tax reform plan speaks to:

1) It removes forever the power of the IRS to intrude on private American lives.
2) It removes forever the power of K Street lobbyists to influence Congressional tax legislation.
3) It prevents hidden taxes from being passed along to the consumer.

You can access the original article on-line here:

When The Ways And Means Chairman Doesn’t Understand The Tax Code…
Associated Press via Americans For Fair Taxation
September 2008

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2 Responses

  1. Barracko bama’s knowledge of economy is a $28,000.00 per plate dinner in Hollywood. On the otherhand John McCain has experenced the value of one bowl of rice a day!!

  2. The irony here is that Charlie Rangel, in his position, has had ample time to bring the FairTax to the house floor for an open and honest debate and a vote. Under the FairTax, with no taxes on income and no return to file, Charlie Rangel would not have this problem. I cannot feel sorry him since he’s one of the main reasons the FairTax isn’t already law.

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