The O'Reilly Factor: The Oil Companies Owe Us, Just Don't Call It Taxes

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The cognitive dissonance involved in being Bill O'Reilly is truly stunning. Take, for example, the latest edition of his Talking Points Memo, in which he castigates Obama for saying that he would give an $1000 energy rebate check to American families derived from windfall profit taxes of the oil companies.

Oh noes! Obama is talking about taxes, that liberal! Doesn't he realize that we have a HUGE deficit??? That we can't afford to keep spending money frivolously? Of course the fact that Billo's been cheerleading and apologizing for this deficit every dime along the way is conveniently swept under the rug. Because damnit, we're on the edge of a collapse! We can't tax oil companies, silly Obama.

Bill's solution: ask the oil companies to volunteer 2% of their record-breaking profits. That's fair, and since it's voluntary, we don't have to use the dreaded T-word. Of course, when Billo sent his minions to approach the oil companies, they were less than receptive. Quelle surprise! But it's unacceptable to think that Americans will go cold this winter, and since the oil companies so far are not interested in helping their fellow Americans (a surprisingly *gasp* socialist notion coming from O'Reilly), so what's a presidential candidate to do? Maybe not giving them tax breaks would be a good first start, right, Bill?

Full and ridiculously circular logic of the transcripts available below the fold

Should the oil companies help out the folks? That is the subject of this evening’s Talking Points Memo. Understanding that many Americans are furious with the oil companies, Barack Obama is trying to tie John McCain in with them and putting forth this:

OBAMA: I believe we should give every working family in America a $1,000 energy rebate and we should pay for it with part of the record profits the oil companies are making right now.

Taxing windfall profits, how exactly would that work? Would that be constitutional, selecting a single industry for advance taxation? That’s not going to get done, for a variety of reasons. Also giving the folks another rebate is a bad idea. The government must get out of the giveaway business, this country is now running a half-trillion dollar deficit. All together, we owe about ten trillion dollars. That’s why the U.S. dollar is a disaster. If the USA continues to spend more than it takes in, we will have a complete economic collapse. Does Obama or McCain want to be the next Herbert Hoover? If so, continue to run up those deficits.


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The United States simply must stop its massive spending, must begin to balance the budget and must return to the value of the US Dollar to its once elite status. We’re all in big trouble if that doesn’t happen. But — and this is an important but – many Americans are getting hammered by energy prices. Some will have trouble heating their homes next winter. That is completely unacceptable.

So here is my proposal: I am asking the five major American oil companies, Chevron, Occidental, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil and Hess, to donate 2% of their profits for the last four quarters to a fund that would help struggling Americans pay their heating bills. That way, the oil companies could pay back their country. A nation that has allowed them to prosper more than any other concern in the history of civilization. A 2% charitable disbursement would alleviate the suffering of tens of millions of Americans and not hurt the oil companies much at all. Last year, they made a combined $80 billion in profit, a record amount for any industry at any time.

Now we contacted the five big oil corporations and to say the response to my idea was lukewarm is to be kind. Exxon and Chevron pointed out they pay huge amount of taxes to the government, which is true. But what about directly helping those in need? Not much enthusiasm so far. If just one of the oil companies would establish such a charitable fund, the goodwill that corporation would receive would more than make up for the money spent, as millions of Americans would buy that company’s oil over the others. So we encourage the oil companies to directly help out their fellow Americans who are struggling. No one – no one -- in this country should be cold this winter. But it is going to happen.

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