We found that only 11 of those votes would have reduced or eliminated subsidies or tax incentives for alternative energy. The rest were votes McCain cast against the mandatory use of alternative energy, or votes in favor of allowing exemptions from such mandates.
FACT CHECK: McCain’s plan entails cutting the overall corporate tax rate and does not represent a special $4 billion in tax breaks for the oil companies. Both Obama and McCain have proposed plans that eliminate tax loopholes for oil and gas companies, according to the Associated Press.
A: I meet Americans every day who are really hard hit. So absolutely, I want to make sure that tax stimulus package proposed that would follow up the initial rebate check with another one if you had three consecutive months of unemployment. That gets out to people right away. And in fact, we have a better chance of getting that done than the proposal that John McCain and Hillary Clinton have put forward, but understand this: the idea of a gas tax holiday is a phony approach. It is a gimmick. We saw this tried in a number of other states including my home state of Illinois. And what happens is, at best, you’re seeing pennies over 90 days, but more typically what happens is the oil companies just jack up prices by the same amount as the gas tax was as it’s suspended, so consumers don’t see the savings.
A: You’re right; this defines the difference between myself and Senator Clinton This gas tax, which was first proposed by John McCain and then quickly adopted by Senator Clinton, is a classic Washington gimmick. It is a political response to a serious problem that we have neglected for decades. Here’s the upshot. You’re looking at suspending a gas tax for three months. The average driver would save 30 cents per day for a grand total of $28. That’s assuming that the oil companies don’t step in and raise prices by the same amount that the tax has been reduced.
If the 2005 energy bill signed by President Bush was indeed the “single largest investment in clean energy” ever seen, as Obama says, then it’s hard to see how his administration can be faulted for lack of “any serious effort” to promote alternative fuels. Furthermore, another bill Bush signed in December sets a national fuel economy standard of 35 mpg by 2020, the first major increase in vehicle fuel efficiency standards in more than three decades.
It is certainly true that more could be done, and Obama would be within his rights to say that Bush’s efforts aren’t serious enough to suit him. But claiming a lack of any serious effort at all is contradicted by the record and by Obama’s own words.
A: I have some experience on this because in Illinois we tried this when I was in the state legislature, and that’s exactly what happened. The oil companies, the retailers were the ones wh ended up benefiting.
Q: But you voted for it.
A: I did.
Q: When gas was only $2 a gallon.
A: I voted for it, and then six months later we took a look, and consumers had not benefited at all, but [the state] had lost revenue.
Q: So you learned from a wrong vote.
A: Yeah, I learned from a mistake. And, in addition, this would come out of the Federal Highway Fund that we use to rebuild our roads and our bridges. Now, Sen. Clinton says that she’s going to use the windfall profits tax to fill it, but she’s already said that she’s going to use the windfall profits tax to invest in clean energy. More importantly, nobody thinks that George Bush is actually going to sign a law for windfall profits taxes, so that’s not going to happen this summer.
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