August 1st, 2008
10:45 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama calls for windfall profits tax, 'emergency' energy rebate

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama pushed for his energy rebate plan Friday."]
(CNN) - Barack Obama said Friday that a windfall profits tax should be imposed on the oil industry to subsidize a $1,000 "emergency" rebate for consumers struggling with surging gas prices.

The rebates had already been announced as part of his tax relief proposal, but the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said the release of a disappointing jobs report Friday called for the immediate adoption of the plan, which he said would provide a rebate that would “be enough to offset the increased cost of gas for a working family over the next four months."

Listen: Obama's economic advisors describe the plan on a campaign conference call

Obama and John McCain reacted to the latest unemployment numbers released Friday, which show the nation lost 51,000 jobs in June, by attacking each other’s proposed economic fixes.

“Today’s jobs report is an urgent reminder that we cannot afford four more years of the failed Bush economic policies, and that is what Senator McCain is offering,” said Obama in a statement, characterizing the plan as a give-away to corporations and oil companies.

The presumptive Republican nominee plugged his own jobs plan, and said Obama’s proposal represented a return to failed economic policies. "Unlike Senator Obama, I do not believe that raising taxes is the answer to our economic problems,” McCain said in a statement. “There is no surer way to force jobs overseas than to raise taxes on businesses. The American people cannot afford economic policies that will take us backward."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. SDunn

    elliott August 1st, 2008 11:12 am ET

    same old liberal tax and spend policies…..nothing new here…….

    Why is it that Repubs have the same line every election cycle regarding Dems? Tax and spend tax and spend. What the heck do you think this Republican administration has been doing for the past 8 years??? SAVING MONEY??? How do you think we're now in the hole 9 trillion dollars???? Give up that stupid tax and spend argument and look at the behaviors of your own party.

    August 1, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |

    Stealing Hillary's ideas again I see.

    This is the worst election ever. No Good Candidates.

    Will go with the lesser of two evils: McCain.

    At least he has a record to base my opinion. Obama has a speech.

    Still for Hill, but voting McCain!

    August 1, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Obamanot

    He is more left than Ted Kennedy (see limited senate voting record) and the most liberal candidate ever to run for the presidency. His policies will bankrupt our country. This is not the kind of change a reasonable person can believe in.

    August 1, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Progressive Progressives for Progress in Progressive Progression

    It's become a trend that when a republican president is in the last year of an administration, the Dems and the Media do a full-court press on the populace, getting them to believe that it's the Great Depression all over again. ("Hey, don't let that new iPhone in your hand and your tickets to see The Dark Knight for the fourth time fool you, we're in a depression! Run for the hills!")

    The public, having ZERO education in economics, buys it hook line and sinker and behaves accordingly. Markets slide and Dems campaign on it being "the worst economy since the Depression." The create the very conditions that causes the economy to stumble and have the Audacity to campaign on it.

    Folks, we are within the textbook definition of "full employment." Yes, FULL EMPLOYMENT. Contrary to what opportunistic socialists would like you to believe, this is NOT the Great Depression, NOR anything like it. When you get 30 or 40 percent unemployment, you'll have reason to b!tch. Until then, shut up and get back to work.


    August 1, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. therealist

    You've got to be a real economic moran to believe in the change this guy is going to bring...

    August 1, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Ron democrat turned independent

    could sen. obama please explain how this will be accomplished.will he guaranty his party will vote in favor of it. and what are the consequences of such actions.he loves to talk the talk but he never walks the walk. during the primaries all we heared was the same old MY DADDY LEFT HOME WHEN I WAS TWO woe is me whinning. now it's I GOT A FUNNY NAME. I DON'T LOOK THE SAME AS THOSE OTHER PRESIDENTS. OH WOE IS ME. who writes this material anyway. QUIT WITH THE WHATS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY ROUTINE AND START TELLING US HOW AND WHEN YOUR GOING TO FIX IT AND PLEASE QUIT GETTING ANGRY WHEN SOMEONE QUESTIONS YOUR ANSWER. SOME OF US ARE NOT AS GULLIBLE AS OTHERS

    August 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Barack, I thought you were the college professor. Windfall profits taxes on corporations like big oil does not work. The cost always has a way of being "trickled-down" to the consumer.

    If you want to raise tax revenue, then do away with some of the more senseless deductions. Make some of the people who do not pay taxes actually pay taxes. I do not like windfall profits taxes. Sounds good, but in reality it just does not work like it does on paper.

    August 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. Kelby from Houston, TX

    TAX AND SPEND! Why do people think that this is a bad idea? Tax and spend is exactly what the goverment does and what it should do. There is not question about the necessity of tax but how we spend the money is still up for debate, A tax & spend policy is normally geared toward the betterment of the people. Why are people against the govt helping people. But when they give hand outs to corporations and business, it almost goes un-noticed. Tax&Spend is good for the economy

    August 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Mills

    Angela.....please tell me you are kidding! please tell me you dont think that's why oil went down!!!!

    All you Obama Bin Laden supports are in for a rude awakening.

    August 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Big D

    I don't trust the McCain campaign. I heard a recording of his speech in Racine WI the other day. And he repeated debunked statements throughout that speech. So he was either blatantly lying about Obama or he isn't concerned with checking facts. He said that Obama supported increasing taxes on people earning as low as $32,000 (debunked), that Obama would insist on withdrawing troops from Iraq in 16 months regardless of any emerging conditions (debunked), and that Obama would be willing to lose a war in order to win an election (outrageous and wrong). Why doesn't the media call him out for continuing to spread lies intentionally? Where's his integrity? On topic – if McCain can't be trusted for his own campaign statements, I'm not going to trust him on his economic proposals either.

    August 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. California Gold

    This is a fair approach to a very real problem for those who need help. Windfall profits are just that: profits. I have no qualms with supporting this proposal. This is far more meaningful than McCain's gasoline tax rebate-which has been publicly shot apart and generally accepted as meaningless.

    August 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. Scott, Phoenix

    The Democrats solution to everything...TAX,TAX, TAX. STEAL, STEAL, STEAL!

    August 1, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. FLA Voter

    Here is the difference between McCain's and Obama's energy policies:


    Drill Here!!
    Nuclear Power!!
    Clean Coal!!

    No drilling!!
    No nuclear!!
    No coal!!
    Put air in your tires!!
    Give your car a tune up!!

    Go ahead and give me $1000...but it won't do any good when the price of gas doubles because of his "Profits Tax". I cannot believe he is still peddling this insane gimmick.

    You have GOT to be kidding me...millions starve because of rich people??? That has got to be one of the most rediculous statements I have ever heard.

    August 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Justin (ny)


    for those of you whose financial situation has gotten worse in the last 8 years – what makes you think McCain is going to make it any better?!?!?! IF IT HASN'T GOTTEN BETTER IN THE LAST YEARS, VOTING FOR MCCAIN WILL ENSURE IT CONTINUES TO STAY THAT WAY.

    its so painfully obvious we have to be doing something DIFFERENT in this country than we've been doing in the last 8 years.

    ask yourselves – are you better off now than you were 8 years ago??

    August 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    McCain and Britney Spears have 2 things in common.

    Both are way past their prime and both support Bush.

    (Did you see Farenheit 911 and the gum snapping Britney??)

    August 1, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    Sometimes these comments really give me a headache. Obama is asking rich oil companies to share their profits with the average Joe to help pay your bills and to give you some relief. And what do you say...... No Thanks because I am a republican and even though I have lost my job and my home under their leadership I will not vote for a democrat. They could help my situation but I would rather cut off my nose and spite my face. No. I'll live under a bridge and my children will go to war and I still won't vote for a democrat.

    August 1, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. sherry for Obama

    They need to put all the disgrutled repubs on an island far away and let them attack each other with insults.......thats what their used to.

    August 1, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Phil, FL

    I'm so sick of McWarmonger's monotone voice saying

    "I know how to win wars"

    "I'm a POW"

    "My Friends"

    "Give the wealthy more tax breaks"

    Oh yeah – my favorites are when he just says what Obama is for – most of it is spin and lies. What are you for McWarmonger? Trying to destroy everything and everybody except the wealthy elitists like yourself? How many pairs of $520 loafers do you have now?

    Obama -08

    August 1, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. S. Boatman

    I Am Casting My Vote Based On Looks! Mccain Has Too Many Neck Wrinkles To Get My Vote! I Have Just Played My Age Card!

    August 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Scott, Phoenix

    Note to Angela above... gas prices started falling after Bush mentioned drilling for oil in this country.

    August 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. Al for Clinton 2012

    The unemployed need a Pulic Works Program, to get work and help rebuild the infrastructure in this country not another giveme program maybe you think you can buy the gullible vote no more debt load your just a tell them what they want to hear unltra liberal. I want a mainstream Democrate

    Clinton 2012

    August 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. Theresa - Minneapolis

    Socialism is a buzz word that Republicans use to try to scare the uneducated. Obama is not saying everyone should have or make the same amount of money, as in a socialist economy. He's saying that everyone should have the same OPPORTUNITY.

    I cannot wait for this election to be done and over with. If the American people elect John McCain, I will hang my head in shame. I'm sure the entire world will be laughing at us IF the Republicans succeed in manipulating the uneducated into being afraid of Obama.

    August 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. Obama=socialist

    Is this what people really want? Do they really want a socialist country where hard work is abandoned and the government re-distrubutes all the wealth? Who is going to actually decide at what point is your profit "too much"? Is that a dollar number or percentage? No money is free, it is just a re-distribution. This is scary folks.

    August 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |

    Angela. Did you wake up from a comma today?

    Gas prices dropped when Bush lifted the ban on offshore drilling. Markets move on information. Bush sent a message to Wall Street that the government will do what it takes to get prices down.

    What would happen if the Dems lifted the ban on off-shore drilling as well.

    Former Dem. Now Independent or Log Cabin Republican (not sure yet).

    August 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. p Coleman

    How is Obama going to give the people a $1,000 rebate?????????

    Does he realize he is NOT the President???????????

    When Politicians talk about a Tax refund of 1,000 or 5,000 dollars that means you will be lucky if you see 100.00 dollars of that.

    There is very little any of the candidates can do, they are all just trying to become President and they will promise the moon and after they are elected give you a tennis ball.

    Untill the government starts thinking about the people that elect them instead of just greed nothing will get better.

    August 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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