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. Mike from Westchester

    Greg Pottstown, Pa. August 1st, 2008 11:15 am ET
    A vote for Obama is a vote for the redistribution of wealth. What is the point of working hard Obama will make sure that you make the same amount of money no mater if you have a degree or not or a job or not. That is not what America is about.
    This is the biggest crock of poop I have ever heard. Along with the others who are calling Obama a "socialist", you have to believe that these people have some axe to grind. The charge is TOTALLY baseless. As during the Dem primary, many of those supporting Obama have higher education and income levels, hence the oft-used term "well heeled" Obama supporters, like being successful is something to be ashamed of. Those supporters, like me, have benefited from and are strong believers in our capitalist system. We also, generally believe in equal opportunity, fairness, and a sensible level of support for those in need.

    Some of the people on these blogs are obviously extremists in that there are only two acceptable points of view for them, extreme laize-faire capitalism or total socialism. They do not seem to be able to comprehend how anyone could have opinions that are not at one end of the scale or the other. Therefore, if you are not a cold, selfish total capitalist, you must be a socialist. I also suspect these are some of the people who are profiting from either oil stocks or the oil futures market, and their love of profit is more important to them than the long term welfare of the United States of America. (please note that I said some, not all)

    August 1, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. Bob

    This coming from a man so dedicated to his constituency that he has missed 287 of 1268 votes (23%) that have taken place since he became a Senator. He cares so much.... He is a Senator, in the majority party, and yet he spends the time that we the taxpayers have paid him for campaigning.

    August 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Eric - Pittsburgh

    Guess what other country re-distributes oil company profits to it's people? Venezuela!! And what a great place to live that is!!

    It's really scary to see how socialist we are becoming and how everyone is thrilled to death about it. Just sit back you commie-libs and let the government tax us into prosperity – because that has always worked out in the past!

    August 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Shane NJ

    Talk about politics as usual. First Obama excoriates Clinton on her gas tax holiday (which was to be paid for by an oil windfall tax), saying it was political pandering and bad economic policy. Now he proposes something that is is essentially the same: trying to buy votes with a policy that is still flawed. Attacking Clinton, he said oil companies would merely shift the windfall burden back to the consumers. I guess because it's Barack the Enlightened One's plan, the oil companies will have no such proclivity to do so. Geez, give me a break.

    August 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. therealist

    Next..., a windfall tax on everyone making above 250,000

    And then, a windfall tax on everyone making above 100,000

    and then, a windfall tax on everyone making above 50,000

    Finally..., communism.

    August 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. Biffington, Biff

    So Obama brings out a proposal... that will actually help Americans immediately. watch the attacks come fast and furiously WHILE OFFERING NOTHING THEMSELVES...

    August 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. Brian

    Does anyone realize that the oil industry only made 7% in profit while the retail industry made 11%? Gasp! It's not big oil's fault at all. The reason we are losing jobs is because the ridiculous taxes on businesses are forcing them overseas. Case in point – the great American company Budweiser being bought out by InBev. If we want to create jobs, we need to lower taxes on businesses.

    August 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. Marie-Gurnee, IL

    elliott August 1st, 2008 11:12 am ET

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

    As opposed to the last eight years of spending ourselves into oblivion by printing more worthless dollars. Great plan, elliot. 🙁

    August 1, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. Eric in Ca

    Those who mock Obama and use divisive and bigoted rhetoric are obviously not the ones hit by the Bush Admins. policies or economic downturn. But for the 95% of us, we can not afford 4 more years of BUSH -McCAIN -GOP contempt for our livelihood and progress.

    Why bother to post your disdain for Obama on CNN when obviously things are going great for you? Just vote McCain and continue the failed Bush policies! Your children & grand children deserve a future...

    Obama 08

    August 1, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Kris

    This is ridiculous. Do some Obama supporters not realize how bad an oil windfall profit tax is? I would much rather have a candidate not talk about issues then propose this.

    I can't believe he's actually proposing this. You know who did this? JIMMIE CARTER. Look at the result. All this will do is drive gas prices up more. Why would oil companies just sit back and let their profits take a hit? This is just insane. I hope Obama loses some of his economic support because of this because this is nothing short of idiotic.

    August 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. No Republicans

    For 8 years, they put this beautiful country to ashes.Now change must come through OBAMA.

    August 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. Rave

    Obama understands people's problem
    McPain is a people's problem
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    August 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. Joe in NJ

    I'm not crazy about these "Robin Hood" plans of Obama. I don't think people should be penalized for making money, unless it was done illegally. And how do you distribute these rebates fairly?

    August 1, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. MMN-Milwaukee WI

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

    And I would say. GOP will spend what they don’t have by borrowing away the American futures into trillions that renders American kids debtors even before they are born.

    August 1, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. EM fm MS

    What is considered a windfall? $1billion or anything over 10%? Why a billion, why not $1.00? Why not tax any profit over $100.00 as windfall profit. This will help, companys will gladly pay.
    Some of you people need to get real.
    Untill we get some real leaders in Congress and the White house nothing is going to change (except money from big business to our Congressman's hand).

    August 1, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Marcus Allen

    He wants the Government to take money from a PRIVATE COMPANY and hand it out? I'm not so sure he can do that in a Democratic Republic. I'm also not so sure that economists would agree that raiding private companies profits are the best way to stimulate job growth in a company.

    Where did he get these bizarre non-American ideas?

    August 1, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX


    By the end of the day, McCain will accuse Obama of something unrelated – per usual!!!

    Senator McCain hasn't proposed anything!

    August 1, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    The comments regarding socialism on this thread are ludicrous. It is not 'Democratic' to have unemployment at a 4 year high and Exxon posting yet another quarter of astronomical profits. If you think more tax cuts should go to large corporations to 'trickle down' to you, you should remember that Bush has already given large tax breaks to the major oil companies. The result has been rampant oil speculation, record gas prices and the Oil Cos. wanting to drill offshore even though they aren't using all of their existing drilling leases and are running refineries at 85% capacity. The fact that some of you would attack Obama for wanting the Oil Cos. to use their astronomical wealth to benefit the citizens who are responsible for providing that astronomical wealth speaks of your ignorance.

    August 1, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Bridgette-PA



    August 1, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |

    Didn't Obama mock Hillary Clinton for calling for a windfall profits tax when he wasn't attacking her constantly during the primaries?

    Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop.

    Hi, Axelrod. This move has got you written all over it. We haven't forgotten about you and about what a joke you are. Love the mustache.

    Who's he thrown under the Obama bus today? Was Ludacris run over yesterday, or the day before? It's so hard to keep track of these things.

    Knoxville NFIL

    August 1, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. WOW

    Angela Frazier, Memphis TN August 1st, 2008 11:16 am ET

    Is it my imagination or did gas price drop when Obama went to Europe?

    I'm not sure, but I'm paying $3.69 a gal.

    August 1, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. zeia

    Way to go ma ya...Mr. President!!

    August 1, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Patches

    When will Americans learn, the Great Depression and WWII was won by *gasp* A SOCIALIST... If you have a large amount of wealth, it's because of this great country. The least you can do is give some back to the people that gave you your huge house, your hummer, and the plasma. Anyone who complains about tax increases is already making over 250,000. Seeing as how you have made a huge amount in tax breaks over the last 8 years, you can suck it up for the next 8.

    August 1, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. Ex-Republican for Obama

    "Exxon Mobil reported second-quarter earnings of $11.68 billion Thursday, the biggest quarterly profit ever by any U.S. corporation"

    I thought we had an energy crisis going on here? Or is it just everyone but the oil companies? Oh yea, everyone but the oil companies and the REPUBLICANS whom are trying to give them MORE land to NOT drill on. McCain and his oil partners are screwing every american citizen.

    What a fricking JOKE repukelicans are!! No MORE!

    Obama '08

    August 1, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. bb

    Do you people understand economics? Corporations don't pay taxes, they simply build their tax burden into the cost of the good that they are selling. So, you raise the taxes on big oil, they raise the price of oil. If we won't buy it, then they can sell it to any other energy hungry nation out there. And with these taxes on corporations, do you think it is going to be attractive for businesses to exist here? No, they will move HQ to a more tax friendly country. There go more of your jobs.

    August 1, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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