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Taxing industries that provide economic growth is counterproductive

Published: Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 12:26 p.m. CDT

To the editor:

The state of the economy will continue to be a key issue long after the election. Americans want financial stability, a stable job market, and manageable living expenses. With this in mind, it would stand to reason that policy makers laud all industries contributing to economic revitalization and growth.

Unfortunately, this is not the case when it comes to the energy industry. Despite the fact oil and natural gas companies employ 63 million workers and put more than $1 trillion into the economy annually, they are vilified, not hailed.

For some reason, certain policymakers have determined the energy industry needs to be taxed more heavily because they are, somehow, making too high a profit.

This simply does not make sense. Since the onset of the recession, the energy industry has managed to create more than 20,000 new jobs while the number of jobs across all industries has shrunk by five percent.

With a national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent, it seems counterintuitive to use taxation as a means to cripple one of the few industries contributing to economic growth. Attempts to overregulate the energy industry will be damaging to the national economy as a whole, and American families in particular.

As it stands right now, the United States is one of just a few developed nations to use a worldwide taxation system. This means American companies making profits overseas are subject to taxation in the country of origin, and again when those same profits are reinvested at home. 

Most of America’s competitors within the energy industry operate under a territorial taxation system, thus making their profits exempt from taxation in their home states. This inequity puts American companies at a competitive disadvantage, and the result is energy insecurity and higher prices.

Current efforts to enact repatriation legislation are a step in the right direction. However, permanent action is needed to protect the energy industry from the type of overregulation that will cost American jobs and lead to prohibitively high-energy costs.

I encourage Sen. Chuck Grassley to support legislation to protect American jobs and prevent any punitive taxes on the energy industry.

Cathy Curtis

Newton

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