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Muddling the tax reform debate

David Williams | Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Last week, Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both traveled to Michigan within days of each other to give major economic policy speeches. With the economy continuing to falter — recent Commerce Department numbers show a paltry 1.2 percent growth the last quarter — Americans were eager to hear the candidates’ proposals on how to get the nation back on the right economic path.

Discussion of economic policy inevitably involves a discussion on addressing tax policy and implementing tax reform. It’s also inevitable that tax reform discussion leads us to a persistent myth which continues to rear its ugly head despite evidence to the contrary — that America’s oil and natural gas companies receive subsidies from the government.

Three long-standing tax deductions are typically targeted for elimination — percentage depletion, intangible drilling costs, and the domestic manufacturing deduction (also known as Section 199). All are critical as they enable energy companies to explore, develop and invest.

Removing important tax deductions would ultimately result in not only the loss of jobs and contributions to the U.S Gross Domestic Product, but investments the industry makes that have taken our nation from an era of energy scarcity to one of energy abundance. Full Story