The MRC’s Free Market Project has noticed of late how the media are warming back up to the notion of a "windfall profits" tax on oil companies. The windfall profits tax was a hotter topic in the months after Katrina, but the idea didn’t stick then. But now with a new session of Congress, a State of the Union address on the way, and 2005 profit reports running over the wires, the push to soak "Big Oil" is on again.
But putting aside the fact that the tax would be a disaster — disincentivizing investment and oil exploration — oil giants like Exxon in their best years earn only about a 10 percent profit margin, while publicly-traded companies which run newspapers typically earn double that amount.
You can find our latest work on the media’ push for yet another tax at the links below: