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ABC Hits Gas Price Windfall to Big Government

Big Government is raking in big bucks from higher gasoline prices, ABC’s Dan Harris reported on the May 11 "World News Tonight."

"Everyone knows Saudi Arabia and ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) are profiting from high gas prices, but many drivers we spoke to yesterday were surprised to learn how much state and local governments were making as well," Harris opened his report.

"Ten states also have a sales tax on gasoline, between one and seven percent a gallon," Harris continued, noting that "every time gas prices go up, so do tax revenues."

As with stories which have featured motorists angry at "Big Oil" for "skyrocketing" gas prices, Harris included sound bites from irate drivers, including one woman who wanted to know where her gas tax dollars were being spent by the government.

Harris answered that while California and West Virginia direct gas taxes to road repair and construction, "other states, New York and Connecticut, simply put the windfalls right into the general pot."

While Harris did not explicitly contrast how oil company profits fund research and development with government mishandling of tax dollars for pork projects and the like, his story did suggest that the "windfall" in revenue to government was worrisome to consumers footing the bill at the gas pump.

Harris’s previously ran counter to the media’s slanted coverage, with his April 26 report on how dictators of oil-rich countries derive profit from a tight oil market. The Business & Media Institute has documented the media’s push for windfall profits taxes on American oil companies coupled with its lack of coverage to socialist oil barons like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

[cross-posted to]

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Written By

Mr. Shepherd is a staff writer for the Business & Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.

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