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Don’t reform the tax code on the backs of over-taxed energy producers

Editor's note: William F. Shughart II, Huntsman School's J Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice, had an opinion piece published on April 10, 2014, in "The Hill's Congress Blog," a well-read publication that covers Congressional news on Capitol Hill.

The Hill

By William F. Shughart II

In business-speak, a “cash cow” is a commercial activity that, after an initial capital investment has been paid off, continues to generate income and profits for years to come with little or no additional expense.

In political-speak, “cash cow” refers to an industry that can be milked for taxes seemingly without limit. The prime example today is the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. Despite its strong growth, robust job creation, huge annual payments into the U.S. Treasury, and vast sums spent on developing new supplies, Washington apparently thinks that energy producers can and should be milked dry.

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