It’s not every day a politician calls for a 100-percent tax rate on national TV. Even the most liberal-friendly of journalists would be inclined to question such a punitive idea. But when former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich called for such a tax on the “windfall profits” of oil on the July 28 “Early Show,” CBS’s Hannah Storm didn’t even bat an eyelash.
Opening an interview segment with the liberal Rep. Kucinich (D-Ohio) and the libertarian Cato Institute’s Jerry Taylor on the so-called windfall profits tax, Storm asked Kucinich how such a tax would “translate to consumers and help the people who are paying at the pump.”
The former Cleveland mayor replied that “when you start imposing some discipline, a 100-percent tax on excess profits, then the oil companies aren't going to be making $1,300 a second like ExxonMobil is.”
Yes, he said 100 percent. Rather than pressing Kucinich on the 100 percent figure or how he expected it to lower the price of gasoline, Storm asked Taylor for his rebuttal.
Yet when Taylor finished explaining how the Congressional Research Service found that a similar tax in place in the 1980s actually raised prices, Storm pushed Taylor with a talking point that echoed Kucinich’s rhetoric.
“How can you justify these record profits by these oil companies at a time when consumers are struggling at the pump?” Storm demanded of Taylor. “People are struggling to drive to work, drive their kids to sports practice, even some school buses didn't run last spring because of gas prices,” Storm complained.
Apparently Storm didn’t read the same memo as her colleagues at competing networks.
“Consumers are using more gasoline this summer than last as prices continue to rise,” NBC’s Anne Thompson reported on the July 28 “Today” show. On the July 10 “World News Tonight,” correspondent Dean Reynolds marveled at how “Americans have been using up fuel like there’s no tomorrow,” adding it was “almost as if they’re in a state of denial about the price of gasoline which has hovered for months near $3-a-gallon.”