During his January 13 interview with Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck criticized John McCain as a "progressive" who "was for the bank bailouts," and also criticized those who call for windfall profit taxes on oil companies but ignore the Federal Reserve's "record profits." In fact, both Beck and Palin have previously expressed support for the 2009 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and Palin, while Alaska governor, increased taxes on oil companies operating in Alaska.
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Beck: McCain is a "progressive" because he "was for the bank bailouts"
From the January 13 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: John McCain is a progressive. John McCain, he's an honorable man --
PALIN: He is an honorable man.
BECK: He's an honorable man, and that goes a long way. There's -- I mean, that's a rare island to find. He's an honorable man. But he's also a progressive. He's big government, he was for the bank baliouts, he was for the -- health care, he's for all of it. He's for all of it.
Both Beck and Palin supported passage of TARP
Beck: "I think the bailout is the right thing do." On the September 22, 2008, edition of his CNN Headline News show, Beck said: "I thought about it an awful lot this weekend, and while it takes me -- it takes everything in me to say this, I think the bailout is the right thing do. The 'Real Story' is: The $700 billion that you're hearing about now is not only, I believe, necessary, it is also not nearly enough, and all of the weasels in Washington know it."
Palin on "economic bailout provisions": "[I]t is a time of crisis and government did have to step in." During an October 21, 2008, CNN interview, Palin said: "Now, as for the economic bailout provisions and the measures that have already been taken, it is a time of crisis and government did have to step in playing an appropriate role to shore up the housing market to make sure that we're thawing out some of the potentially frozen credit lines and credit markets, government did have to step in there."
Palin: GOP opposition to TARP "not helpful to our cause." In her book Going Rogue, Palin wrote:
[T]he House of Representatives rejected a Bush-backed economic bailout plan in a vote in which two-thirds of Republicans voted no. The impression this made on the electorate was not helpful to our cause. Millions of Americans were poised to go bankrupt or lose their savings, and the perception was that Republicans had failed to respond. [Page 270]
Beck berated MSNBC's O'Donnell for referencing Palin's support of TARP. On the November 19, 2009, edition of his radio show, Beck played a clip of MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell pointing out to a teenager in line at a Palin book-signing whose shirt indicated opposition to TARP that Palin had supported that bill. Beck commented, "Of course Sarah Palin was for the TARP bill if the presidential ticket -- the presidential candidate on the ticket was for it. That's the way it works, all right?" He then added of O'Donnell: "You gotta go after a 13-year-old? This is child abuse. I want to report this father to some sort of, you know, department of health and children's services or whatever it is for child abuse, allowing Norah -- anybody from the media to talk to your children."
Beck: Unlike with Exxon, "nobody is looking for a windfall profits tax on the Fed"
From the January 13 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: Did you see that the Fed made the -- you know, Exxon had their record profit a couple years ago. It was $45 billion. The Fed just had record profit, over $50 billion. Nobody's having hearings on the Fed, nobody is looking for a windfall profits tax on the Fed. Nobody seems to -- we can't even open the Fed's books.
PALIN: Yeah. Yeah.
BECK: Where do you stand on the Fed?
PALIN: That -- it's so ironic there too, especially that you bring up this private-sector company, Exxon, because in Alaska we saw what was going on with Exxon, and we did have our own hearings on what was going on with this private-sector company and how could the state of Alaska adjust some things to make sure that there was a share of the resource -- yet you're right. Nobody has even lifted a finger to go that route with the Fed. And it's a scary thing -- it's one of those things that we're thankful for, Glenn, that you're bringing this to light. And I don't know anybody else who is, certainly nobody else who has a platform or the megaphone like you do.
Palin "adjust[ment]" included supporting tax increase on oil companies in Alaska
Palin "introduced a graduated tax pegged to increased oil prices." From an August 10, 2008, Seattle Times article:
In the fall primary of 2006, Palin upset Republican incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski, whom she criticized for giving too much of a break to the oil industry.
Then last year, Palin introduced a graduated tax pegged to increased oil prices. The state Legislature modified her proposal to increase the state's take even further.
The bill's proponents -- a coalition of Democrats and maverick Republicans -- argued that oil production was declining in Alaska, and that the lower tax rate under previous governors had done little to spur additional investment in the state's oil industry.
Critics say the companies, who have lobbied to open the federal Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to exploration, have lagged badly in developing already available fields on state lands. Some estimates indicate those fields may contain billions of barrels of oil, mostly heavy crude that's difficult to extract.
They argue that the state -- which owns most of the land around Prudhoe Bay, North America's largest oil field - needs to grab its fair share of proceeds from the declining output there.
"You don't get to grow another oil barrel," said French, the Anchorage lawmaker. "You sell that barrel once, and it's gone forever."
The Alaska tax is imposed on the net profit earned on each barrel of oil pumped from state-owned land, after deducting costs for production and transportation, which are currently estimated at just under $25 a barrel.
The tax is set at its highest rate in Prudhoe Bay, where the state takes 25 percent of the net profit of a barrel when its price is at or below $52.
The percentage then escalates as oil prices rise over that benchmark. Alaska gets about $49 of a $120 barrel, not counting other fees.
ConocoPhillips said that in total, once royalty payments and other taxes are added in, the state captures about 75 percent of the value of a barrel.
An accounting benefit eases the sting for oil companies. They get a huge deduction on their state taxes when calculating their federal taxes.
The Times further reported that "Alaska collected an estimated $6 billion from the new tax during the fiscal year that ended June 30 , according to the Alaska Oil and Gas Association."
Wash. Post: Federal Reserve "returns its profits to the Treasury." While Beck complained that "nobody is looking for a windfall profits tax on the Fed," The Washington Post reported on January 12 that the Federal Reserve "will return about $45 billion to the U.S. Treasury for 2009," which were "the highest earnings in the 96-year history of the central bank. The Fed, unlike most government agencies, funds itself from its own operations and returns its profits to the Treasury." The Post added that these profits "are good news for the federal budget and a sign that the Fed has been successful, at least so far, in protecting taxpayers as it intervenes in the economy -- though there remains a risk of significant losses in the future if the Fed sells some of its investments or loses money on its stakes in bailed-out firms."