Thursday, 25 February 2010 10:33

Obama Joins in on the Black Liquor Two-Step

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The Obama Administration announced today that it wants to close the non-existent "Son of Black Liquor" loophole to help "pay" for new healthcare legislation.

A few hours later, Senate Democrats won a key vote on jobs legislation that, in some versions, would be paid for partly with the "savings" from closing the same mythical loophole.

Meanwhile, the watchdogs of the news media acted more like lapdogs, taking Administration and Congressional statements at face value without bothering to check the facts. For example, a New York Times article on Obama's proposal states flatly, and falsely,: "Rescinding the 'black liquor' tax credit could generate as much as $24 billion in revenue over 10 years, helping to pay for a chunk of the health care legislation."

The Hill went further astray by saying the Obama proposal "rescinds the 'black liquor' tax break abused by paper companies that claim undeserved alternative fuel tax credits."

"Current law provides a tax credit for the production of cellulosic biofuels," notes the Obama Administration's summary of its new healthcare bill. "The credit was designed to promote the production and use of renewable fuels. Certain liquid byproducts derived from processing paper or pulp (known as 'black liquor' when derived from the kraft process) were not intended to be covered by this credit. The President's Proposal adopts the House bill's policy to clarify that they are not eligible for the tax credit."

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