Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Democratic Congressional Leaders
Q. Mr. President, if I could ask a specific question. What is-
The President. I may not give you a specific answer. [Laughter]
Q. You don't have to get into too much detail, but from your perspective what's more progressive, a broad-based energy tax based on Btu's or an ad valorem type of energy tax? What would be more progressive for the middle class?
The President. Well, I think, first of all, you can't evaluate one of these things without seeing the whole package. But I think a Btu tax is, because an ad valorem tax reinforces price changes. In other words, if you have an ad valorem tax and the price of one fuel goes up, then the tax rate goes up. So, it would aggravate whatever price changes are out there in the market, and that would hurt the consumers more.
Q. Have you settled on a Btu tax?
The President. I answered a very specific question in a photo op. [Laughter]
NOTE: The exchange began at 1:45 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.
William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Democratic Congressional Leaders Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/218096