Richard Nixon photo

Remarks About the Proposed Windfall Profits Tax.

December 19, 1973

Ladies and gentlemen:

As you know, we have asked all of the American people to cooperate in attempting to meet our energy shortage. As the meetings we have been having on this subject have indicated over the past few weeks, the cooperation of the American people has really been splendid. And one of the results of that cooperation is that the shortfall that we have expected has been considerably less than anticipated.

However, in asking all of the American people to make some sacrifice in terms of their use of energy, it is unfair for some to profit as a result of the sacrifice of others.

For some time now we have been considering, within the Administration, a tax measure which would provide for dealing with what we would call windfall profits which might accrue as a result of the energy shortage. It just isn't fair, for example, for millions of Americans to make sacrifices in order to deal with the crisis we confront and for a few to make excess profits or what we would call windfall profits.

We think we have here a proposal that is fair--fair to the great majority of Americans who are cooperating with this program and fair also to those who might be the recipients of windfall profits. At the same time, it is a tax measure that will not discourage the new production that is essential if we are to deal with the energy crisis, not only in the short term but in the long term.

Secretary Shultz will answer questions with regard to the tax aspects of this proposal, and Mr. Simon will answer any questions that deal with the energy items in case you want to go into those as well.

The meeting of the emergency energy group will be going on at the present time in the Cabinet Room, and I will return to that meeting.

In the meantime, Secretary Shultz and Director Simon will be glad to' answer your questions.

Note: The President spoke at 3:05 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.

On the same day, the White House released a transcript of the news briefing on the proposed windfall profits tax by Secretary of the Treasury George P. Shultz.

Richard Nixon, Remarks About the Proposed Windfall Profits Tax. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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