WeakenX. The correct answer choice is (C)
This stimulus begins with the presentation of a common sentiment: “Some people” propose that energy taxes should be increased. The editorialist’s conclusion: “Such a tax increase…would do more harm than good.”
This conclusion is based on the following premises:
- Premise 1: Such a tax increase would decrease our country’s competitiveness.
Premise 2: Many families would be unfairly burdened.
Premise 3: The tax increase would reduce the number of energy production jobs.
The stimulus is followed by a Weaken Except question, which means that the correct answer choice will not weaken the editorialist’s argument, and the four incorrect answer choices will weaken the argument in one way or another. We might weaken such an argument by showing benefit that the proposed tax increases would bring, or by effectively attacking any of the editorialist’s premises.
Answer choices (A) and (B) both show benefits that come with the proposed tax increases, thus weakening the editorialist’s argument, so both these answer choices are incorrect responses to this Except question. Answer choice (D) attacks the second premise, and answer choice (E) offsets the third premise; since both (D) and (E) weaken the editorialist argument, both answer choices are incorrect.
The only choice which does not weaken the argument is answer choice (C). The variation in the size of the tax increase does not weaken the argument presented in the stimulus, so this is the correct answer choice.