How many times have we heard about “big oil” profiting on the backs of the taxpayers? Endlessly from the democrat party. The rub is that the tax loopholes and credits are all legal and are NOT supported by the right. At least not by conservatives and libertarians who are against special treatment for any industry.
So if the left and right are both against tax breaks why do they still exist? Because lobbyists and special interests work both sides of the fence in the beltway so it’s a political issue for public consumption while at the same time members of Congress from both sides get the perks.
Just for fun, I thought I would venture over to a leftist website to get their take on the evil oil corporations. The Center for American Progress fit the bill quite nicely with this title.
Of course, our President weighed in on this issue.
“To help pay for [clean energy investments], I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. … I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”
Just how much money are we talking about here in the form of tax loopholes?
The administration estimates closing these Big Oil tax loopholes would save “approximately $4 billion per year in tax subsidies to oil, gas, and other fossil fuel producers.”
$4 billion dollars a year is a whole lotta change, my friend. Heck, it would even keep the White House open for tours if we closed those loopholes. We all remember the stink raised from the N.Y. Times article demonizing G.E. for taking advantage of legal tax loopholes to save $3.2 billion. Does Obama call out G.E. the way he calls out big oil?
Now let’s venture over to another leftist website to get the take on ethanol subsidies. The left likes subsidies for “green” energy projects. A thoughtful person may ask, “why does the left despise legal tax breaks and promote legal subsidies if they both harm the taxpayer?”. Of course, the answer is political agenda. From the Huffington Post.
The annual ethanol mandate subsidizing farmers totals about $6 billion dollars. That’s a lot of money to pay farmers to burn our food supply. Wait a minute, in fact it’s MORE money than the evil oil companies received in tax breaks last year. Who woulda thunk it?
Now, the author at the HuffPo doesn’t seem to like these handouts to the farmers.
“Our government should not be picking big agriculture as winners over the environment and the poor. It’s time to stop requiring cars to burn food.”
Seems to make sense. Of course, government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in industry. Like bailing out auto companies. But more to the point, if subsidizing farmers is bad, then why does the USDA do this? http://www.abc12.com/story/21770265/record-crop-insurance-payout-stirs-subsidy-debate
Farmers will be paid a record $16 billion in crop insurance claims for 2012 because of the widespread drought, a staggering amount that has critics calling for changes to what they say is an inefficient taxpayer subsidy the government cannot afford.
While farmers buy crop insurance from private companies, the federal government subsidizes their premiums and picks up the tab for losses over a certain amount. One analyst estimates the federal tab for 2012 will come to about $11 billion.
Whoa! Stop the presses! $11 billion dollars in insurance subsidies? On the backs of the taxpayers? So let’s see here, $4 billion in evil oil company tax breaks, $6 billion in ethanol subsidies and $11 billion in farmer’s insurance losses? How many people do you think even realize that taxpayers forked over that much to the farmers? Are farmers now the most evil group on the planet? After all, the left is calling for an end to everything Bush. Bush era tax breaks for big oil. Bush era subsidies for ethanol. Should it now be Bush era insurance payouts to farmers?
By my calculations, farmers received $17 billion last year between ethanol and insurance subsidies far outweighing the paltry $4 billion for big oil. Of course, we hate big oil because we all have to drive cars and they raid our wallets with their price fixing of gasoline prices, right?
Well, don’t we all have to eat? Why don’t we despise our farmers for raising food prices at the same time they are getting massive bailouts from taxpayers? Do we only hate things we can blame on Bush?
The answer is to end all subsidies and tax breaks for all industries. Bailouts as well. No special treatment. Now, that’s never going to happen since politicians from both sides love their power trip and getting their palms greased by lobbyists. But that won’t stop all of them from “fighting on your behalf” in the hallowed halls of Congress.