American Elephants


All Together Now, Everybody Attack Big Oil! by The Elephant's Child

President Obama has been attacking Big Oil for over three years. He says  he wants to end the subsidies for the “fuel of the past,” in favor of those new modern 21st century fuels — wind energy and solar energy. He always forgets that you can’t put either wind or sunshine in your gas tank. Fortunately, oil and gas will be the fuels of the future too. The dirty little secret that Obama doesn’t want you to k now is that Big Oil is subsidizing the government. 

In 2009, the federal Energy Information Administration reports that the Oil and Gas Industry paid some $35.7 billion in corporate income taxes in 2009, the latest year for which data are available. That’s about 10% of non-defense discretionary spending.  That figure does not include excise taxes, state taxes and rents, royalties, fees and bonus payments.  All together, the government collects $86 million from oil and gas every day — way more than any other business.

Obama likes to claim they are not paying their “fair share.” The Tax Foundation estimates that between 1981 and 2008 oil and gas companies sent more dollars to Washington and the state capitols than they earned in profit for shareholders.

Not enough, not enough. In Mr. Obama’s 2013 budget, he includes over a dozen tax increases that would raise the industry’s liability by $44 billion over the next decade.  The industry grew 4.5% in 2011, compared the national GDP growth of 1.7%. Maybe we could let Exxon manage the government.

And those subsidies that Obama rails at?  Those aren’t direct handouts like the wind and solar industries get, but deductions from taxes that cover the cost of doing business and earning income to tax in the first place. Most of them are available to other manufacturers. He wants to make oil and gas more expensive than his embarrassingly ineffective investments in 19th century technology. It makes no sense, of course. He claims he wants to lower gas prices, but his every policy choice leads to higher prices.  The Roberts electric car, built in 1896, gets 40 miles on a full electric charge, just like the Chevy Volt.


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