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  • Morning Bell: The Truth Behind Oil Subsidies

    It’s easy to take shots at oil companies, especially when gas prices are rising over $4 per gallon. Playing the role of David against an enormous corporate Goliath is a great way to score political points, so it’s no wonder that President Barack Obama and liberals in Congress have issued a clarion call for the end to oil subsidies as a way of wreaking revenge against those they say are responsible for the high cost of energy.

    The truth, though, isn’t as simple as the good-versus evil fable the left would have you believe.

    On Wednesday, five Democratic U.S. senators sent a letter to the CEOs of the country’s five largest oil companies declaring, ”[I]f we are truly serious about cutting our deficit, it is imperative that we start by getting rid of wasteful and ineffective corporate subsidies that have outlived their usefulness.”

    The left’s anti-subsidy rhetoric is right on. Ending all energy subsidies, including those for oil and gas, would be good for American taxpayers and consumers. But if those senators were truly serious about cutting the deficit, they wouldn’t stop at just cutting subsidies for oil companies. They would also call for the elimination of subsidies for the president’s pet projects such as renewable fuels, electric vehicles, wind and solar. Throw in clean coal and natural gas, too. That would be the right move for the American taxpayers. But good policy isn’t their goal – vilifying an industry is their end game.

    There’s another problem with the left’s crusade against the oil industry. The Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris and Curtis Dubay explain that the broad calls for an end to oil subsidies is really code for targeted tax hikes against companies they don’t like:

    The President overreaches on what truly is a subsidy for oil and ignores the fact that the government does far more to hurt oil production than help it. He singles out the oil industry, which already faces a higher marginal tax rate at 41 percent compared to 26 percent for the rest of businesses in Standard & Poor’s 500.

    To make matters worse, the tax hikes on the oil and gas industry proposed in the president’s fiscal year 2012 budget would increase the price of oil and gas for American consumers, according to the Congressional Research Service. Loris and Dubay conclude:

    Ending all energy subsidies, including those for oil and gas, would be good for American taxpayers and consumers. However, Congress should not punish the oil and gas industry with targeted tax hikes, nor should it reward other parts of the energy industry favored by the Administration.

    There’s much the president and Congress could do if they truly wanted to give Americans a break at the gas pump. For starters, they could provide access to our country’s domestic energy reserves, roll back regulatory burdens on companies and lift the de facto moratorium on offshore drilling permits.

    Attacking the oil industry might satisfy the left’s bloodlust against corporate America, and it might play well in press conferences. But targeted tax hikes against industries one might not like is not an answer to the high price of gas. It might feel good in the short run, but it’s not a long-term solution to America’s energy problems.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    91 Responses to Morning Bell: The Truth Behind Oil Subsidies

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

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      West Texan on May 12th, 2011 at 12:15pm said:

      To cathy, The Physicians for a National Health Program is misguided at best. There are as many arguments to the contrary.

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      *** To – WT – Thanks

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    2. Bobby, Hewitt NJ says:

      Paying tax on net income is not a subsidy. Proliferating their wordsmithing is not helping our cause.

    3. Pat Reilly, Fort Mye says:

      The actions of the democrat party over the past almost 50 years have been against the benefit of the poor, the retire on fixed incomes and the working man/ woman. They alone are repsonsible for the Social Security fiasco. Democrat Pres Johnson spent the SS Trust fund replacing the dollars spent with IOUs. No president has been able to repay this "theft." Dem Pres Carter decided to give SS benefits to people who had never paid into the system. President Clinto taxed SS benefits with the tie breaking vote cast in the senate by DEM Vice pres algore. They alone are responsible for the lack of drilling for oil at the behest of their environmental supporters. Thus keeping Americans at the mercy of the Middle East paying exhorbitant gas prices. Again, this adversely effects the poor, the working man/woman and the elderly on fixed incomes. The interest of the democrat party is not in the best interest of the American tax payer. I am so very tired of the media acting as shills for the left selling a bag of trash as a gift to the American people.

    4. azwayne says:

      Cut one cut ALL. Yes get the government out of companies finances, all of them Government only ruins everything it touches.

    5. Ben C., Ann Arbor, M says:

      Given few in Congress have ever run a Lemonaide stand let alone a regular business understanding the "cost of doing business" is a foreign concept. End the tax breaks and guess who picks up the tab? I run a business and all of the regulatory and tax costs are passed to my clients. If this creates an unstainable overhead then I close my doors.

      I attended Jazz Fest in New Orleans last weekend and talked with many people about the oil industry and the effects of the ban on drilling. There is signifcant anger against the administration and companies like Hornbeck Offshore are in a world of hurt. Keep it up Obama – you are really starting to annoy people.

    6. Gerard Vercaemert, W says:

      The public does not understand the grits of this debate. It would be nice to explain 1) what these subsidies really are and 2) which oil componies benefit, large ones or only small ones. In some cases, or may be in all (I do not really know) these so called subsidies seem to me genuine deductions for something that is part of the cost of doing business. Emphasizing this fact would expose the political postering and the blunt lies.

      Respectfully,

      Gerard Vercaemert

    7. Sherrie, Fairfax, VA says:

      I agree. In watching the hearing yesterday, I was glad to see the oil company executives point out time and time again that they already pay their fair share of taxes. I was also glad to see that while being badgered by senators hoping to score cheap political points, they were cool under pressure. I suppose that comes from knowing that what you are saying is the truth.

      Regarding this administration treating corporations differently, it is no surprise. The Obama administration is the epitome of cronyism run amok.

    8. Alias, NY says:

      This article is spot-on. The left/liberals have always tried to demonize the oil industry, but they don't seem to realize how transparent their protestations are. Just because their union members don't dominate the oil business they feel the need to lay blame on the oil industry. This is all politics of the worst sort. What the liberals don't understand is we see right through this diversion and their attempts to cover the fact of their total mismanagement of the economy. If they had not decided to run the country into the ground by devaluing our currency, destroying the job market, driving up the national debt to record levels and bringing ruin to the reputation for leadership that the United States has traditionally held among the nations of the world, perhaps their arguments would hold water.

      A lot of the efforts expended by liberal politicians have been geared for the destruction of everything that is America. They don't seem to understand that we see this, and they continue to tear down our nation at home and abroad. The President is a prime example of this. There are examples of this behavior everyday and yet the people do nothing. The attacks on the oil industry are only one aspect of the strategy they are using to gain control of this country and turn it into their ideal socialist worker's paradise.

      Evil wins when men of good conscience do nothing.

    9. Jeff DeWitt, Deep in says:

      I'm really tired of hearing about the "subsidies" the oil companies get. According to Mr. Webster a subsidy involves giving money… "a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public".

      The government is NOT subsidizing the oil companies, it is giving them tax breaks, not the same thing at all.

    10. DJ GOLIO says:

      The noise being made by our dishonest liberal congressional representatives is very consistent with their constant blatant attempts to lie and distort all information they feed to the citizens of the U.S. In reality, the oil industry is the largest provider of revenue to the U.S. treasury through their payments of royalties, lease payments and a full range of taxes including production taxes, ad valorem taxes and income taxes. Currently, we pay foreign producers some $2-3 billion per month for import purchases of oil. If we as a nation pursued an energy policy that would allow us to explore our own domestic sources of fossil fuel, like every other country on the planet, that $2-3 billion per month, or a good portion of it would remain in our country creating new jobs and new revenues for the federal, state and local governments in addition to making our great nation less dependent on foreign sources for our oil consumption needs. The collective behavior by liberal Washington elected officials in both the Senate and House is clearly un-American. At the same time, the U.S. dollars exported to some of OPEC countries are recycled with a portion winding up in the hands of radical islamic America haters. What else is there to say about our current President and his supportive politicians that should not be crystal clear to all U.S. citizen taxpayers?

    11. Stephen Peters says:

      The insanity of the major oil companies receiving these subsidies is so apparent. And, we can not cut any proposed subsidies for alternative power. President Carter had the right idea years ago. Even installed solar panels on the roof of the White House. Also, quickly removed by President Reagan.

      Let us invest full force in alternative energy, high speed rail lines and repair our crumbling infrastructure so we can get up to speed with countries such as Spain, China and the Middle East. Invest in projects that pay great dividends.

    12. FDostal says:

      Right on target.

    13. Donald W. Bales, Kin says:

      Increasing the costs (either by canceling "subsidies" or raising taxes would mean the companies would have to eat it or, far more llkely, have to pass the costs on to customers. Wouldn't that increase the cost of already high gasoline? How would that help the economy or the gasoline users? Looks to me like it would make a bad situation even worse. People cannot trade cars just because gas is high. Most cannot afford it. Cash for clunkers didn't seem to work out very well. Provided another opportunity for fraud?

    14. RG St Simons Island says:

      Our dear Senator Saxby Chambliss is in favor of cutting subsidies just not for farmers. He would be committing political suicide by even suggesting cutting farm subsidies. I told him I was in favor of repealing the 17th amendment.

    15. Walt Nielsen, L:ake says:

      Let's include the enormous and longtime subsidies granted to agriculture, such as sugar beet production, to be eliminated. Targeting the oil companies is standard liberal hypocrisy and destruction of capitalism by government "winners and losers" fiat. Not only increasingly transparent but a well calculated strategy to undermine our fundamental societal contract of governance. Is that tipping point already in the rear view mirror?

    16. Dave Duvall Wa. says:

      Crony capitalism is little better than socialism. No subsidies, no tax breaks: everybody should get the same deal.

    17. Stephen A. says:

      What happened to the "all of the above" approach? Cutting all incentives and subsidies is great rhetoric too, which panders to the paleoconservative Right.

      Oil companies get subsidies to "search" for oil, but what about making them contingent on actually DRILLING them? (And of course this means Dems must forfeit their sacred cow of halting ALL drilling at ALL costs.)

      In fact, all sacred cows must be sacrificed here, including extreme ideological views that insist that all government involvement is automatically "wrong." The oil companies, not to mention the speculators who are driving up prices, would get away with murder, as would the car companies, if government did not exist as an advocate for the consumer.

    18. Alan in Michigan says:

      Very well written and right on the money Mike.

      The left cannot function without an enemy to target, polarize, freeze, and kill. Since Obama's election we've seen the Democratic Jihad against the banks, against the health insurance companies, and now against Oil. They are so wedded to this philosophy that in the absence of a new enemy. they attack their own core constituency groups!

      The left is incapable of an honest policy discussion… about anything.

      We can all hope that the majority of the voters see past this foolishness, and realize that the true enemy is a philosophy based on whipping up negative emotions. Next week we'll all be told that if you're not against big oil, then you are a bitter racist, xenophobic, homophobic, something or other.

      Thanks again for a great piece. Keep up the good work. I particularly enjoyed the "good-vs-evil fable" comment.

    19. Don Ruane says:

      The Fair Tax would eliminated all TAX HAND-OUTS, to ALL, be they corporations or individuals.

      This is what the Founding Fathers wanted in a Tax System, a system that could not be politicized and was Fair to all Citizens.

      I have heard people denigrate the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution as being out of date, but they foresaw the very problems we are having now, back in 1787.

      Don Ruane.

    20. VC Geezer, Nevada says:

      I totally aggree with Jeff: tax breaks are not a "subsidy".

      The current regime simply wants to demonize big oil to further their agenda. All it is going to do (and has done) is raise the cost of energy for all of us.

    21. RObert Root says:

      I think ending subsidies is a great idea. Let's see if congress will end them all across the board. Look at the money saved. Look at the congressman/woman run to cover.

    22. Frank L, Florida says:

      As far as 'energy' subsidies, another savings for the taxpayer would end the Ethanol scam. Using a food product that already takes large amounts of energy to grow, then turn around and convert it to something to burn in automobiles creates problems on multiple fronts. The cost of livestock-based food products (beef, pork, chicken) has gone up due to the diverting of feed corn to ethanol. The low cost staple (corm meal and flour) for many people at lower incomes now have gone up. Vehicle maintenance cost and frequency has gone up since the transition due to non-compatible components of fuel systems with ethanol. The energy derived from ethanol is about 9/10 that of gasoline, so fuel economy actually goes down in automobiles. The extra pollution created from tractors, over-the road-trucks, electrical powerplants, etc. just to get from the seed corn stage to ethanol produced all proves that ethanol from food-based products hurt the economy overall..

    23. Don Vance--Georgia says:

      Give the Democrats what they want in exchange for lifting the freeze and restrictions on drilling and permitting. Since the oil execs say "Let us drill", they get what they want without giving up very much–and when they increase production,it will increase their revenues, and it should offset any gas price increase due to eleminating the subsidies–a Win-Win compromise.

      • Audie Collins says:

        Just who do you think is getting paid for drilling? (Search for "Automatic-roughneck") People need to wakeup in America, see the truth for once. READ A BOOK! Get an education in reality. No oil company is now, or ever will be hiring for drilling. The fact is, each year that passes, they use fewer people due to the inventions and implementations of automated machinery. (They tell you it's to save money, but the price never goes down, the truth is only for there pockets.) How do I know? My job description was replaced by a machine. (Derick hand.) In 1908 it took 9 people to drill a well. It only takes a Driver to set up the rig now, the rest is done by computers and machines..

    24. Curt Krehbiel, Midla says:

      Writing off expenses against income is generally accepted in all businesses. So why is writing off expenses in the oil business referred to as a SUBSIDY???

    25. David Papandrew, Seq says:

      You guys are amazing. On the way to the office this morning I was thinking "I need to look up something about 'oil subsidies' just to better understand the rhetoric being spewed. You saved me the trouble. Thanks again for your work.

    26. Don Margheim says:

      I am also tired of hearing about "subsidies" oil companies get, because in fact as Mr. DeWitt said, they get some tax breaks, but the government does not give them money. In fact, quite the opposite, they hinder oil companies in every way they can. Please take note President Obama, electric cars that can make a 35 mile round trip are not going to replace the gasoline engine.

      Why doesn't the liberal left look into the profits pharmaceutical companies make, and the ridiculous high prices they charge for their pills. I would rather pay $4.00 a gallon for gasoline than to pay $10.00 for one little pill to take every day!

    27. F Stickler Sierra Vi says:

      This nation's access to the plentiful sources of energy, is what has propelled this country to a standard of living unknown by other countries in the history of the world. In just a short 200 plus years, the United States of America has eclipsed all other nations in output and innovation. Our country is an infant in terms of the history of nations. It is often stated that the United States consumes over 25% of the worlds engery. So what! Look what we have done with that 25%. What other nation on this earth has given, not loaned, so much to other nations? Has it been Germany, France, Great Britain, Japan, Russia or China? What nation defended the world against Nazi Germany and Japan? And after defeating them both, used some of that 25% and re-built their countries and by the way, we are still defending them. What nation has contributed to the poor and diseased countries of the world more than the United States? Yes, we consume 25% of the worlds engery but, lets not forget what we as a nation have done to help others with that 25%. On another note, we have been blessed to occupy a land rich in natural resources, oil, natural gas and coal. Engery isn't evil.This attack on the oil industry is a distraction from the real intent of conspiring men (woman) to dismantle and destroy the United States of America. Engery is the life blood of any nation. These conspirators are evil and corrupt people. One can only guess as to what the their end goal is. But, it isn't going to be good for the American people. This is evil!

    28. Alex Majthenyi, Scar says:

      To:

      Senator Bob Menendez

      Senator Chuck Schumer

      Senator Debbie Stabenow

      Senator Bill Nelson

      Senator Ben Cardin

      Dear Senators,

      If you are truly serious about cutting our deficit please cut government spending and end all energy subsidies including wind, solar and ethanol.

      The vast majority of Americans are tired of your wasteful spending and politically motivated subsidies.

      We hope that you will admit that S. 940 is simply a political move calculated to mislead the public into thinking that you really care about them.

      Alex Majthenyi

    29. Dan Yoder sr says:

      Your points on the OIL/GSAS industry are RIGHT ON!!

      However, a POWERFUL point overlooked is this:

      The monies for the high price of OPEC oil often flows into each of our OPEC suppliers coughfers and some of our $'s flow back to TERRORISTS groups, who in turn are KILLING our Brave Soldiers!!!!

      Why aren't we making a very strong point for this INSIDIOUS and DIABOLICAL thing we are doing to the US of AMERICA??????

    30. B. Eric, Syosset N.Y says:

      It's really quite simple. Govt subsidies are nothing more than bribes that individual congressmen give to those who in turn contribute to their election campaigns. End them all !! With regard to gas and oil prices, in return for ending these bribes allow them to drill. We in this country have not had an intelligent energy policy for at least 20 years. There are enough resources to last more than 100 years if only the invironmental lunatics were not in control of the politicians. There is enough blame accross both political parties and the last 3 or 4 presidents to go around

    31. Dick says:

      Maybe the big oil profits should be used to defeat the same liberals who are wrecking our country!

    32. RB Siegert Slidell, says:

      Your discussion of congressional attack on oil industry subsidies omits a significant

      consideration. The tax breaks which seem to bother congress most are not much/if any different than those used in virtually any business – deducting expenses, and depreciating assets.

    33. West Texan says:

      Although I'm off topic, Ken said "I have been using Medicare for 14 years".

      Here's a analogy Ken. Think of a single elevator car taking on more passengers as its frazzled cable pulls this ever increasing weight higher and higher. Then there is congress who's job it is to fix the problem. Instead they ignore the compromised cable while inviting more riders to hop on-board. I'm sure it's been a smooth ride for the past 14 years. But there's a load limit to what the cable can hold and it will eventually break. The forced additional weight of Obamacare will only make the coming crash occur much sooner.

      What's the answer? Stick to our founders' design specifications for federalism. This means respecting individual state sovereignty over all domestic affairs, which includes social entitlements. Spread public service responsibilities out among the 50 states. Let them decide which type of conveyance works best for their resident population. Some states will obviously implement better programs than others. That's fine. It allows wiggle room for achieving more efficient governance by sharing innovative ideas.

      Back to the subject of oil, I couldn't agree more with Mike's article. He points out well the glaring hypocrisy of Obama's progressive left nonsense.

    34. Dan Yoder sr says:

      Further to my thought on paying very high prices for OPEC oil.

      Effectively we are BANKROLLING various terrorists organization to KILL AND INJURE our Armed Forces!! This reality should become a PRIME POINT OF DISCUSSION and driven home to all American Citizens!!!

      What SANE Country would willingly pay for its ENEMIES to fight itself????

    35. Louis B. says:

      Who was it that bestowed these subsidies on these oil companies? I'm racking my brain. Oh! I remember. It was the congress. How dare these people take these tax breaks we gave them? Hypocracy is rampant here. I'm puking…

    36. toledofan says:

      I think this Democratic called meeting was a farce and actually clarifies for me the ineptness of the Democrats and their continued assault on middle America. I mean why doesn't G.E. pay any taxes plus they get huge tax breaks? Why is the government subsidizing the production of ethnol? How about farms? Why would we even be talking about raising the cafe standards to 65 mpg by 2025? The entire Democratic process is a ruse and all they want is a way to get more money, be able to shift the blame to others and live like they are above the law. Who do you think will pay the costs for the reulations, thats right the customer. I guess people can complain all they want and try to blame big oil, but, it is big government and the abundance of the taxes and regulations they impose that increase the costs. What's the democrats plan? Nothing but more of the same.

    37. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      I laugh every time I hear DINOs say "No More Tax Breaks For Big Oil!" Tax Breaks? What Tax Breaks? Energy Consumers pay ALL those Taxes! The Government makes more profit on Oil than Big Oil makes! 6% Versus 17% Fuel Tax? Doesn't the Collective Government make triple what Big Oil shareholders take home? This Crazy Carbon 'take over' is easy to explain, Demo-crats want to Steal So Much Money that they need a whole New Market to hide how much they are Stealing! (For the Indoctrinated, IQ 70s crowd, Addition is better than Subtraction.) The same thing goes with the smear "Tax The Rich!" (Insiders say Eat The Rich.) I don't put it past the SPs (Socialist Progressives) to 'take over' select Corporations, use them criminally and then lead them to slaughter! Corporations have small d democracies, easy to 'take over.' Like Unions! BP didn't Represent its Stockholders! When it went into Criminal Collusion with Communists (in the Administration) to create a 'man caused disaster' in the Gulf Oil Spill! I say the Obama Gang did the Spill on purpose! Remember? The Gulf Oil Spill was statistically impossible! Then, Obama stopped BP's Dividends!

      It is a High Crime to want such Powers in America, Criminal Intent! It is a High Crime to seek such Unconstitutional Powers in America, Criminal Attempt! It is a High Crime to Legislate in Collusion with a Domestic Enemy. It is a High Crime to 'take over' Government (for a group with 'long standing enmity.') It is High Crime to Cover Up and Criminally Control the "Free" Press! It is a High Crime to throw elections! It is Criminal Negligence to let them get away with it, Refraining Prosecution, Criminal Refraining! (That's RICO!)

      We Republicans know they are bringing down our Government. What a lovely time to steal their DINO thunder! Where Obama involves his Departments and Agencies in his High Crimes? That's time to cut the whole Department! Unlawful Dictatorships in Departments doing measurable harm to States and Citizens? Ongoing? Investigators must shut them down or be in Violation of their Oaths. Block Grant their money to the States! The House can seize their assets. Dictatorship is Unconstitutional, it is unlawful (and High Crime) to do it! The House is empowered to say "This is Unconstitutional!" Let the Courts PROVE otherwise, but the House has the Standing to Say It! "These are High Crimes! And we aren't going to take it anymore!"

    38. Paul Hoffman says:

      As I understand the issue, the so-called subsidies are the Section 199 deduction of wages paid for new jobs created. Section 199 applies to a host of industries and is not an "oil & gas subsidy" per se. Oil & Gas jobs are some of the best paying jobs available to people, and in many parts of the country, they are the only decent paying jobs. We should be supporting private sector job creation and leasing more federal minerals on and offshore to create even more jobs.

    39. Mike, Chicago says:

      The oil companies not only get corporate welfare, they get the government to get the military to help the oil companies get crude oil and consume large quantities of refined oil. Smedley Butler would say things haven't changed a bit since he left the Marines.

    40. JerryB, Oil Country says:

      It is the same thing. Our money in their pockets. Tax break = Subsidy.

      Just the same as Farm Subsidies; enacted to encourage small business, now only big business profits from taxpayer sacrifice. Why should the entire citizenry support those that waste fossil fuel? Gasoline prices are determined by commodities futures trading, not Big Oil profits. Why should we continue to support record profits?

    41. Robert, North Richla says:

      Very good article. Not to mention that if anyone in D.C. wants to create real jobs

      they would unleash our energy industry – which would create over 2 million jobs in less than two years – high paying, real jobs. The corresponding decreases in fuel and energy costs would boost the overall economy, including the travel industry and housing industry. This one move could bring us back to only 6% unemployment while restoring real economic growth. The next season of LOST: Where is our Congress?

    42. Cap Wulf, Sturgeon B says:

      Why must we repeat the democrats use of the word "subsidies" in reference to oil companies when in fact what they call subsidies are in reality allowing oil companies to retain more of their own earnings? Subsidies are what we take from oil companies and other viable businesses and give to the politically correct and non-viable favored activities such as solar panels, windmills and anything dominated by unions. We should be defending the hell out of our traditional and proven energy suppliers who provide our energy needs, have met all required environmental standards (at least until they invented CO2 as a "pollutant"), provide thousands of good paying jobs and pay huge amounts of taxes that make our over regulating, restrictive and manipulative government EVEN POSSIBLE!! Our government(s) need oil and the revenue it creates. The oil industry does not need much of any government. The tail is waging the dog and we need to stand up and defend our (not so) free enterprise system that has built and paid for this country instead of allowing liberal representatives to grandstand and demean the very systems that have made their positions possible. We must acknowledge and thank our energy industry for what they provide for us. We must encourage our representatives to stand up against the PC agendas driven by small but vocal and well funded groups and truly represent the needs of the majority of U.S. citizens. We must react to the entitlement mentality and arrogant spin that allows democrats to get away with saying things like "we can't afford to 'give' oil companies subsidies" as if everything that oil companies produce is owned and controlled by the government. We must fight back and correct every misuse of works like subsidies and use these opportunities to smash the truth back at them!!!

      Cap Wulf

    43. Freddel, Walnut Cree says:

      To allow the market mechanism to efficiently allocate resources, prices and costs must reflect true scarcity values. It seems that Congress feels that it can allocate resources better than the thousands or millions of market participants buying, selling, and investing via voluntary cooperation tempered with competition. For Congress, there's no price that they cannot regulate higher with a price floor, or lower with a price ceiling, or improve and promote with a subsidy, or discourage and punish with a tax. Eliminate all interference with energy prices including oil, gas, coal, ethanol, wind, solar, etc. Stop the rebates, credits, and mandates for buying certain energy using products. Get government out and let the free market work.

    44. Robert Phillips, Cle says:

      Not being really sure anyone ever reads these replies, why are you contradicting the sword testimony of an oil executive (Standard Oil, I believe) before a congressional committee on Wednesday (I believe) that his company does not receive subsidies? Isn't "subsidies" nothing more than a code word liberals use for "tax incentives?" Your article seems to reply to what the executive(s) were saying, and yet you affirm that the oil companies ARE receiving subsidies. Now which is it?

    45. Chester R Houston Te says:

      Anybody know who these five senators are? They are probably part of the socialist party that some of the senators and representatives are part of. I truly believe there are people in Washington who are bent on destroying this nation. We must tell them to lay off and get them out of office.

    46. Keith, DC says:

      Taxpayers could save a lot of money and take down the deficit by stopping the subsidies. It's no longer needed with the oil companies profits. They can stand on their own two feet now. For us regular folks we need the subsidies to create jobs. See blog for money saving tip at the gas pump http://tiny.cc/ppk1j and around the home http://tiny.cc/q2ve2

    47. William Gopffarth, K says:

      The only tax breaks any profit-making company should get is for investments that cause real new jobs. The difference between the tax breaks for oil companies and "Green" power sources is that the "Green" sources usually have not developed into profit-making concerns. If we want "Green" power sources to develop provide tax incentives for both the companies and customers. When they begin to consistently make profits,… cut off the tax breaks.

    48. Steve Cafaro Fort My says:

      The problem in America today that we no longer exist as a free market economy. We are an advanced planned (mainpulated) economy that favors those who can adequately contribute to the deep pockets of our government officials.Democracy in America is weighted to favor those who have the dollars and resources necessary to influence the future agenda.

      Our economy is no longer viable. We overspend and undertax.while not producing sufficiently and remain content to have foreigners pay for our excesses. The American economy will collapse because it is sham that benefits a few at the ultimate diminishment of the many. It no longer is a question of if we can sustain this fraud because we are no longer in control. Rather, it is left to those who provide our products and finace our shortcomings to determine when America will be called to account for the mismanagement and greed that infects our society.

    49. Tom Michaels says:

      I agree that subsidies and targeted tax breaks for all sorts of energy should be ended. The net effect may be, but not necessarily, to increase the cost of energy overall. That is a market reaction and it will evoke a market solution. Most likely that solution will involve private investment in the most promising energy sources and market clearance of those that do not offer economically viable advantages. Of course, eliminating the government directed energy markets and projects will also eliminate the need for the bureaucrats who run them. Seems like a "win-win" all the way round.

    50. Gaspar A. Cruz III, says:

      using the oil companies as whipping boys will always look good to the great unwashed who are always looking for someone to blame for their circumstances. In reality these oil corporations are looking for a return on their investments at levels the markets will bear. Heavy handed oversight being advocated by the POTUS and his administration for his political gain will not produce a gallon more crude to stabilize the markets,it will deconstruct this industry raising the price of energy and related goods to much higher levels.

    51. Lin Whichard says:

      I understand all you say about target industries and the business that Obam does not like and I agree we do not want the gov picking on certain industries HOWEVER the question did not get answered. I am a Regan conser and I ask, why is the subs for oil company good for any American-do they need them?????? A tax break=$$$$$$$$. Thank you, Lin

    52. Gaspar A. Cruz III, says:

      Using the oil companies as whipping boys to detract from his failed domestic policies will not help any of us. Advocating heavy handed regulations specifically leveled at these oil companies will not produce a single more gallon of crude oil. It will in fact force these global corporations to draw down on their domestic drilling operations causing more uncertainties in the markets driving the prices higher.

    53. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      It's not a "subsudy" It's a reduction on taxes, This does not give oil companies anything. It simply take less from their pockets thus saves all of us hight prices at the pump.

      How many time must we hear, direct from their mouths, that Obama and every one of his lackeys czars, has repeated over and over again, they WANT even higher gas prices. They are delibertly causing our economy to be stressed to the point of collapse.

      This absurd "kabuki dance" that dragged oil companies to Capital Hill, was for pure distraction purposes. It's the same tactic that the socialist/communist have use to devert attention away from their trun intention in hopes it will continiue to fool the American people into thinking they are actually concerned that we

      are struggling to live our lives.

    54. Jack Coleman, Port T says:

      It's easy for the politicians to blame the oil companies for the high price of gasoline, but the decline in the value of our dollar is responsible for much of the price increase.

      For example, according to an inflation calculator a gallon of gasoline that cost $.75 in 1970 would have cost $4.14 in 2010.

      This would mean the federal reserve is to be blamed for the price increases

    55. Disgusted, in Illino says:

      How about having our clueless and incompetent Attorney General little eric holder investigate the collusion of the gasoline retailers aka. gas station operators for price gouging at the pump? It appears that there is absolutely NO relation between the price of crude and the price at the pump.

      I have personal experience localy, before all of this price madness took hold, there was a 0.12 cent difference per gallon of gasoline in the city (higher) than in the near suburbs but now there are stations in the suburbs that sell gasoline for more than the 0.12 cent spread and I have seen one station that had price per gallon higher (0.40cents) than in the city.It may be premature, but I think that is the problem that holder needs to address.

    56. Dwana Townsend, Harv says:

      It's not only OIL companies that get subsidies, or those involved in the energy sector (alternatives such as solar, wind, natural gas etc). Time to expose every industry or company that receives subsidies or special favors and see if they are warranted. Ask tough questions like what would be the impact without the subsidies or incentives, or are the subsides being paid to corporations not to produce certain products or grow certain crops?

      This country is in a world of trouble due to a total lack of Leadership, not only from our POTUS, but from our gutless representatives from both parties.

      Will someone please STAND up and take this monster on? Is there anyone with the guts to call him out, that is willing to stand up and take him headon on very tough issues! Make him explain himself, ask him some tough questions, no teleprompter allowed (See if he has the knowledge to answer a direct question)! Play the game better than he does! I sit here each day watching the left (mainly Obama himself) slinging mud in each our faces, and making jokes at our expense. It's not funny and I am sick of it!!

      I am an Independent voter. In general I believe all Americans want the same things: To feel secure, to be able to provide for themselves and family, the hear the truth even if it's unpleasant, equality (not favortism), transparancy and a secure future for America's current and future generations.

    57. ThomNJ says:

      From the US Senate Committee website the other day:

      "Washington, D.C. – Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today released an updated government report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) showing America's combined recoverable oil, natural gas, and coal endowment is the largest on Earth. America's recoverable resources are far larger than those of Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th), and Canada (6th) combined. And that's not including America's immense oil shale and methane hydrates deposits. "

    58. Jill-Maine says:

      How this American Idol prezidint gets away with this crap is mind boggling. I am appalled at all the empty headed crowds he gets to perform his comedy act for.

      We are in such big trouble and if he gets reelected we are all but dead.

    59. Tim Boley, Lancaster says:

      Is this the new tactic of the Democrat party? Ask anyone who gets money from the government to voluntarily admit they don't need it. I never thought of that. I thought that Congress could vote to end subsidies without the permission of the "evil" corporations. The headline should actually read, "Spineless Democratic senators beg oil companies to give up subsidies so they (senators) won't have to do the hard work".

    60. Tom Sullivan in FL says:

      The show trial attack on oil companies is just a distraction from the real oil problem: The energy policy of the US is to obstruct all fossil fuels. Conservatives ought to mock the show trial and spotlight the war on energy waged by liberals.

      The American people strongly support energy exploration and production. By a 65-35% margin American voters with an opinion on the topic want to resume offshore drilling (Rasmussen, March 3); a 59-41% support drilling in ANWR (April 6); support deepwater drilling 73-27% (April 19).

      Turn up the heat on liberal obstruction of our nation's energy supply. Drill here now.

    61. Russell Sebring Fl says:

      Government welfare and subsidies is like cutting the fingers off Adam Smith's invisible hand. The competitive free enterprise system requires rewards and punishments. Government welfare and subsidies rewards bad behavior which ends in bad goods and or high prices.

    62. Ben C., Ann Arbor, M says:

      Ken J:

      Please define "best Hcare I know about." There is a difference between quality of care and cost of care. There is also a difference in perception between two observers. Your comment is based on a comparison – what delivery systems are you comparing? Is your comment based on the premise that someone else is picking up the tab and it’s mostly a free ride for you? Are you comparing professional competencies and have found a physician who caters to your needs? Have you experienced major medical problems for which normal insurance costs would be prohibitive? As Trombone Shorty sings “can you back it up?”

    63. Jim Patterson, Dulut says:

      Aren't we still waiting on "clean energy" and all those jobs it will create? don't hold your breath. good bye oil rigs, good bye jobs, good bye tax revenue.

    64. Al from Fl says:

      One of the drawing cards for coming to America is that you can be all you can be. Yet the dems bash anyone who is successfully making money and play the large numbers associated with the oil company to the hilt. If the oil companies are pulling in over 8% profit, maybe there is some legitimate criticism – otherwise get off their backs. As for tax policies, so long as the congress/White House uses tax policy for social engineering instead of or in addition to obtaining revenue, the tax code will be screwed up. If you vote democrat in 2012 then you are voting for (among other things) a policy that will subsidize "alt energy" and raise the cost of carbon fuels so high that we can become a country run on alt energy. Problem is, of course, (like the economy and stimulus pkgs) no one can afford the energy of this new utopia. If the admin were to push drilling etc to obtain cheaper energy sources and new high paying jobs while at the same time developing a smart transition program to alternative sources where it makes sense, they might have something. But that's not the liberal/secular progressive/democrat style. Vote the idiots out and return this country to its prosperous and dominant place.

    65. Don Vander Jagt, Gra says:

      Does anyone understand how the Republicans can continue to look a gift horse in the mouth?

      The Democrats leave themselves wide open by continuously harping on those big rich oil companies subsidies or tax breaks. While at the same time they express an innate desire to raise more taxes.

      The question is why isn't there a Republican wise enough to lay out in graphic form how much of that subsidy or tax break is needlessly spent to satisfy foolish regulations exacted against those same oil companies.

      The next question is why are the Democrats so opposed to developing our own energy, especially oil and gas industries? The treasury could be collecting hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes from those same companies and from the hundreds of thousands of oil and gas workers working in that industry.

      Some will say the oil companies would ruin our land and the air we breathe; they say that because they do not understand the hydraulics of the atmosphere, they're undereducated. However, there can be little doubt that producing the energy here would be done under much better control than it is being done under in other locations of the world, plus the so-called risk to the environment would be reduced considerably by using the energy nearest to the market, and of course the energy now used to transport it would no longer be used.

      If the Republicans are actually on the side of the people but not smart enough to convey their message to the people, they might approach each one of the oil companies and have them make up a scale showing the estimated amount of oil they could produce domestically per year. They can also estimate the number of jobs in each category along with the estimated pay scale in each category. And maybe even the number of estimated spinoff jobs, if the government would stop blocking domestic oil and gas production.

    66. Claude Georgia says:

      First of all the President might very well direct higher taxes to his percieved evil energy companies, but the reality of the situation is that corporation never pay taxes they only pass them along to the consumer. So be cause of Obama's declared was on the Petroleum Companies it will actually be you and I as taxpaying citizens that will be paying considerably higher costs for fuel. Once again the left leaps upon something without talking the time to understand it.

    67. Bill Herhold, Northe says:

      I would like nothing more than to target the entire BHO energy package for the axe. However, if we do not move with them on the withdrawal of oil company subsidies they have us over a barrel of being insincere about cutting the budget. I say, vote for the repeal of the oil company subsidies instead of giving the left the advantage of saying we are siding with the "oil barons" of today. We are in a PR battle with these "progressives" and need to win in an effort to obtain the votes from the independents. This is going to be a game of strategy we must win.

    68. F.D. O'Toole says:

      What subsidies are we talking about? I know of a tax break given to all manufacturers in 2004, and I know that depletion, unlike depreciation, allows more than 100% recovery of investment costs over time. Further, Congress may still allow certain specialized accounting for dry holes not available to other industries. These benefits were given to oil companies to encourage discovery and production of oil, which is still an extremely important fuel in this country.

      And as most people know, if the cost of production increases, as it will if taxes are raised, the consumer will pay more for products dependent on oil. Not just gas. Clothing, plastics, even groceries because of freight costs.

      It is hard to believe that the good Senators are ignorant of the consequences of their tirade against the oil companies.

    69. Pingback: La verdad detrás de los subsidios a las petroleras | Heritage Libertad

    70. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Drilling for oil's expensive. It costs oil companies billions, that's right, folks. I said BILLIONS, in time, money, and effort, to drill for oil. Oil drilling's expensive. For every

      successful oil well drilled, there are several failed attempts, called "dry holes." Those

      dry holes don't come cheap. They're very expensive.

    71. Diane Bialecki says:

      this is so true,because the economy is tanked the government feels entitled to take your piece of the pie. I mean how dare anyone have more than the average Joe. You are punished today if you are too successful. Misery loves company and if the country is going down like the Titanic then they want everyone on board

    72. Dr. Chris Albritton says:

      I read with interest the article, "Morning Bell: The Truth Behind Oil Subsidies", and I agree whole heartedly.

      But how do I convince my former (uneducated) partner who repeatedly told me, "You can't convince me that that oil companies aren't gouging me at the pump and making huge profits off the American consumers."?

    73. Janice,Tennessee says:

      So, the government wants to end subsidies to oil companies. They pay millions in taxes, and Obama's G.E. doesn't pay any taxes? Is there something wrong here? I truly believe ALL subsidies should be removed.

    74. Della TX says:

      1. The oil and gas co do not get subsidies NONE

      2. Rampant speculators & WStreet tricks arn't driving up gas prices

      3. The oil & gas industry is not dodging the taxes they owe and withholding their fare share. The taxcode does allow them certain tax credits and deductions to encorage continued investment in an industry that is heavily front-end loaded with capital expence. These are te same incentives available to coco cola,Ge,Ford and Mico-soft & others doing business in the US or as a matter of fact like a morgage interest these are tax credit. This is diferent then the tax payer subsides of 45 cents per gallon payment blenders get to put ethenol in fuel mixes.

      oil and gas plows about 300 billion into domestic projects per yr thats 75 times more then Obam's phantom taxpayer giveaways. Gas and oil employes over 9million people and if the Gov would alow and encorage even more domestic production there would be more jobs & more investment and more total taxes paid.

      oil and gas faces a marginal tax rates of 41% compared to 26% for the rest of business in stantd and poor's 500. Another picking winners and looser will your co be next?

    75. Johnny, Talladega, A says:

      The oil companies would probably gladly give up their "subsidies", which as stated by so many here only the gov. not taking as much from them as threatened, if the same gov. would let them drill, recover the oil, and build refineries without all of the onerous regulations that add so much to the cost. There needs to be safety involved and some regulation but our federal government has gotten WAY out of control and uses regulation and fines as a club to beat us over the head with to control the economy, and thereby control each and every one of us. This is how Obama and his ilk are going to promote their agenda by driving big oil out due to the publics inability to pay the higher prices, much the same as health insurance companies will be driven out of business.SOCIAL ENGINEERING!

    76. V. Pulliam, Durango, says:

      It is disappointing Heritage makes no effort to explain the nature of the specific benefits and incentives provided for the oil and gas industry in the tax code and the original rationale behind their adoption. The word "subsidies" was the word chosen by the left to create the impression the government is giving the oil companies money rather than permitting the companies to keep an additional portion of the money they have earned in the exploration, development and production of energy resources vital to our economy and national security.

      Anyone of us who has an investment account, pension plan, 401K or IRA is likely a part owner of one of these oil companies. How much more benefit do we derive if the federal government takes more of the companies' income to spend as it chooses and less goes to the shareholders? How many barrels of oil does the federal government produce every year? Will our gasoline prices go down if oil companies are taxed more? Will they explore for and develop more oil and gas reserves?

      We need to beware of adopting the vocabulary of the left to frame the debate when engaging in the discussion of critical national issues. For example, we have allowed the debate over increasing taxes to be characterized as an argument about "taxing the wealthy." Even prominent conservative commentators regularly fall into this verbal trap. A person or small business earning more than $250,000 in any given year cannot necessarily be classified as "wealthy!"

    77. V. Pulliam, Durango, says:

      It is disappointing Heritage makes no effort to explain the nature of the specific benefits and incentives provided for the oil and gas industry in the tax code and the original rationale behind their adoption. The word "subsidies" was the word chosen by the left to create the impression the government is giving the oil companies money rather than permitting the companies to keep an additional portion of the money they have earned in the exploration, development and production of energy resources vital to our economy and national security.

      Anyone of us who has an investment account, pension plan, 401K or IRA is likely a part owner of one of these oil companies. How much more benefit do we derive if the federal government takes more of the companies' income to spend as it chooses and less goes to the shareholders? How many barrels of oil does the federal government produce every year? Will our gasoline prices go down if oil companies are taxed more? Will they explore and develop more oil and gas reserves?

      We need to beware of adopting the vocabulary of the left to frame the debate when engaging in the discussion of critical national issues. For example, we have allowed the debate over increasing taxes to be characterized as an argument about "taxing the wealthy." Even prominent conservative commentators regularly fall into this verbal trap. A person or small business earning more than $250,000 in any given year cannot necessarily be classified as "wealthy!"

    78. blackwater says:

      What is the return to the country for oil subsidies?

    79. Geoerge Bellucci, 11 says:

      I read that the so called subsidies that the oil companies get is the typical tax deductions that corporations get except for the oil depletion allowance. Is that true?

    80. bill; says:

      the president is stuck between a rock and a hard place if we don,t do something about fossil fuels changing the weather who will dogs cats or monkeys yes it,s got to be all of us your just to do the same-thing you are accusing our president of and thats dividing the nation we,ll be divided on this issue until actual dooms day no matter who the president is

    81. Chris, Texas says:

      I have been involved in the domestic petroleum business for 24+ years and would like to point out; all the hype by this administration referring to so called "subsidies" given to domestic oil & gas producers is nothing short of a ridiculous . The federal government does NOT in any way, shape , or form "subsidize" domestic oil & gas production. A subsidy, by definition, would be circumstance such as with corporate "big farms" whom actually receive a check for non-production (not doing anything) or for maintaining government quotas (subsidies which I oppose, btw) . I can assure you that the government has never written a check to a domestic oil producer. The minimal tax incentives the president speaks of, in his continued attempts to incite anger and contempt for oil companies, are a 1) "IDC" (intangible drilling costs) tax deduction which is a portion of the risk capital invested for drilling new wells and is typically passed along to many small individual investors whom are required for new drilling , and furthermore this intangible drilling cost portion of the total investment is treated no differently tax-wise than the "risk capital" portion on any other venture which has the potential to create jobs and positively add to the economy. The other so called "subsidy" is a 2) "Depletion Allowance" allowed because of the rate of decline in wells after initial production. It should be pointed out that 100% of all domestic oil & gas is taxed immediately at the wellhead and that a Depletion Allowance tax credit of up to 15% of after-tax proceeds is allowed because oil & gas production diminish and are non-renewable. These stated tax incentives more often than not are afforded to small "mom & pop investors" and are crucial to the flow of investment into domestic oil & gas exploration, particularly during extended periods of excessively low commodity pricing and for entry into new high risk fields. Even when it is "big oil" doing the drilling, there are often many individual investors in aggregate putting up the capital which is effected by IDCs & Depletion allowances. They would NOT be considered "subsidies" by any definition of the word ,save and except the current administration's way over-hyped definition.

      It is most often overlooked that the vast majority of U.S. oil production is derived in aggregate from stripper wells and most stripper well operators are individuals and SMALL business , NOT "big oil".

    82. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      It's a game…you guys are just angry because O-Bomba plays it better than you…He lives in subsidized housing, gets free gas, food stamps and lets his lifer Democrats feed from the booty…lifer Republicans too…

    83. Blair S., Norman, OK says:

      It highly distresses me that the author of this post used the word 'subsidy'.

      A subsidy is a defined as:

      1. Monetary assistance granted by a government to a person or group in support of an enterprise regarded as being in the public interest.

      2. Financial assistance given by one person or government to another.

      After reading this piece I had to double check to see if I had inadvertently wound up on the Huffington Post's website…

    84. Tom,MA says:

      Why not end ALL government subsidies? Agriculture, energy, the works?

    85. Jim Abshier, Iowa says:

      Many have suggested it but none have stated it flatly: Corporations do not pay taxes. They merely collect the money from the consumer and send it on to the government. If a company needs to sell its widget for $100 to make a profit and stay in business, a $10 tax by the federal government on each widget will drive the price up to $110. Only one class of people truely pay taxes and that is the ultimate consumer and that is because we have no one to pass the tax onto. A tax on a company is another hidden tax on all of us.

    86. Frank, Florida says:

      We need to end ALL "crony capitalism" (subsidies, tax loopholes, etc).

      Eliminate all Corporate taxes (costs are only passed on to the consumer anyways in the form of higher prices).

      Then end the IRS & Income Taxes & replace with a simple Fair Tax.

      Unfortunately, the above will never be done before the USA goes bankrupt. There is no political will to do it & most non-taxpaying Americans will keep re-electing the same political crooks who promise them a "free lunch" while bankrupting the nation for perpetual re-election. But soon the system will collapse & be forced to "reset".

    87. Martin, New York says:

      please tell me how i can become more conservative. i recently woke up and saw the light at the end of the republican tunnel. after unionized firefighters let my house burn down and all my important legal documents after taking hours to get to my house, which is 15 minutes away, i want to know more about common sense small government.

    88. emperorbailey says:

      There are no subsidies on clean coal, as clean coal is an imaginary concept.

      And electric vehicle and wind companies didn't profit $40 Billion each last quarter. That's the difference.
      Oil companies get their profits every day at the pump, but renewable sources get their profits down the road and can use the help in the short term. That's another big difference.

    89. Erin says:

      I think the government should cut all energy subsidies. But that will hurt domestic oil and gas producers far more than sustainable energy sources since they receive twelve times more subsidy in the form of tax breaks.

      Here is why I think the tax breaks should be cut: The subsidies were originally provided by the goverment when the technology was not available to see if an area had oil available in advance. Obviously a lot of money was needed to invest in drilling somewhere that may not prove to be contain a profitable supply of oil. Many companies didn't want to take the risk of losing that money and because of that, less oil was produced than normal. Neither of these two problems exist today. Companies have the technology to find sources before they install drilling rigs. Enough oil is produced in the world and available to Americans to meet current demand.

      The reason why oil is subsidized now is so that American companies can compete with cheaper international imported oil. But the fact of the matter is that American citizens are paying the same amount anyways because they have to pay more in taxes so that domestic energy companies don't. The only ones profiting from this is the energy companies that have a higher profit.

      Most companies in the United States have trouble competing with international prices. That is why there is such a high trade deficit. We don't pay taxes to make all the other manufacturers have low enough prices to compete with international businesses, so the argument that giving oil companies high tax breaks would lead to more domestic jobs doesn't hold up. So would subsidizing any other industry so the jobs don't go to other countries.

      Furthermore, I think that subsidizing oil is a huge disturbance to a free market. Transportation costs are artificially lower as a result (artificially because the money is still coming out of American's pockets) and this leads to a disturbance of the domestic economy. If oil costs were their true costs, more domestic producers would be able to compete with the costs of imports. Even on a national level, more goods are transported longer distances than they would be under a purely competitive market where prices reflect their actual costs. This leads to inefficient choices by markets.

      As to sustainable energy sources, I don't think they should be subsidized for the same reasons, it disturbs the free market when you make costs artificially low. I don't companies producing wind or solar energy should receive subsidies to make them price competitive. However, subsidizing research and development of alternative energy sources is a different story. I feel like this is necessary to keep America's competitive position in the world economy. Eventually there won't be any oil or gas left and how much money is invested now in technology development will decide whether America is an importer or exporter of technology.

    90. Sal says:

      Oil subsidies are not even truly subsidies. A subsidy is when the government gives a private company or industry money from the public coffers (tax dollars). What is being referred to as oil subsidies by politicians and the media these days are actually tax deduction claimed by the oil companies. No money is actually going to oil companies. It is just standard tax deductions that virtually every private business qualifies and applies for. For instance, companies get tax deduction due to payroll, and depreciation of capital and property.
      The media and politicians use the term subsidies to make us think we are (taxpayers) are somehow paying for the oil company operating cost through tax dollars when this is not the case. The media thinks if they can make us angry at oil companies for the price of gas, then we will eventually demand that they pay more in taxes so that politicians will have more money to play with and bribe their constituents.

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