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Oil Subsidies

From Progress Report:

Top executives from the Big 5 oil companies — ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips — flew into Washington, D.C. on their corporate jets to defend their industry at a U.S. Senate hearing yesterday. The Associated Press reports that “Motorists are paying nearly $4 for a gallon of gasoline as the oil industry reaps pretax profits that could hit $200 billion this year.” The oil industry is not only benefiting from spiking gas prices, but also from over $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies they receive every year. With those subsidies and loopholes, Exxon’s federal tax rate for the last three years was 17.6 percent, lower than what the average American pays. “Voters’ anger over high gas prices is directed squarely at the oil companies and the politicians who defend them,” according to a recent national survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club. “Voters are furious with oil companies, according to our polling, and overwhelmingly support ending their subsidies.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “wants to bring a bill to the floor next week” Wednesday to repeal tax breaks for the major oil companies, “to help ease the deficit by about $21 billion over 10 years.”

PROFITING FROM PAIN: “Given profits of $35 billion in just the first quarter alone, it is hard to find evidence that repealing these subsidies would cut domestic production or cause layoffs,” Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said yesterday. “After all, based on first-quarter profits, these tax breaks represent less than 2 percent of what these companies are on pace to make this year. Even without these tax breaks, these companies would clearly be highly profitable.” In his opening statement, Baucus argued that the most vulnerable in society shouldn’t have to suffer for the benefit of oil companies. “We should use this money to reduce our deficit instead of putting the burden on seniors and our children’s future. The oil executives were unmoved. “Do you think that your subsidy is more important than the financial aid that we give to students to go to college?” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked. ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva said the question was “very difficult” to answer. “Not once during this hearing have I heard any semblance of a willingness to share unless every company also has to,” Rockefeller concluded. “I haven’t heard anybody talk about what they are doing — what they would be willing to do — to share in our budget problem. The total concept of what keeps America together…is a sense of fairness, that everybody has to lose at some point, everybody has to give something up to be a real country.” (more…)

By |2011-05-16T08:26:21-04:00May 16th, 2011|Big Oil, Senate|Comments Off on Oil Subsidies

What's going on – News Roundup

This roundup is brought to you by Steve Benen (friend and master blogger) of Washington Monthly.

* The major indexes on Wall Street were expected to soar in light of the new Geithner plan on toxic assets. And soar they did.

* On a related note, it probably helped that there was an unexpected boost in existing home sales.

* Bloodshed in Baghdad: “At least 25 people were killed and 45 were injured when a man walked into a tent of mourners and detonated himself in a town north of Baghdad on Monday evening. The death toll was expected to rise, hospital officials said.”

* An encouraging move: “A federal court today ordered the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider the agency’s controversial decision limiting non-prescription access to the morning-after pill Plan B to women age 18 and older.”

* Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) is on a quixotic crusade against U.S. Ambassador-designate to Iraq Christopher Hill.

(more…)

By |2009-03-23T18:55:46-04:00March 23rd, 2009|Blogging issues, Economy, Iraq, Pakistan|Comments Off on What's going on – News Roundup

Who's Elitist?

I have dreamed of having enough money so that I can fly my own plane. John Travolta has that kind of money. He has a couple of planes, if I’m not mistaken– not bad for a sweathog. Well, it seems that Senator John McCain’s campaign has its own plane also. It isn’t unusual for a campaign to lease a plane but this plane actually belongs to McCain’s wife, Cindy. Their campaign has been flying around at a discount it seems because there is a law– which McCain backed– stating that the campaign must pay or rent this plane for fair market valve.

So, is having your own plane elitist? Is not following a law that you supported elitist? I’m just askin’.

————-

From the New York Times:

Given Senator John McCain’s signature stance on campaign finance reform, it was not surprising that he backed legislation last year requiring presidential candidates to pay the actual cost of flying on corporate jets. The law, which requires campaigns to pay charter rates when using such jets rather than cheaper first-class fares, was intended to reduce the influence of lobbyists and create a level financial playing field.

But over a seven-month period beginning last summer, Mr. McCain’s cash-short campaign gave itself an advantage by using a corporate jet owned by a company headed by his wife, Cindy McCain, according to public records. For five of those months, the plane was used almost exclusively for campaign-related purposes, those records show. (more…)

By |2008-04-28T07:00:07-04:00April 28th, 2008|Congress, Election 2008|4 Comments
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