The president wants different rules for oil companies than for other energy companies. He, his surrogates and virtually every Democrat on the planet bash “tax breaks for Big Oil.” But they rarely provide any detail or context.
That’s because eliminating that allegedly colossal subsidy would, by Obama’s own account, bring in only $25 billion over 10 years. That’s an average of $2.5 billion per year – not even a rounding error in a federal budget of $1.6 trillion. It would do zilch to address the nation’s deficit or long-term debt in what the president is so fond of calling, “a balanced way.”
Meanwhile, Exxon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips paid an estimated $55 billion in taxes in 2011, at rates ranging from 41.5 percent to 48.3 percent.
Sure, the oil companies are profitable and have a lot left over. But they are not even close to playing by the same set of rules granted to those in the allegedly glorious green energy field.
The list could go on. The president can continue to make the case that a society where success is punished and failure is rewarded is a much healthier one. But don’t call it playing by the same set of rules. That is absurd.
Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org