Friday, May 20, 2011

Oil Subsidies

Oil companies are presenting their case to congress that they need to maintain the current tax subsidies. "Given profits of $35 billion in just the first quarter alone, it's hard to find evidence that repealing these subsidies would cut domestic production or cause layoffs," Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the committee, argued against the oil companies claims. Congress is looking at cutting $2 billion a year, which would go towards paying down the deficit. That number represents less than two percent of the expected annual profits of the oil companies. I’m surprised the oilmen actually show up to plead their dubious case, and not only because it seems unlikely that Congress will agree on anything. Oil companies spent $145 million dollars and used 798 lobbyists last year to make certain their point of view was heard. There are 435 members of the House and 100 Senators. Do the math – that’s nearly two lobbyists and over a quarter of a million dollars for each and every person in the Legislative branch of government. What? Oilmen have to take time out of their busy schedules to parade in front of Congress? Haven’t they done enough already?

By Sam DelPresto