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May 01, 2011

President Underpants Gnome's Plan To Profit From Big Oil

Dave in Texas had a great post yesterday on oil company tax breaks. His big-picture point was that any time you hear "subsidies for big oil", the person emitting this bilge is a demagogue playing populist to make you think he's "doing something" about high gas prices.

Now there are some industry-specific things like depletion allowances that only apply to companies engaged in mining or oil and gas extraction, but the tax code is full of things that only apply to individual industries (e.g., Big Oil probably doesn't make much use of the depreciation schedules for the motion picture industry). By and large, oil companies mainly take the same deductions and credits as most businesses, provisions that were enacted by congress over many years of tinkering with the code, yet somehow all these get turned into nefarious "subsidies" when there's political hay to be made.

Dave also suggested that if your congresscritter utters this phrase you should ask him to name just one subsidy. I agree. And if he's feeling sporty after that, you should follow up by asking him how raising taxes on oil companies (which is what they really mean) lowers prices at the pump. Their thinking apparently follows this model:

1. Raise taxes on "Big Oil"
2. ???
3. Profit!

Notice that if you substitute "millionaires and billionaires" for "Big Oil", this starts to sound an awful lot like Obama's plan to have a plan to deal with the deficit.

My take on this is very simple. The left loves any excuse it can find to raise taxes. Period. If it can do it on the back of teh eeevilll fat-cat millionaires and billionaires or Gaia-raping oil companies, so much the better.

If the Obama administration really wanted to lower gas prices, they'd address their ongoing permitorium in the Gulf of Mexico and rein in their stupid EPA that's preventing Shell from drilling because of handwringing about the "greenhouse gas" emissions from a friggin' icebreaker.

Larry Kudlow had a good piece on this earlier this week (suffer through the ad, it's worth it). Pay attention to a couple of things when the Natural Resources Defense Council spokestool is talking. First, he sounds amazingly like Obama - is it possible that our President is just doing the bidding of the Greens and isn't really interested in sound energy policy? Nahhhh ... couldn't be - that's just crazy talk, I know. Also, notice how the NRDC guy flat-out lies about that Shell icebreaker. Again, he reminds me of Obama.

Remember what Obama told Charlie Gibson. He's all for raising taxes to be "fair", even if they don't raise revenue. Couple that with his watermelon views on energy (green on the outside, red on the inside) and you'd expect he'd be o.k. with prices necessarily skyrocketing.

Oh, and if you didn't get a chance to read Dave's post yet, make sure you do. If there's one thing Dave knows about, it's gas.

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posted by Andy at 07:05 PM

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