Republicans Chose To Keep Big Oil Subsidies, Costing Americans Billions Of Dollars - And Response (4)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

House Republicans voted yesterday to protect corporate welfare for big oil companies while cutting to the bone programs average Americans depend on. While the U.S. House of Representatives was working on a stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown, House Democrats offered a motion that would have taken away tax subsidies from the five largest oil companies, saving tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. The motion was defeated with every Republican voting against it.

Two weeks ago a similar vote that would have saved $53 billion in taxpayer funds, taking it away from the biggest oil companies, was also defeated basically along party lines.
The former CEO of Shell Oil, John Hoffmeister, recently said, "Big Oil doesn't need subsidies in the face of sustained high oil prices." The largest oil companies, between 2005 and 2009, have made a combined 485 billion dollars in profits. That's almost half a Trillion dollars.

House Republicans said yes to the subsidies, including 3rd District Congressman Chuck Fleischmann. The Democrats tried to keep your money from going to subsidize big companies making huge profits.

Who wants to reduce the deficit? Who wants to save taxpayer dollars?
Think about that the next time you fill up your car. You're paying a lot more than just the price at the pump, and you have House Republicans to thank.

Randy Price
Hixson
rpchattanooga@gmail.com

* * *

In addition to subsidizing "Big Oil" companies, we are still subsidizing companies that are moving our jobs overseas. Also, the family farm of years ago has all but disappeared. We now have large corporations raising our crops and collecting huge subsidies to do so. Yet, our Congress, including Fleishman, would rather cut funds that feed needy children.

My biggest complaint has to do with the fact that large corporations pay absolutely no federal tax at all. General Electric earned billions in profits year before last and didn't pay a red cent in taxes. Neither did Exxon, Chevron and a multitude of other companies. Also, the oil companies should be paying the government for the privilege of pumping oil on public lands. Needless to say, they haven't been paying. The uncollected taxes, and enormous subsidies, would save more money in our budget than anything the Republican party has tried so far.

Mr Fleischman, it is past time to stop subsidizing the rich, at the detriment of the average man. If you can't represent your constituents in the 3rd district, instead of the Republican party line, or the Tea Party Koch Brothers dogma, then it's obvious we made a mistake in sending you to Washington. Why aren't you beating drums, and heads, to try to finish the construction on our lock at the Chickamauga Dam? You were sent there to represent us; it is past time you did so.

Rod Dagnan

* * *

Thank you for my daily dose of wealth envy.

I have two problems with your arguments. First, the assumption that tax money belongs to the people of the United States as opposed to the people taking the risks. How about this instead? If you know that those subsidies are in place, then don’t spend the money you would otherwise have seized. The problem is not that we don’t seize enough money from the pockets of people that take financial risks. The problem is that we spend more money than we take.

The second problem I have with your arguments is, it is not the place of the federal government to feed people. Let each state determine how much money it wants to spend on poor people. If the next state offers a better plan, then the poor people can increase their income by moving here.

And, the next time you fill up your tank at the pump, ask yourself this….how much of what I am paying is tax? In Tennessee, we pay 20 cents a gallon, plus a 1 cent per gallon “special tax, plus a 0.4 cent per gallon “environmental assurance fee,” plus an additional 6% sales tax for gasoline, plus 18.4 cents per gallon tax by the federal government. If you want to see how much tax gets paid for the extraction and refining oil, then try using Google.

Robert Harvey
Chattanooga

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Democrats never cease to amaze me with their creative ways to blame Republicans for the budget problems. The Democrats had control of both houses from 2007 until this most recent election and we’ve had a Democratic President since 2008. Strangely the “Big Oil Companies” kept their subsidies during these years and there’s really not a mystery as why.

President Obama was BP Oil’s largest recipient of campaign monies. Energy companies have given $7.5 million to Democrats compared to $7.3 million to the GOP in PAC contributions since the last election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Like always the Democrats are eager to sound like their on the side of the poor and disadvantaged, but they never talk louder than when the Republicans are in charge. The way to really reduce the budget is not to collect more taxes but rather stop all the wasteful spending.

When are liberals going to figure out that when taxes are raised on Big Oil and other corporations that you the consumer is who will ultimately pay these taxes? When are you to figure out that government spending and not under taxation is what has this country in a financial mess? When are going to figure out that you are never going to work for a poor person but rather one of these evil corporations. These evil under-taxed corporations who are taking their plants and jobs to other less oppressively taxed countries.

The U.S. has the 2nd largest corporate tax rate in the world. When we have 52% of all workers in America working for the government something is wrong. Everyone can’t work for the government. We need jobs that actually create something of value, you know like jobs working for those evil “Big Oil” companies. Keep drinking the liberal big government Kool Aid because we are borrowing $3 billion a day and the glass is already empty.

Clarence Leigh

* * *

I'm really sick of hearing the tired argument that the rich create the jobs in this country. Before you say here goes another liberal, not having a clue, I happen to be a lifelong Republican. The class warfare that has been utilized by both sides of the aisle is ridiculous. Let poor people move somewhere else? If that were a solution, everyone would be headed for New York and California and there would be no poverty in Tennessee. What color is the sky in your world?

Sure, a rich man may create 100, or even a thousand jobs to manufacture his product. That goes without saying. However, how many jobs are created by the average consumer who buys that product? The poor and middle income Americans drive our economy. Take spending money away from either segment and our economy will completely collapse. Without their buying power, who would step up to pay the taxes to support our government?

The fact is that as long as we have a military that can, and does, send pallets of cash, totaling $8.2 billion to Iraq, and then can't account for where one single dollar of that money went, we have a problem. When we allow gas companies to purchase contracts to pump oil on public land, and then never collect a penney from those companies in return, we have a problem. When our major corporations take advantage of "tax havens" to avoid paying the taxes owed to our treasury, we have a problem. Subsidizing oil companies, farms, or anything else, for that matter, is not a bit different than bailing out GM, or major banks. Our tax dollars do not belong in the market place.

I have wanted, for a long time now, to have a flat tax in this country. Set the percentage where you will, but everyone will have to pay the same with no exemptions. If someone earns $10 billion, good for them, but they will have to pay the same percentage that someone that earns $10,000. That isn't class envy, that is common sense. Until then, I want to see the IRS go after the tax dodgers...rich or poor.

We are blessed with the lowest tax rate we have had since 1950. Products and services are much more expensive today than they were then. Yet we have some self-proclaimed "Einsteins" that assume we can operate a 2011 government on a 1950 dollar. We are in this mess because of fighting a war on two different fronts without attempting to pay for it. Instead, our greed has taken hold, and we want to pay less and less. Then, when the bills come due, we use the poor as scapegoats and blame them for all of our problems. "Class envy" indeed.

Kenneth Lane
Chattanooga


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