Democrats Get Tough On Oil Subsidies

Senate Democrats have decided to get serious about the budget deficit.  Their first line of attack will be a plan to strike billions of dollars of corporate welfare for the five largest oil companies.  The corporate welfare comes in the form of tax incentives and breaks for the likes of ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Shell and ConocoPhillips. 

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont) is drafting a bill that would exempt oil and gas companies from the Section 199 tax deduction for domestic manufacturers, reduce the tax credit for royalty payments to foreign governments and impose an excise tax on certain Gulf of Mexico leases.  His plan would flag those saved dollars and place them toward programs that reduce oil use including incentives to increase production of cleaner and more affordable domestically-produced fuel.

Given that these companies report billions of dollars of profits quarterly, ending these giveaways seems like a no-brainer.  Even Speaker Boehner suggested he was open to ending the subsidies.

Enter the Congressional Republican who last week voted unanimously against Democrats first strike against the companies.  Democrats had sought to attach a measure ending subsidies to a bill that would allow oil companies to more easily secure drilling permits off the Gulf Coast.

Democrats acknowledge that they alone don’t have the votes to force an end to the subsidies, but the fact that they are united on their message and intent on bringing the issue to a vote shows they are willing to play some political hardball with Republicans for a change.


photo courtesy of freewine via Flickr

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Richard E Cooley
Richard E Cooley4 years ago

I agree I will beleive it when I see it and it is about time Democrats got tough on something! Subsidies are for those who need them not for companies making "obscene" record profits. Thanks Claudia O., Lynne C. and Lynnette B.

John S.
Past Member 4 years ago

And Obama's Saturday's Weekly Address was on Expanding Responsible Oil Production in America. Who's jumping ships, just hope they don't hit each other on the way there.

Charles Temm JR
Charles Temm JR4 years ago

LOL, the title of this is so damn funny I thought it was meant tongue in cheek. Then I this is supposed to be serious editorializing.

The Dems are getting serious about the deficit! The same Dems who couldn't even find this same amount of cuts just weeks ago and are led by "Save our cowboy poetry" Sen Harry Reid. This is political posturing and nothing more. Dems want to end oil subsidies while keeping the almost worthless ethanol subsidies. 4 billion out of 3 trillion plus dollar budgets/1.5 trillion dollar deficits doesn't even register anyway, this is why the Administration looks so foolish on this entire issue of deficits.

No, the title points out simply hypocrisy here, not principle. These subsidies are the same throughout the business world and it's just theater to nail the oil companies for doing what bi-partisan congressional meddling has done to our tax code for decades.

Lynne C.
Lynne C.4 years ago

I agree that it is about time! Subsidies are for those who need it, not for companies that are making record profits.

Esther S.
Esther S.4 years ago

I repeat that Exxon is not getting subsidies. They are paying quite a bit in taxes. Being allowed to deduct the expenses of doing business is not a subsidy. - All companies are allowed to deduct their expenses from their income because the difference is what they actually got in profit.
Read this -

Lynnette Bower
Lynnette Bower4 years ago

I will believe it when it happens.

Joe Langer
Joe Langer4 years ago

It's about time, if only you could get enough Republicans to go along with it.

How about this, we stop all subsidies for any corporation that would be making a profit without them. Why should we give away any money to these companies?

Then we need to look at the companies that would not make a profit without them, and decide if there is a national interest in supporting them. The only reason I can think of right now is Jobs.

Sound Mind
Ronald E.4 years ago

Yay! And the Senate budget should cut or eliminate the entitlements of Congress.

Lee K.
Lee Keys4 years ago

It's all just a ploy, anything to get the votes in 2012.
Like the DEMS are any different than the GOP, give me a break.
The day they get a backbone may be whenever.

And for the thick as brick folks that take notice of the blaze, you are out to lunch. Beck is not one to tell the truth as you well know. He is there to make as many greenbacks as possible before his show bites the dust.

Esther S.
Esther S.4 years ago

Claudia, I would rather see them raise the top tax rate on the individuals who make a million dollars or more. This seems to be a political thing only. They know that people are upset over the high cost of gasoline and wrongly think it is the fault of companies like Exxon. I repeat it is not. It is being caused by people bidding up the cost of a gallon of oil because they are afraid of what will happen in the Middle East. I think that the Federal and State governments should put a freeze on the taxes that they make people pay every time they buy gasoline. It won't help those people a lot but it will help them a little. At the same time, the gov't could raise the income tax for those who make a million dollars a year or more. The burden should not be on the ordinary people who are struggling paycheck to paycheck.