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The Senate Dems have released this video, keeping up the drumbeat of ending taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil.

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid challenged House Speaker John Boehner on the issue. Boehner has been trying to ratchet up the debt ceiling war with outrageous demands of trillions in spending cuts. Reid's response was simple: You want cuts? Start with welfare for Big Oil. That's a challenge Boehner has so far refused to meet.

Dems have some new, strong arguments behind them in making the case for eliminating the subsidies. A new Congressional Research Service report shoots down the Republican claim that eliminating the tax break would result in higher prices at the pump.

The document, sent to Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, said that with the cost of oil over $100 per barrel, “prices are well in excess of costs, and a small increase in taxes would be less likely to reduce oil output, and hence increase petroleum product (gasoline) prices.”

In a review of the five specific tax changes being advocated by Democrats, the research service also said that tightening the tax code would make a very small dent in the huge revenues of the industry and that the price of oil hinged on many other, larger considerations.

Political unrest, market gyrations, “macroeconomic growth trends, the value of the dollar and a host of other factors have contributed to fluctuations in the price of oil and gasoline,” the report said. “Any effect due to changes in the tax treatment of the oil industry would be hard to separate from the changes due to other factors.”

The subsides are a drop in the barrel for Big Oil, but they're a $21 billion chunk of the budget over the next ten years.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Con-Job-A-Co-Philips CEO won't back down (19+ / 0-)

    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    ConocoPhillips CEO Refuses To Apologize For Saying It Is ‘Un-American’ To End Oil Subsidies
    *****snip****
       SCHUMER: I want to ask you a specific question, do you think anyone who advocates cutting these subsidies is un-American? Yes or no, sir. That one we deserve a yes or no answer on, it was your release that said “un-American.” Yes or no?

        MULVA: Senator, maybe you can hear me out on this because it’s a very important question.

        SCHUMER: Do you apologize for it?

        MULVA: Make no mistake, were these proposals enacted…they would place U.S. oil companies like our company…

        SCHUMER: Sir, I have limited time. I know your view. Do you consider it American to have another view? Yes or no?

        MULVA: Senator, I believe policies under consideration are going to have a very adverse impact with respect to energy policy.

        SCHUMER: There are many people who disagree with that. … Do any of you others consider it un-American to be against the subsidiy that you’re for? If you do, raise your hand?

        [No one raises their hand.]

        SCHUMER: Alright, thank you I appreciate the other four of you not labeling those who are different from you un-American.

    I'm the terror that blogs in the Night,. and the daytime too.

    by JML9999 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:44:32 AM PDT

    •  When Mulva cited energy policy he was referring (5+ / 0-)

      to Conoco Phillips policy, not US policy.  This happens when a group has so thoroughly internalized their political power that they think they are the US and not just a company doing business here.  That is what the SCOTUS bestowed upon them, so good for Schumer for making Mulva's knees buckle, however slightly.

    •  Funny (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, ColoTim, Matt Z
      I appreciate the other four of you not labeling those who are different from you un-American.

      Even though I think this is all a show; that was a good line.

      Question to those who know the answer: Could Obama (or any President) stop the Federal subsidies to big oil, or does it have to make its way through Congress?

      An Inspirational Poem: Follow me on Twitter @Sloopydrew! Tell me you're from DKos and I'll also follow you!

      by sloopydrew on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:55:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  screw subsidies, enact price controls and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, nicki37

    nationalize all firms that resist, with profits going to a national job-creation fund

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:50:22 AM PDT

  •  BIG OIL reining KINGS of Corporate Welfare (5+ / 0-)

    Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ Bill Moyers

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:51:07 AM PDT

    •  That's going to pique the ag industry. Not to (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, ColoTim, Red Bean, Matt Z

      mention the private health insurance industry.  There are some heavy weight contenders here and you're stepping on some very sensitive toes.

      "The worst that can happen to any group of people working to unseat an existing power base is their failure to imagine the lengths to which those in power will go to keep it." Cognitive Dissonance at Zero Hedge

      by CarolinNJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:05:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Big oil = welfare queen, thanks Joan for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dopeman, Matt Z

    the information.

    Rec'ed, big time!

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear and loathing.

    by a2nite on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:51:16 AM PDT

  •  Why isn't decreasing (9+ / 0-)

    entitlement benefits to the working poor (WIC, food stamps, Medicaid, etc.) deemed tax increases, but eliminating welfare to corporations are deemed tax increases?  I'm hoping one of our resident trolls can explain that to me.

    If the Republican answer is that the working poor don't pay taxes, neither do many corporations, including Big Oil.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:51:17 AM PDT

  •  Why didn't the Dems (6+ / 0-)

    do anything about this when they had the House, the Senate and the Presidency? When they all but know it won't get approved by the House they go full-bore. This reminds me of the Republicans in the House, when they have the safety net of a Dem controlled Senate,  passing all these Draconian anti-women, anti-gay, anti-everything red meat bills. The GOP is never this radical when they control ALL branches of Government. And the Democrats seem to only find courage when they're in a minority in at least the House or the Senate. I am really starting to think what's her name was right and this is all Kabuki theater.

    An Inspirational Poem: Follow me on Twitter @Sloopydrew! Tell me you're from DKos and I'll also follow you!

    by sloopydrew on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:51:56 AM PDT

    •  Assuming your Q isn't rhetorical (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CarolinNJ, sloopydrew

      I'll venture that the Democrats didn't propose any of this when they had full control BECAUSE they had full control and it may have actually happened. Notice that the LA Oil Princess has been silent on this? Because she knows it is a joke and her Big Oil masters are probably laughing their asses off at the idiots who take this kabuki seriously. Corporatists run this country and nothing happens without their approval. Nothing. And Obama and the Democrats haven't changed that one whit. And they aren't about to either. Vote for them if you want but don't pretend you don't know what you're getting this time.

      •  I don't think she's been silent (0+ / 0-)

        I believe she was on the Senate floor just yesterday begging on behalf of her benefactors....big oil.

        •  Sorry I Missed That (0+ / 0-)

          Landrieu's pleas on behalf of the corporatists are always heartwarming. And when it's Big Oil she really pulls out the stops. But it's just an act. Drill baby drill has won the day. Fuck the seafood.

          I was just in NOLA for the Jazzfest and for the first time in 20 years I didn't eat a shrimp, an oyster or a crab. Attendance was way down and people down there think all they need is a catchy slogan and sensible people will start gobbling poisoned fish. The Oil Princess doesn't give a damn about the fishers or the state. All she wants is money. Landrieu is the worst of the Republicrats because she is LITERALLY selling her state to Big Oil. She is a greedy pig who belongs in prison.

    •  per Schumer....'If the republicans are serious (0+ / 0-)

      about reducing deficits....etc'.

    •  What's her name is right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sloopydrew

      "The worst that can happen to any group of people working to unseat an existing power base is their failure to imagine the lengths to which those in power will go to keep it." Cognitive Dissonance at Zero Hedge

      by CarolinNJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:07:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Coming to that realization (0+ / 0-)

        Is goddamn depressing.

        So there's no hope for us, then? As long as we're not running some mega-corporation?

        An Inspirational Poem: Follow me on Twitter @Sloopydrew! Tell me you're from DKos and I'll also follow you!

        by sloopydrew on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:10:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not in the short run, no. These entrenchments (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wbgonne

          aren't easily dislodged.  I'm hoping for a quick plunge to the bottom because slowing sliding down is like having your throat cut with a very dull blade.  For my money, then--what's left of it--the quicker the better.  Once you hit bottom, there's no guarantee you'll reverse the trend, but the incentives to do so are as strong as they'll ever be so you chances of aggregating critical mass are as good as they'll ever be.

          "The worst that can happen to any group of people working to unseat an existing power base is their failure to imagine the lengths to which those in power will go to keep it." Cognitive Dissonance at Zero Hedge

          by CarolinNJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:20:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Agree (0+ / 0-)

            Collapse is inevitable so the sooner the better. Greens in 2012. Time to think about the future.

            •  I've surveyed the Greens, personally, and I don't (0+ / 0-)

              think they have a clue.  They're superannuated hippies, right out of the sixties Woodstock playbook.  Huge disappointment.  Why would you waste energy and money on national candidacies when you don't have local presences?  And Cynthia McKinney, a Democrat reject trying to get back into the game?  C'mon.  I do know of one effort, upper mid-West, I believe, to take over a local Green outfit and make something realistically political of it, but that's about it.  Oh, and Gavin Newsome in SF.  

              Different era, different necessities, but some people stay where they're comfortable, I guess.  I support their right to be exactly what they are, however, they're completely ineffective at getting their candidates into offices and I don't see them as a reasonable option.  I remind that the Greens in TX got onto the ballot by taking Republican money that was intended to, and succeeded in, bleeding off enough votes to defeat Bill White for TX governor.

              "The worst that can happen to any group of people working to unseat an existing power base is their failure to imagine the lengths to which those in power will go to keep it." Cognitive Dissonance at Zero Hedge

              by CarolinNJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 11:07:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What then? (0+ / 0-)

                I agree that the Greens are hamstrung by identity politics liberalism (so are the Democrats though they presently use those issues to grease their corporate agenda through the party apparachiks). The Greens  are decidedly anti-corporatist and that is the primary issue today. Plus, the Greens are the only viable third party at the moment. If something better comes along I'll be very happy but as of now: Greens in 2012!

                P.S., turns out the old hippies were correct about most everything.

                •  Yes, but we still arrived here. The old hippies (0+ / 0-)

                  are also ineffective.  And given how many of them there are, here doesn't speak well of them.  Personally, again, I think they're terminally self-involved and intellectually lazy, as a generation.  I'll certainly entertain examples of exceptions, but in aggregate, they're not impressive.

                  "The worst that can happen to any group of people working to unseat an existing power base is their failure to imagine the lengths to which those in power will go to keep it." Cognitive Dissonance at Zero Hedge

                  by CarolinNJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 11:59:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The Old Hippies (0+ / 0-)

                    abandoned their principles. They got bought off and bought out. They became yuppies and Reagan Democrats. Meanwhile, the Right Wing plotted to plutocratize the country. And they have succeeded. Which is how we got here. We know that. So I ask again: now what?  If not the Greens then who?

                    •  Excellent question. I have no ready answer. I'm (0+ / 0-)

                      open to a discussion, but it has to have the element of effectiveness in it.  Tilting at windmills is exhausting and not productive.

                      "The worst that can happen to any group of people working to unseat an existing power base is their failure to imagine the lengths to which those in power will go to keep it." Cognitive Dissonance at Zero Hedge

                      by CarolinNJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 01:03:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  But why stop at Big Oil? There's tax breaks (12+ / 0-)

    and subsidies galore all over the place for big corporations. GE pays no taxes. Citigroup, Carnival Cruise Lines, Boeing, all these and more pay little to no taxes/and or get subsidies on top of that.

    Make the Republican/Libertarians defend all of them. Another one every day.

    While we are at it, why not a confiscatory tax on the income of speculators in commodities? Big revenue there, or force the investments into the real world economy.


    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Thu May 12, 2011 at 09:53:08 AM PDT

  •  Stand up and be counted.....The subsidy is small (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Dopeman, OldDragon, ColoTim, Matt Z

    but the rethugs have talked themselves into a very stoopid situation.

  •  The tea party position against consumer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, CarolinNJ, ColoTim, Matt Z

    protections from banks and payday lenders was called "economic freedom" so I guess this will be 'transportation freedom' or 'vehicular freedom' or 'freedom of fluids' or something...

    Look. 30% of this country will ALWAYS vote Republican. I'm just asking why. Yes, paranoia, greed, and racism are fun but... -Bill Maher

    by Dopeman on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:00:07 AM PDT

  •  Didn't Congress go thru this set piece on the (0+ / 0-)

    McCarran-Ferguson Act antitrust exemption for insurance companies?  Is this really an attempt to reduce expensive subsidies or just contribution extortion?  Insurance's anti trust exemption is still in place.  I'll bet industry money is pouring into DC on this issue.  

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/...

    "The worst that can happen to any group of people working to unseat an existing power base is their failure to imagine the lengths to which those in power will go to keep it." Cognitive Dissonance at Zero Hedge

    by CarolinNJ on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:01:35 AM PDT

  •  Funny material today for Comedy Central (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, ColoTim, Matt Z

    Clips of big oil execs begging and threatening will make great snark.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:03:51 AM PDT

  •  Say no to big oil? Fat chance. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wbgonne, ColoTim, Matt Z

    The GOP is owned by Big Oil. It's not going to happen.

    -this space for rent-

    by EsnRedshirt on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:08:23 AM PDT

  •  The resources of a nation belong to the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, PsychoSavannah

    people.  Period.

    Corporations should only be entitled to purchased the rights to extract and process the resources at market rates.  As the market for oil is set globally, regaining some portion of the income from what is rightfully the people's resources is a step in the right direction that will have no impact on what people pay at the pump.

    "Government will be by the people and for the people. The wealth of the nation is for the nation. If the nation is deprived of its health and wealth, it will rise up.”"
    - World Teacher Maitreya through an associate as reported by Share Internationa
    l

  •  Oil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah

    exec: "The American people don't want shared sacrifice, they want shared prosperity." Wtf?! Its not like big oil is "sharing the prosperity" at the pump last time I checked.

  •  Really? Which "democrats"?? (0+ / 0-)

    five or six of them?

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:25:26 AM PDT

  •  Spare me the crocodile tears (0+ / 0-)

    and manufactured outrage. The same Dems who voted for those tax breaks? The same Dems who, when in control of congress and the WH declined to take action? The same Dems who now, with an election looming and gas prices threatening their agenda, find a scapegoat? Please ...

  •  This and their profits since 2000 (0+ / 0-)

    need to be repeated ad infinitum.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:39:45 AM PDT

  •  Corporate Welfare: (0+ / 0-)

    End it; don't mend it.

  •  BIG OIL is..... (0+ / 0-)

    THE WELFARE QUEEN the right doesn't whine about supporting... go figure

  •  Nationalize Big Oil (0+ / 0-)

    Nationalize big oil before it is to late.
    We always seem to be dragged around by the nose by these yahoos. Anything goes wrong in the world be it political or natural disaster and we are at their mercy, if they had any.
    This is way to big of a security loophole for our nation and too much responsibility for one industry.

    Somebody has to have the balls to take these companies on.

    F*ck those idiots and the voters they rode in on.

    by roninkai on Thu May 12, 2011 at 12:03:57 PM PDT

    •  Sorry, I think this is naive... (0+ / 0-)

      If there's not profit in domestic oil, oilco's will just spend their capital and provide jobs overseas. Which is worse, sending your dollars to Aramco or Exxon? If you really want to make a difference, buy less gasoline, promote alternatives (e.g. mass transit, efficient vehicles, electric vehicles). One way to do that is to make gasoline more expensive through taxes like Europe has done for 30 years. Nationalization goes the way of Venezuela and Mexico - diminished investment, reduced production. Yeah, yeah, Norway (StatOil) is a good model, but they compete in Norway with the IOC's and are partly publicly owned.

  •  I don't think Taxpayer Funded Big Oil Welfare (0+ / 0-)

    termination should be limited to just the five biggest companies on the public teat.  Let's end Taxpayer Funded Oil Company Welfare for all oil companies.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 12:34:57 PM PDT

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