Obama: End ‘Unwarranted’ Tax Giveaways to Big Oil
April 30, 2011
(ChattahBox Political News)—President Obama devoted his weekly address to calling for an end to billions in taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil. The oil companies are raking in obscene profits, while Americans struggle to pay for gas and put food on the table. And Republican lawmakers are further putting the squeeze on ordinary Americans, by balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class,while handing out tax cuts to the rich. Obama says its time to put an end to this insanity, saying “When oil companies are making huge profits and you’re struggling at the pump, and we’re scouring the federal budget for spending we can afford to do without, these tax giveaways aren’t right. They aren’t smart. And we need to end them.”
President Obama was careful to note that he wholeheartedly supports “America’s oil production” and “industry being rewarded for their success,” but draws the line at handing Big Oil $4 billion a year in subsidies, when they don’t need them.
“Now, I don’t have a problem with any company or industry being rewarded for their success. The incentive of healthy profits is what fuels entrepreneurialism and helps drives our economy forward. But I do have a problem with the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies we’ve been handing out to oil and gas companies – to the tune of $4 billion a year,” said Obama.
He is calling on Congress to end the oil subsidies, once and for all.
“That’s why, earlier this week, I renewed my call to Congress to stop subsidizing the oil and gas industries. Understand, I’m not opposed to producing oil. I believe that if we’re serious about meeting our energy challenge, we need to operate on all cylinders, and that means pursuing a broad range of energy policies, including safe and responsible oil production here at home. In fact, last year, America’s oil production reached its highest level since 2003.”
Obama also renewed his support for the development of clean, alternative energy sources that would also create jobs.
“Now, I know that in this tough fiscal environment, it’s tempting for some in Washington to want to cut our investments in clean energy. And I absolutely agree that the only way we’ll be able to afford the things we need is if we cut the things we don’t, and live within our means. But I refuse to cut things like clean energy that will help America win the future by growing our economy and creating good-paying jobs; that will help make America more secure; and that will help clean up our planet in the process. An investment in clean energy today is an investment in a better tomorrow. And I think that’s an investment worth making,” Obama said.
Last month House Republicans voted against a motion to end Big Oil subsidies. And in response to demands from Democrats to hold a vote on ending the $4 billion tax giveaways, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said no way. Boehner views the elimination of oil subsidies, as a “tax increase,” according to The Hill newspaper.
“The Speaker wants to increase the supply of American energy to lower gas prices and create millions of American jobs,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in an email. “Raising taxes will not do that.”
Exxon Mobil Corp. just posted a $10.7 billion profit for the first quarter of 2011, which is a 69 percent increase from last year.
Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a statement after Exxon Mobil announced its earnings, saying “There is no reason American taxpayers should subsidize Big Oil’s profits.”
Photo Source: White House Photo by Samantha Appleton.