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Shrinking Government the Tea Party Way

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March 01, 2011 – Comments (17)

House GOP Says ‘So Be It’ To Taxpayers, Votes Unanimously to Protect Big Oil Subsidies

House Republicans voted in lockstep this afternoon to protect corporate welfare for Big Oil, even as they call for draconian cuts to programs that everyday Americans depend on each day.  As the House of Representatives moved toward approving a stopgap resolution to avert a government shutdown for another two weeks, Democrats offered a motion to recommit that would have stripped the five largest oil companies of taxpayer subsidies, saving tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds.  The motion failed on a vote of 176-249, with all Republicans voting against (approximately a dozen Democrats joined the GOP). A similar vote two weeks ago to recoup $53 billion in taxpayer funds from Big Oil was also voted down, largely along party lines. The former CEO of Shell Oil, John Hoffmeister, recently said Big Oil doesn’t need subsidies “in face of sustained high oil prices.”  From 2005 to 2009, the largest oil companies have made a combined $485 billion in profits.

 

A couple of weeks ago I pointed out the tea party voted against freedom and extended the patriot acts most intrusive provisions into Americans privacy. It was pointed out to me that the tea party did not run on "freedom" but fiscal responsibility and small Gov so any expectation I have of "freedom" was misplaced with the Tea Party.

Now they've blown this one too..

But I have always believed that their platform would bring a corporation owned Congress. Handouts to Shell, teachers go to h*ll.

Maybe it would be better for me if oil subsidys were slowly shifted to fund renewable energy. Solar panels on my roof could save me my entire electric bill, and my gas bill if I have an electric car. Sadly the economy would shrink, but lowering my expenses would be good for me and remove my demand for the oil you want to buy.

And its not like they ended the handout in the name of fiscal responsibility.

I could have gotten behind you on this one.

Best wishes,

Steven

17 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 01, 2011 at 9:48 PM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

Why the Tea Party headline about a thread stating what Republicans did?

You do know that they are 2 different parties right?

Not that I agree with either one of them, but I'm at least moral enough to not try to paint a Tea party picture with a Republican brush.

It would be better for you and everyone else if subsidies weren't shifted. It would be better if they were ended. Period!

No subsidies for indviduals or corporations.

While we're at it, we can get rid of the patriot act too. 

Solar panels on my roof could save me my entire electric bill, and my gas bill if I have an electric car. Sadly the economy would shrink, but lowering my expenses would be good for me and remove my demand for the oil you want to buy

You got this part right! So go out and buy some freakin solar panels already and stop waiting for a sugar daddy to buy them for you!

If it's a good idea, you shouldn't need any extra incentive.

Are your ideals genuine or are you just out to get a little cash in the transaction? 

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#2) On March 01, 2011 at 10:46 PM, checklist34 (99.71) wrote:

I am so with those opposed to the big oil subsidies on this one.  Rec

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#3) On March 02, 2011 at 6:01 AM, dbjella (< 20) wrote:

I liken the Tea Party as an influencer of both parties.  I think they are a movement similar to the green movement.  Could they have johnny come latelys or people who try to speak on their behalf?  Certainly.  But, I believe this is a group of people that focus on debt and its unseen impacts on our future.  As with most things in life it is hard to quantify if we are truly worse off with more debt, but I got to tell you it sure feels wrong.  If someone can explain to me how diverting more and more tax money every year to paying interest is a good idea, then I am all ears.  I just don't see it.

I really don't see a difference between Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama. They all like to spend money and lots of it.  I would like to see a smaller Federal gov't.  If State gov't got bigger, then I would at least stand a chance with my vote.  

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#4) On March 02, 2011 at 7:28 AM, devoish (96.00) wrote:

Chris,

Because the Tea Party candidates ran as Republicans and voted unanimously to continue the subsidys. Because not one single Republican - Tea Party or not - voted to end the subsidys, they painted themselves.

But, I believe this is a group of people that focus on debt and its unseen impacts on our future. - dbjella

I agree they said they would.

But they just voted to extend billions to the most profitable industry in existence. And the most profitable industry in existence gave millions to their campaigns. Its not even like they tried to spend that money to give as many people as possible healthcare opportunitys.

The biggest sign of a difference I see in those five Presidents is how loud the campaign against Government in general was. Taking Bush and Obama as the most recent examples, we were threatened as "unamerican" if we were not patriotic in our support for funding a war - at taxpayer expense - that effectively handed Iraqi oil over to privately held oil companys. Defend America!

Now a fortune is being spent - by oil companys, - to tell me how bad American Government is when liberals try to move subsidys from oil over to renewable energy. With the threat of really increasing taxpayer support for renewables, there is a huge campaign based upon the idea that renewables subsidys are bad, Government is unable, government is an evil thief.

And those same voices just voted their conscience.

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#5) On March 02, 2011 at 8:26 AM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

They didn't vote against getting rid of the subsidy. They voted against moving it to something else. That's a big difference.

The Tea party didn't exist when the subsidy was created.

Now go buy your solar panels.

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#6) On March 02, 2011 at 9:48 AM, devoish (96.00) wrote:

Chris,

Rather than balance the budget they gave taxpayer money into the control of a few oil company executives rather than not spend it at all.

I would have prefferred to see that money collected in taxes and spent on renewables, rather than borrowed and given to those executives.

But the vote was not what to spend the money on, it was whether or not to spend it.

 

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#7) On March 02, 2011 at 9:54 AM, Melaschasm (57.59) wrote:

What oil subsidies?

From the stories linked in the O.P.  "Seek to recover funds from faulty drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico that allow oil companies to drill without paying any royalties." 

That is not a subsidy, it is a tax increase.  The specific drilling leases being discussed were given away during the Clinton years to encourage domestic exploration at a time when oil prices were low.  To break these contracts would be like when Venezuela seized property that belonged to foreign oil companies. These companies must still pay a variety of taxes from their drilling operations.  It is just one specific royalty which is not being paid.

Some of the other Big Oil subsidies:

1. Corn Ethanol subsidies

2. Research grants to reduce CO2 emissions

3. Lower taxes than some oil producing countries. 

Politicians try to make it sound like the US government is sending a check to oil companies, when the reality is that we collect more taxes from oil companies than most other domestic companies.  I would like to see reform of the US oil regulations, but breaking previous contracts is not the way to deal with the problem.

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#8) On March 02, 2011 at 1:15 PM, devoish (96.00) wrote:

Former Shell Ceo John Hoffmeister agrees that oil is subsidized.

"Seek to recover funds from faulty drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico that allow oil companies to drill without paying any royalties." 

That is renegotiating current lease contracts alongside new leases as the carrot. if the price is to steep - just say no.

Tax breaks targeted specifically to oil company activities is a subsidy specifically targeted to oil companys, whether  a check was written to the oil company, or not written by the oil company.

It also concerns me that we subsidise drilling rig leases paid to companys with Caymen Island P.O. boxes.

but breaking previous contracts is not the way to deal with the problem  And yet we struggle to also apply that principle to SSI and medicare.

Best wishes,

Steven

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#9) On March 02, 2011 at 1:34 PM, dargus (82.59) wrote:

You got this part right! So go out and buy some freakin solar panels already and stop waiting for a sugar daddy to buy them for you!

The subsidies given to oil companies, as well as other fossil fuel industries, artificially lower the market price and make solar not economically viable in comparison. I think we have a right to complain about that.

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#10) On March 02, 2011 at 2:12 PM, Melaschasm (57.59) wrote:

After reading my comment, I don't think I explained my position.

Yes I was being critical of politicians misleading the people about the nature of oil subsidies, but I also should have said.

Should we get rid of ethanol subisidies?  YES

Should we get rid of government CO2 reduction research?  YES

Should we auction future drilling contracts to the highest bidder?  YES

The tea party people should introduce legistlation that gets rid of oil subsidies, but without the contract negation or other poison pills that are buried in the democrat bill. 

In fact I would go further and state that the House should pass every spending cut Obama asks for, without the tax & spending increases that Obama wants to include in such bills.  Let us see if he really is willing to cut spending.

PS Devoish, you are starting to sound like Sara Palin.  Sara's big claim to fame was identifying corruption in Alaska.  The oil & gas regulator was taking bribes to give oil companies sweatheart deals.  She exposed the corruption, then negotiated new contracts that were much more favorable for Alaska.  This made her so popular that she was able to become governor, and enjoy better than 60% popularity for the two years prior to McCain's unfortunate decision to pick her as VP.

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#11) On March 02, 2011 at 4:08 PM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

The subsidies given to oil companies, as well as other fossil fuel industries, artificially lower the market price and make solar not economically viable in comparison. I think we have a right to complain about that.

Yes you do! And you should! But in the same sentence don't plead for a solar subsidy.

All subsidies are bad. Taxpayers should not foot the bill for anyone's pet projects.

 

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#12) On March 02, 2011 at 5:33 PM, devoish (96.00) wrote:

All subsidies are bad. Taxpayers should not foot the bill for anyone's pet projects,

No. Elected Government should not abandon common sense and elected representation in favor of any other form of decision making.

Should we get rid of ethanol subisidies?  YES

Slowly as oil climbs.

Should we get rid of government CO2 reduction research?  YES

What does that mean?

Should we auction future drilling contracts to the highest bidder?  YES

NO. We should do our best to calculate the ongoing environmental and health costs of continued fossil fuel burning and set a price based upon that research.

You need to describe whatever it is you mean by "poison pills".

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#13) On March 02, 2011 at 8:11 PM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

devoish, I finally read the text for the motion to recommit and I agree that the Tea party candidates that voted against this should be chastised for doing so.

I saw nothing in the text that was glaring reason to vote against.

Still, we should vote against all subsidies.

And not a slow withdrawl either! No taxpayer should support ANY industry with his/her tax dollars.

One thing that I'm wondering is why you didn't mention the 13 Democrats that voted against it as well. Is their sin any less evil?

If you are going to paint this as the Tea Party platform, you should at least mention that those 13 Democrats have more votes than the Tea Party have against the motion.

 

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#14) On March 03, 2011 at 7:52 AM, devoish (96.00) wrote:

Chris,

Over 40 Tea Party candidates were elected. 100% of them voted to subsidize an entrenched oil interest. The financial backing for the Tea Party came in large part from the oil industry, and that equals a power grab by private companys, not small government.

The 13 Democrats represent less than 8% of their party, and the group that voted with Republicans for the last two years.

My disrespect for some of the Dems comes from failing to accomplish a reduction in oil subsidys between 2008 and 2010. It does not take courage to show your constituents that you  "voted your conscience" when you know you cannot win.

Just like I have not been impressed by your support for policys that first benefit a wealthy few in the name of small Government. This time those of us with investment income should tighten our belts first.

Best wishes,

Steven

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#15) On March 03, 2011 at 8:41 AM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

Really? I'm also against the oil subsidies. Could you please explain to me how I'm in support of the wealthy few Steven?

That brush you paint those pictures with just seems to be getting wider and wider.

I'm really interested on how you are going to twist my having that same viewpoint on a subsidy as you do as my wanting to support the wealthy.

I've got a feeling that you are going to change the topic, but I would really like to see how my stance on oil subsidies supports the wealthy.

Please Steven,

Enlighten me.

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#16) On March 03, 2011 at 9:00 AM, Melaschasm (57.59) wrote:

Should we get rid of government CO2 reduction research?  YES

What does that mean?

This is one of the 'oil subsidies' that some democrats want to eliminate.  It is a vague term that allows the government to fund a vast array of potential ways to reduce oil related CO2 emissions.

This funding can be used to research new catalitic converter technology that reduces CO2, or a new refining technique so that less CO2 is released when crude is converted to unleaded gas.

Poison Pills is a common technique used by both parties.  For example, when the democrats are hammering republicans for opposing an increase in the minimum wage, the republicans might add a ban on abortion to the minimum wage increase so they can vote for it, while the democrats will be forced to vote against a wage increase.  Or the democrats could add a section to a bill that could require all day care providers to join a union as part of a bill that cuts spending on food stamps to force the republicans to vote against cutting spending on food stamps.

In this case undoing contracts the Clinton administration signed with oil companies is one of the poison pills that democrats added to discourage tea party candidates and other republicans from voting to eliminate 'oil subsidies'.

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#17) On March 06, 2011 at 7:51 AM, devoish (96.00) wrote:

Just like I have not been impressed by your support for policys that first benefit a wealthy few in the name of small Government. This time those of us with investment income should tighten our belts first.

You are correct, that does refer to a seperate subject. It refers to your claiming you think Governments role is to enforce contracts, and then wanting to favor GM bondholders by breaking a contract between GM's union workers and GM.

Melaschasm,

Thanks.

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