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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 03.04.11
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

Fill 'er up!

Earlier this week I filled up my car with gas: fourteen gallons at $3.359 for a total of $47.03. The price of oil in New York on March 2 was $101 per barrel. In 2008, which was a recession year, Exxon Mobile and Shell made profits of $45 billion and $26 billion respectively. And, as far as I can tell, Exxon paid no federal tax in 2009.

Despite all of that, the House of Representatives budget bill, which has spending cuts for public radio and television, global disaster and refugee relief, port security in New York and New Jersey and, oh yes, Planned Parenthood, does not address corporate subsidies.

The House Democrats offered a Motion to Recommit to the House the short-term spending bill to add a cut to the budget that would end to taxpayer-funded subsidies to large oil companies, such as Exxon and Shell. The estimates of these subsidy range from $10 billion to $52 billion per year. President Obama offered to include a cut of $4 billion in the legislation.

House Republicans voted unanimously against the motion, defeating it by a vote of 176-249.

The smell of hypocrisy is in the air. Yes, we need to get our fiscal house in order and the Republicans are ready to slash funding in education, health care, job training, and national security, but they're not willing to end the $10-52 billion of subsidies to the oil industry? But the $346 million to Planned Parenthood, well...

Next time you go to the pump for your $4 a gallon gas, remember that in 2010 the oil companies gave House Republicans $5.8 Million and House Democrats $2.7 million. And, that money only buys access.

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