Senate Democrats

How It’s Playing: Editorial Boards Across The Country Slam Republicans For Protecting Taxpayer-Funded Giveaways To Big Oil, Instead Of Using The Money To Pay Down The Deficit

Local Editorial Boards Not Buying Spin From Republicans And Oil Company CEOs

Lakeland, Florida Editorial: “Speaker Boehner Had It Right The First Time When He Said Big Oil Companies Don’t Need Those Tax Breaks”

Wall Street Journal Editorial: “Maybe Mr. Mulva Should Work On Being A Better American”

Philadelphia Daily News: We Should Cut The Deficit By Ending Giveaways To Oil Companies, Not by Ending Medicare.These companies are swimming in profits. The big five who were questioned in Washington yesterday booked $36 billion in profits just for the past quarter. Yet, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson whined that taking away subsidies would mean fewer explorations and less production, leading to higher prices at the pump. This was curious. First they tell us they can’t control an international market that sets oil prices. So why would losing a tax break that adds about 2 percent to their annual profits have an instant impact on pump prices?” LINK

Jackson Clarion Ledger: Oil Profits: Tax Breaks Raise Ire. “Meanwhile, in 2006, Exxon Mobil Corp. posted record profits for any U.S. company in history – $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter and $36.13 billion for the year. In 2008, it broke its own record with $11.68 billion in the second quarter. Then, did it again with $14.83 billion in the third quarter. The other oil companies profited immensely, as well. What goes up … stays up? And U.S. taxpayers are adding to the companies’ profits? While tea party Republicans attack middle-class tax breaks and the social safety net for the elderly, the sick and the poor? And want more tax breaks for the rich? That’s fiscal responsibility?LINK

Las Vegas Sun: Who Needs Subsidies? “Republicans are taking the oil companies’ view. They say the bill wouldn’t lower the prices at the pump, but if that’s true, what’s the point of giving the subsidies? The Republicans also complain that the Democrats are trying to raise taxes, but Democrats just want them to pay their fair share. … The fact is the oil industry can and should pay more. Congress should pass the bill. It’s disgusting that Republicans are letting the oil companies gorge themselves while average Americans get stuck with the bill.” LINK

Louisville Courier Journal Editorial: Big Oil’s Breaks. “Late last month, ExxonMobil announced it had made almost $11 billion in the first few months of 2011, an improvement of about 70 percent over the same time last year. Ditto Shell: more than $6 billion net income in the first quarter, 22 percent higher than in the same quarter last year. So why, some may ask, haven’t the tax breaks given to big oil companies — some of those sweeteners in place since the 1920s — become part of the scything operation as congressional deficit hawks go after Planned Parenthood, Medicare and whole executive departments in their zeal to cut spending?LINK

Miami Herald: On Tax Fairness And Loopholes. “In a scene reminiscent of the congressional hearing where tobacco company executives innocently denied that nicotine is addictive, oil company executives solemnly told Congress last week that their exorbitant profits are no big deal. One even suggested that closing big oil’s tax loopholes is somehow ‘un-American.’ Tell that to Americans struggling to make ends meet as they cope with $4-a-gallon gasoline and the economy gets hit with a sudden inflationary spike because of rising fuel prices. Meanwhile, oil companies report record earnings. To top it off BP acknowledges that taxpayers, in effect, are being asked to pick up part of the cost for BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.” LINK

Wall Street Journal: Big ‘Un-American’ Oil. “The five oil companies bagged more than $35 billion in profits in the first quarter, noted Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the committee chairman. That puts them on track for record profits of more than $100 billion this year. Eliminating some tax deductions, by contrast, aims to raise about $2 billion a year. And this has got Mr. Mulva hurling the ‘un-American’ bomb? Maybe Mr. Mulva should work on being a better American.LINK

San Jose Mercury News: Oil Industry Reaping Benefits On Massive Campaign Contributions. “In the first quarter of 2011, the five largest multinational oil companies made nearly $36 billion in profits; they need taxpayer support like Warren Buffett needs welfare. Subsidies of this magnitude should be reserved for industries that serve a compelling national interest but are not yet profitable. And yet Senate Republicans who say debt and deficits are their top priority want to continue funneling taxpayer dollars to companies piling up massive profits, even as Congress cuts funding for food stamps and schools.LINK

Lakeland Ledger: Big Oil Companies: Tax Breaks Not Needed. “On April 28, Exxon, Mobil and Shell reported ‘huge increases in their first-quarter profit … helped by higher oil prices and earnings from refining,’ reported The New York Times. In other words, while Americans are paying more at the pump to feed big oil’s profit margins, they continue to hand some of the most profitable companies in the world something like $4 billion a year in tax subsidies. Speaker Boehner had it right the first time when he said big oil companies don’t need those tax breaks. Obama has challenged Congress to side with the taxpayers against the oil lobby. The only question is, whose side is Congress on?” LINK

Longview Daily News: Big Oil Can Survive Without Federal Assistance. “There’s no doubt that earnings and profits are high. The six largest American oil companies returned profits of an aggregate $80 billion in 2010 and are well ahead of that schedule for 2011, with Exxon’s first-quarter profits exceeding $10.6 billion. At the same time, this immensely profitable industry remains entrenched at the front of the government welfare line, collecting an estimated $5 billion per year in outright government subsidies and tax abatements and perhaps another $3 or $4 billion in other special favors and considerations on the federal and state levels.” LINK

Santa Fe New Mexican: Ending Oil Subsidies Makes Fiscal Sense. “Republicans striking fiscally responsible poses are focusing on that ogre known as the federal debt. Forget that their party, and their party’s president, spun us from surplus to deficit in the course of eight years; they must cut spending — and keep financial burdens on the middle and lower classes. Well, looked at properly, the oil-business subsidies amount to spending — so here’s your chance, elephants, to take a nice bite out of it .” LINK

Cape Cod Times: End Oil Subsidies. “The sticker shock we are feeling at the gasoline pumps is a serious drag on efforts to restart the sputtering economy. With U.S. gas prices averaging more than $4 per gallon — and considerably more in many places on the Cape and Islands — filling the tank is tipping $50 or more. … At a time when the most basic human service programs are being slashed and Americans are pinching every penny, it is extremely difficult to see the logic in continuing the subsidies for an industry that is demonstrating it clearly doesn’t need the support.LINK

Joplin Globe: Another Place To Cut Spending. “When we pay our monthly bills at home, we follow a budget and spend only what we bring in. So when our budgets get lean and we have to cut back, we look at unnecessary spending. Maybe that means we buy hamburger instead of steak. We get generic items instead of name-brand items. The federal government has a chance to cut $2 billion annually for the next decade by rescinding government subsidies to the five largest oil companies in the world, according to a bill sponsored by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon and Shell reported profits of $32 billion in the first quarter alone. So we support McCaskill’s idea to get those subsidies back.LINK

San Francisco Chronicle: Big Oil’s Money Gusher. “ExxonMobil’s first-quarter earnings of $10.7 billion are up 69 percent from last year. Other oil companies are also scoring record gains. The five biggest oil companies together report more than $35 billion in profits. This gusher is an embarrassment for an industry seeking to keep its $4 billion annual tax subsidy from the U.S. government. It’s especially embarrassing at a time when Americans are paying $4 a gallon or more at the pump.” LINK

Houston Chronicle: Let’s Cut Off The Subsidies To Profitable Oil Companies. “These subsidies cannot be defended. With the evidence against them piling up and oil companies reporting huge profits, the tide finally may be turning against the subsidies. Let’s hope that as momentum builds to end giveaways to big oil, it will be the beginning of an energy policy that relies less on an industry that rakes in huge profits while it takes from Americans on their tax returns and at the pump.” LINK