The measure appears to try to punish the oil and gas industry by taking away basic business expense deductions, said Republican Senator Jim DeMint and Republican Representative Mike Pompeo.
"It should be the same regardless of what business you're in," DeMint said.
Pompeo and DeMint want to end expiring tax incentives for wind and solar energy production, tax credits that are supported by Obama.
The American Petroleum Institute, an oil industry group, denies the industry receives any subsidies or makes current use of any special tax credits or deductions. The industry pays more of its profits in taxes than other manufacturing companies, the API said.
Let's start with agricultural subsidies. The oil will still be in the ground where we can drill for it. But I hate the idea that we're paying money to people to not grow corn.
Oil yes, agriculture... not so sure. Those subsidies result in HFCS in all the food, but my feeling is that their real purpose is to ensure that farmland stays in productive use regardless of whether the market supports it, thus when disaster strikes (here or elsewhere in the world) causing disruption to markets or transport or crops, there is a reserve of food production on hand. Kind of like the national strategic oil reserve.
Devil's Advocacy Warning: the subsidies are coming from (progressive) income taxes, and the elimination of them will cause the energy companies to raise prices to maintain profitability. Since the poor presumably spend a higher proportion of their income on energy than the rich, won't elimination of these subsidies will hurt the poor more that the rich?
In the U.S., there are only about 960,000 persons claiming farming as their principal occupation.
There are more than 100,000 employees of the Department of Agriculture. There are thousands more employees of various state agriculture commissions (e.g. California, the biggest state, has 2,300 employees).
And I'm posting too much, so I'll shut up now, but I can't emphasize enough how important the size difference is. you might look at jedicus' OECD chart and think" yeah but Germany is a big country and gas is very expensive there." Yes it's a large economy but population density-wise it's a different universe. Germany is roughly half the size of Texas. It has 1/4 the US population living in an area 1/26 the size of the US.
This should be a cross party issue. No more subsidies for oil (or agriculture.)
posted by lstanley at 12:02 on May 11 [4 favorites +] [!]
So, for every 9 farmers out there, there's a bureaucrat.
We'd be better off if they left their desks and went out pulling weeds.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 13:19 on May 11 [2 favorites +] [!]
America’s system of rail freight is the world’s best...
America’s railways are the mirror image of Europe’s. Europe has an impressive and growing network of high-speed passenger links, many of them international, like the Thalys service between Paris and Brussels or the Eurostar connecting London to the French and Belgian capitals. These are successful—although once the (off-balance-sheet) costs of building the tracks are counted, they need subsidies of billions of dollars a year. But, outside Germany and Switzerland, Europe’s freight rail services are a fragmented, lossmaking mess.
Amtrak’s passenger services are sparse compared with Europe’s. But America’s freight railways are one of the unsung transport successes of the past 30 years. They are universally recognised in the industry as the best in the world.
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