Tim Carney writing at the Examiner exposes the Democrat's plans to end tax subsidies for oil companies as little more than punishing a politically unpopular industry:
First of all, the bill doesn't touch our two biggest oil subsidies -- massive federal spending on highways, which promote driving, and a trillion dollars on wars to prop up favorable regimes in the Mideast and North Africa.
But the first sign this bill isn't about fairness is that taxes are raised only on "oil companies with gross receipts in excess of $1 billion in a taxable year and an average daily worldwide production of crude oil of at least 500,000 barrels a year." In other words, this bill would create one set of tax laws for most oil companies, and another set for Exxon, Chevron, Conoco, Shell and BP.
And most of the tax changes amount to straightforward discrimination against these companies.
The biggest tax break benefiting the oil industry is the domestic production tax credit. As far as subsidies in the tax code, this one is fairly broad. You get this tax break if you manufacture anything in the United States, or harvest timber, grow crops, mine for coal -- or pull oil or gas out of the ground. Obama and congressional Democrats haven't proposed a repeal of the domestic production tax credit (which would actually advance tax neutrality). They're instead fighting to exclude the big five oil companies from it. Coal companies would still get this subsidy under the Democrats' proposals, as would oil companies producing no more than 499,999 barrels a year.
At a time when the nation is reeling from high gas prices, what sense is there in making the commodity it is based on even more expensive?
None, but it sure makes the Democrat's core constituency of envious liberals feel good.