Financial Water Torture

2 Apr

Today’s link is brought to us by thinkprogress.org.

In 51-47 Vote, Senate Republicans Protect Big Oil Subsidies As Gasoline Profits Soar.

I’m disappointed the bill didn’t pass, but not for the reason you’d think. I like oil and gas and I like what they do and how they let me live my life. I want cheaper gas for two  reasons, 1) cause it means we’ve strengthened the dollar to get it cheaper, and 2) so I can drive a high-octane guzzling piece of classic Detroit steel.

Oil subsidies should be cut, in this case $24 billion for the five biggest companies in that field. The common reply to the idea of cutting subsidies is that the cost is simply passed on to consumers. This is certainly true. No company would let it’s margins take a hit without at least thinking of alternatives measures.

But I’d rather pay straight up for the extra cost through the price, rather than through what the government taxes me for it. Seems fair.

Why not go a step further while Congress and the President have their eyes and ears tuned to a subsidy debate and see what other industries are getting government support.

  • $15-35 Billion a year for agriculture, over 60% of which goes to commercial scale farming operations
  • $721 Billion was the original DoD budget for 2011, while I could not find subsidy information, surely it exits in such a large program
  • $70 Billion for K-12 education programs and administrivia
  • $30 Billion for Higher education programs
  • $11 Billion for Ethanol Excise Tax Credit
  • $5 Billion for Renewable Energy Credit
  • $125 Billion for varied Health and Human Services subsidies
  • $30 Billion for HUD

That’s only 8 of the 15 major federal departments. Also could be included is Commerce, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, DOT, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs. That’s still being generous considering there are countless other government offices and organizations that don’t even fit into those departments.

I’m not advocating we cut all these services from the government. I am however suggesting that if we are to cut subsidies on Energy, we should cut subsidies everywhere. It’s the only fair way to do it. As much as the President wants to vilify the oil companies the truth is that everybody needs to tighten up and make some budget cuts and favoritism simply cannot be tolerated.

However that might prove to be difficult since the Presidents proposed 2013 budget of 3.7 Trillion dollars, was absolutely destroyed in the House last week 414-0.

Though according to the White House,

The President’s 2013 Budget is built around the idea that our country does best when everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules. We must transform our economy from one focused on speculating, spending, and borrowing to one constructed on the solid foundation of educating, innovating, and building. That begins with putting the Nation on a path to living within our means – by cutting wasteful spending, asking all Americans to shoulder their fair share, and making tough choices on some things we cannot afford, while keeping the investments we need to grow the economy and create jobs

In a way that makes sense. Everyone gets a fair shot, because everyone gets everything they want, like a whiny 16-year old birthday queen. That’s why we play by the same rules, the rules that were written based on one persons declared interests.

As of this morning the Federal Deficit is $15.6 Trillion dollars and the 2013 budget proposed by the President would add an approximate $1 Trillion to that existing tally.

While the Federal deficit grows by $5 billion dollars a day, the best we can do is try and cut $24 billion over time?

With figures like these I wonder just what the White House means when it refers to “tough choices on things we can’t afford, while keeping the investments we need to grow the economy”? There’s not going to be an economy left if it’s crashed it into the ground, but what do I know.

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