In his speech on April 30th, President Obama expressed his opposition to oil and gas company tax subsidies. He said,
I do have a problem with unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that we have been handing out to oil and gas companies…These tax giveaways aren’t right. They aren’t smart, and we need to end them.
With rising gas prices at the pump and the oil companies reporting record high profits, the President’s statement sounds reasonable and even laudable. But, as always, one needs to look more closely at the rhetoric to expose the hypocrisy of this Administration.
The logic of the first part of his statement—that he has a problem with “unwarranted taxpayer subsidies”—would be laudable if it were not laughable on closer examination. Of course he qualifies his statement as taxpayer subsidies being unwarranted when given to oil and gas companies. The issue for President Obama is not whether taxpayer subsidies are right or smart, but which companies this President says deserve taxpayer subsidies. So oil companies are not on his list of deserving companies, but did he protest about Acorn receiving taxpayer monies, or about General Electric not paying any taxes? That would seem a comparable argument, and let’s not forget organizations like Planned Parenthood, or NPR. Did President Obama protest our taxpayer monies going to those institutions? Not to mention the stimulus money that sent our hard-earned money to Paris (France) to research fruit flies, or to California to subsidize the removal of tattoos–all in the name of “stimulating our economy.”
It would be hard to find anyone in this country arguing that we are paying too little at the pumps and that the oil companies are a large part to blame. And the point here is not whether or not the oil and gas companies should continue to receive taxpayer subsidies; the point here is the hypocrisy of a President of who spends our money as if it grows on trees (in his defense, the paper does) and then vilifies an industry to gain brownie points in the public arena. But then, what should we expect from an Administration that is dropping in popularity but says it is leading from behind. As with many things this President says, it may sound good on the surface but when you really think about it and common sense kicks in, you may find yourself either laughing or throwing something at the TV.