Rep. Graves calls GOPs billions in oil subsidies “market manipulation,” forgets he voted to extend them

Lee Fang, in a ThinkProgress repost:

In February and again in March, Republicans in the House of Representatives, on a largely party-line roll call, voted to extend tens of billions in taxpayer subsidies to big oil companies. At the sparsely attended “Continuing Revolution” Tea Party rally on Thursday calling for more budget cuts, we talked to a number of attendees about their thoughts on Republicans giving so much taxpayer money away to already ultra-profitable oil companies. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) was among the many lawmakers to vote twice to extend over $50 billion in taxpayer subsidies to the oil companies:

– House Vote 153 on H.J.Res.44: Graves voted to extend billions in oil subsidies.

– House Vote 109 on H.R.1: Graves voted to extend billions in oil subsidies.

However, when we caught up with Graves yesterday, he said he had no idea that the vote had taken place. He didn’t seem to remember voting for them. In fact, after pressing the congressman, Graves called the idea of giving oil companies taxpayer subsidies “a manipulation of the market place”:

FANG: Four billion dollars in oil subsidies that the Congress just passed to extend for the next ten years maybe forty billion for the next ten years to oil companies. Do you agree with that type of subsidy given the state our budget and deficit?

GRAVES: Uh, when was that passed? I’m not aware of what you’re speaking.

FANG: It was in the continuing resolution debate. I think the Democrats raised a point of order to vote on it and it passed.

GRAVES: Hm. Yeah as far as subsidies, I mean I believe in the free market system all together, the capitalism system one hundred percent. Let the markets determine who is going to succeed throughout the market place.

KEYES: Do you think those subsidies are an aberration of the free market?

GRAVES: I mean they definitely influence the market place. Its somewhat of a manipulation of the market place if products aren’t willing, aren’t able to succeed on their own because of consumer demand and likeness of that product then why should government get in there and manipulate it?

Republicans have convinced the media and the Tea Party movement that they are concerned about the deficit. Even as the GOP has voted in lockstep to balloon the deficit with billions in tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires, they have used concerns about the deficit to justify cutting food stamps, Pell grants, the Weather Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other consumer and middle class protections. The billions in oil subsidies Graves voted to protect “” then forgot about “” is part of the same ideology of soaking the poor to help the rich.

4 Responses to Rep. Graves calls GOPs billions in oil subsidies “market manipulation,” forgets he voted to extend them

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    The Democrats were handed the perfect issue here. Truman would have humiliated the Republicans over this. Instead, we got a weak protest from Obama, followed by a surrender, and nothing from Congress, now that Feingold is gone.

  2. CW says:

    I’m having trouble believing that he “forgot” that vote …

    What about the non-politicians there? Did Lee get a chance to ask them what they thought of the vote to keep oil subsidies in place? Did any of them know about it? For those who hadn’t heard about it, how many believed Lee when told them for the first time? Were they asked what would they need to see or hear to believe that the vote happened? Or who would have to inform them for them to accept that the vote occurred? Were they asked how much government subsidy of big, established industries they think takes place? Whether they think that it is right or wrong to subsidize some industries or sectors but not others?

    I mean, how sophisticated or unsophisticated is the thinking here? Do they care less about industrial subsidies but hate certain social subsidies? Are subsidies to them okay, but not to others?

    If they did come to accept that Republicans who claim to not want to distort the free market, routinely and even zealously subsidize the biggest and most established of industries would that change their voting patterns?

  3. Solar Jim says:

    This type of fraud is but one of many indications that the Koch supported tea movement, the Republican Global Oil Party and much of so-called Democrats are, in reality, corporate plutocrats who have zero interest in the American commonwealth. The people who are accelerating climate change are the rich ones and most politically powerful. Their lies are blatant.

  4. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The character of elected representatives under late capitalist plutocracy is a wonder to behold. I am old enough to remember when, in Australian politics, to be caught out lying was a very big deal. Parliamentarians were, even though mostly imbeciles and ideologues on the Right, and excruciatingly ‘moderate’ ‘social democrats’ on the Left, at least aware and protective of their ‘good’reputations. There was even a smattering of real leaders, moral exemplars and, God help us, intellectuals of principle who believed in something other than the pursuit of power for its own sake and to serve the rich.
    Nowadays I cannot think of any such creatures in our politics, Federal or State. If there are any in the UK or the USA, they have escaped my attention. Nowadays for a politician to have ‘forgotten’ his previous vote (it beats inventing a rationalisation, clearly beyond the intellectual capacity of most politicians)as if in the mid-stages of galloping dementia, is commonplace. The process accelerated markedly under ‘Honest John’ Howard, who invented the terminology ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ promises, after being elected in 1996. The ‘non-core’ were lies, as anyone who knew anything about his political ideology was aware, but they served him well in dissembling, at which he was a master. The ‘Honest John’ label was awarded him by cynical journalists in the 1980s, as an ironic and sarcastic tribute to his looseness with the truth. Later, with a certain cynical swagger, it was used by his acolytes as if literally true. A highly attenuated conscience helps, and that accoutrement is now de rigeur for all our politicians. Their credibility and standing in public opinion surveys is somewhere between used car salesmen and real estate agents.