Constituents laugh at GOP Rep. Quayle for denying existence of billions in special oil subsidies

Last month, ThinkProgress took note of a strange new defense of oil subsidies:  denying their existence. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), a top recipient of oil industry campaign contributions, defended billions in targeted oil subsidies by telling a constituent that they don’t exist, so Congress shouldn’t cut them.

Now, it appears freshman Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) is adopting Bishop’s novel defense.  TP’s Lee Fang has the story.

At a town hall in Anthem last night, Quayle was asked by a constituent why he had pushed to cut services for the elderly and women while pushing massive tax cuts for the rich and tax subsidies for the oil industry. In a condescending manner, Quayle demanded that the constituent name the specific subsidies targeted towards oil companies. The constituent didn’t miss a beat, and reminded him that the Senate just last week held a hearing where oil industry CEOs defended billions in special taxpayer money. Quayle then went on to deny that any of the subsidies used by the oil industry are at all targeted:

CONSTITUENT: I’d like to know why you’d like to do this on the backs of seniors, and of women. All the cuts are going to hurt seniors, future seniors, and women! Your attacks on Planned Parenthood are hurting women who need healthcare. […] And why are you are choosing that way rather than cutting oil subsidies […]

QUAYLE: In terms of the oil subsidies, if we’re going to address it, can you just tell me what oil subsidies you’re talking about so I could have better information on what to expand on it?

CONSTITUENT: Why were the oil companies coming to defend their subsidies in front of the Senate? Those subsidies, anything in which we give them money when they’re making billions off of us every day.

AUDIENCE: That’s right!

QUAYLE: The things they were talking about were actually tax deductions that corporations across all sorts of sectors take in terms of R&D, in terms of equipment deductions, the life of the equipment, those were the deductions that they were talking about and it’s not specific to the oil industry […]


Watch it:

Earlier this year, Quayle and his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives voted in lockstep to extend billions in tax breaks to oil companies. The subsidies include special tax breaks only available to oil and gas companies. For instance, there is the “Intangible Drilling Costs” tax break ($7.8 billion over ten years); a deduction for “tertiary,” or enhanced oil recovery methods ($67 million over ten years); and the percentage depletion allowance for owners of oil wells ($10 billion over ten years). Indeed, Quayle’s claim that targeted tax subsidies to oil companies don’t exist is laughable.

And while Quayle promised his constituents that he would clear out all the tax loopholes at some future point, he voted for a second time two weeks ago to extend the same subsidies to oil companies.

Lee Fang, in a Think Progress cross-post

10 Responses to Constituents laugh at GOP Rep. Quayle for denying existence of billions in special oil subsidies

  1. Bill Waterhouse says:

    brain depletion allowance?

  2. Mike Roddy says:

    During the 1988 Vice Presidential debates, Dan Quayle tried to evoke comparisons to President Kennedy, since both were young and had hair. His opponent, Lloyd Bentsen, famously said: “I served with John Kennedy in the Senate, and knew him for many years. You’re no Jack Kennedy”.

    Son Ben has now been faced with an unimaginable horror: he’s not even Dan Quayle.

  3. How do you spell “potatoe”, anyway?

  4. sault says:

    This guy only won with 52% of the vote, so he doesn’t represent a backwater district by any means. If he has a decent challenger in 2012, we can wave bye-bye to his warped world view.

  5. Mike Roddy,
    Apparently the “potatoe” doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  6. Jeff Huggins says:

    Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

    Bravo to the Sulzbergers, the nation’s paper of record The New York Times, Bill Keller, the folks who plan the front page, and Daniel J. Wakin for the front-page-center article yesterday (Tuesday, May 17) about those misleading “foreign orchestras with exotic or impressive-sounding names” that are “not always what they seem”.

    And watch out, American public! Don’t get fooled again!

    Alas, it’s great to know that The New York Times is on the beat, making sure that nobody nowhere can get away with feeding us half-truths, misleading us, or lulling us into dangerous situations.

    Investigative journalism is back in full force! The New York Times is telling it like it is. And they’re using the front page to do it. I always enjoy seeing courage in the media. “Public good”, here we come!

    Now if only The New York Times could use the front page to shine light on the half-truths, less-than-half-truths, downright falsehoods, confusions, dodges, deceitful tactics, and harmful messages that ExxonMobil and much of the rest of the oil industry have been foisting on the public in recent years regarding climate and energy issues, much of which The New York Times itself has hosted in the form of front-page ads, full-page ads, and two-page-spreads. Now that The Times has seen fit to warn us about those deceitful foreign orchestras on the loose, will it begin to shine light on ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, and the gang?

    (I’m putting this in the comment string, but the point is a big one, and valid. Perhaps Joe and CP will run it, or something like it, as a guest post?)

    Watch out for those foreign orchestras, now! And keep your children inside and tucked in at night!


  7. Ed Hummel says:

    Sounds as though Quayle had the Republican talking points right down to a T. I guess he was a good boy and did his homework before facing his public. Too bad that cheeky constituent had to spoil all that hard work by Quayle to toe the party line. And can you imagine the audience laughing at him when he continued spouting the Republican catechism at them! My, what’s this world coming too when a true blue denier can’t even get his solid talking points across without derision and laughter from the very people he’s trying to ______ (fill in the blank).

  8. Paul K2 says:

    Hmmm: Maybe its time congressman Quayle goes on a bird hunting trip with Dick Cheney soon…

  9. a face in the clouds says:

    Rep. Quayle, bet you can’t eat just one.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Some particularly good zingers in the comments. I needed a smile today. thanks.