While conservative lawmakers continue to demand more and more from Main Street Americans in the form of cuts to crucial services and public investment, they have continued to defend subsidies for the oil industry. In March, the House Republicans voted unanimously to defend subsidies for Big Oil.
Appearing on Fox News last week, former GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin downplayed the billions of dollars of subsidies the oil industry gets from taxpayers. Asked about the subsidies by Fox Host Bret Baier, Palin responded that we shouldn’t worry too much about them because they only cost four billion dollars:
BAIER: What about ending oil subsidies? Subsidies for oil companies. Where do you stand on that?
PALIN: Here’s where we need to go there nationally, what I did as Governor of Alaska, which is obviously an energy-producing state. As for the government subsidies that we’re hearing Obama flirting with right now, and wanting to decrease those or eliminate those, we’re only talking about four billion dollars. Compare that to the 14 trillion dollar debt that he our president has certainly contributed to.
And in a radio interview with News Radio 1000 KTOK last week, Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) echoed a similar talking point, saying that the four billion dollars in subsidies are not even a drop in the bucket:
HOST: Congressman, the President, speaking of him, is calling on Congress to eliminate all these tax provisions for oil and gas. […] What are you thinking about this? […] What will Congress do?
LANKFORD: […] We’re spending too much money. Raising four billion in gas taxes doesn’t solve the price of gas and is not going to be able to solve our deficit. Four billion is not going to be a drop in the bucket compared to what we need to take on, and that’s our spending.
While it is true that four billion dollars is a small part of the federal budget deficit, it’s also simultaneously true that it is a great deal of money in real terms that is being wasted. And it’s 1,200 times the amount of money that House Republicans were demanding would be saved from cutting off money to NPR.
In recent days, a number of congressional Republicans have seemingly backed off their support for oil subsidies after being probed n the issue by angry constituents at town halls. These include Reps. Joe Walsh (IL), Tom McClintock (CA), and Dan Webster (FL). (HT: MoxNewsDotCom Youtube account)