ThinkProgress filed this report from a town hall meeting in Florence, SC.
On Monday, ThinkProgress spoke to Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) at one of his constituent town halls in Florence, SC. Mulvaney, a freshman, spent much of his time arguing in favor of the new Republican budget put forth by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
During our brief interview, Mulvaney acknowledged that large corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes — an issue driving the progressive Mainstreet Movement and even some Tea Party activists. Mulvaney called for clearing out taxpayer giveaways to corporations, including Boeing, which recently set up new facilities in South Carolina and has avoided paying corporate income taxes. Rebuking much of his party, which has stood in solidarity with the oil and gas industry, Mulvaney also called for placing billions in oil subsidies “on the table” for cuts:
FANG: One group of people that came out for the first time — I’ve been going to Tea Parties for the last two years and this is something new — they were asking corporations like ExxonMobil, GE, Boeing, Arch Coal, companies that have made billions in profits but have not paid a dime in corporate income taxes, they should pay their fair share. Do you have any opinion on that?
MULVANEY: Yeah. I agree with it generally. One of the things I talked about, remember I talked about changing the tax code, lowering the rate. One of the things that is part of the proposal is take the corporate tax rate down to 25% but make sure it gets paid and get rid of a lot of the loopholes, get rid of a lot of the subsidies. The reason that GE any taxes last year is the first thing, they had some carry forward losses from previous years but they also received a tremendous number of tax credits. And you hear on the floor last week about all the subsidies we give to big oil and big gas. We actually give seven times as many incentives in the tax code to alternative energy than we do big oil.
FANG: But are big oil subsidies, the $40 billion, are they on the table?
MULVANEY: Everything’s on the table, absolutely. If everything’s not on the table, can’t be taken seriously.
While Mulvaney struck a consistent tone against corporate giveaways and oil subsidies, his voting record reveals a different course. On two separate occasions in the last few months, Mulvaney voted to extend over $50 billion in taxpayer subsidies to oil companies like Koch, Exxon, BP, and others. Perhaps Mulvaney will change direction if given another opportunity to vote on oil subsidies.