On Thursday, Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) took to the floor of the House of Representatives to mock those who are outraged about the protection of subsidies for Big Oil, while services for Main Street Americans are slashed. Think Progress has the story.Last month, the entire House Republican caucus voted to defend corporate welfare for Big Oil, stopping any attempt to remove billions of dollars of subsidies for the industry. Many of these companies exploit the tax code to pay very little in taxes, with companies like Exxon Mobil paying absolutely nothing in federal corporate income taxes in 2009.
Last week, Posey jokingly called them the “evil oil companies” and said that “corporations don’t pay taxes. Corporations collect taxes.” He instructed critics of Big Oil to “quit trying to play pin the tail on the donkey,” suggesting that they were unfairly targeting the industry:
POSEY: Those evil oil companies, the answer to all our problems is to tax them more. As if the members of this body and the public is stupid enough to think that at the end of the year those big oil companies are just going to write a check for another zillion dollars. Let’s say we tax those evil oil companies another dollar a gallon. They’re not going to write the check, we know what’s going to happen, they’re going to raise the price a dollar a gallon. Or given the corporate greed we sometimes see round it off to two dollars. Corporations don’t pay taxes. Corporations collect taxes. They collect taxes from consumers who ultimately pay the tax. You add a tax to a product and a consumer’s going to pay more. It doesn’t pass the straight face test. I wish we would quit, as the gentleman from the Texas said, quit trying to play pint he tail on the donkey. We know corporations don’t pay taxes. Consumers pay taxes, corporations just collect it.
Exxon Mobil likely appreciates Posey’s defense of their industry. He received $2,000 from their federal PAC during the 2009–2010 election cycle. And his economic argument doesn’t pan out. A Joint Economic Committee report found that “the removal or modification of [one of these subsidies] is unlikely to have any effect on consumer prices for oil and gas.” For the record, 74 percent of Americans favor ending Big Oil subsidies “” people that Posey calls “stupid.”
— A Think Progress cross-post.