Republican congressional leaders don’t seem to be the quickest bunnies in the litter.
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Having taken their blunt budget ax to Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, EPA, NPR, and dozens of other popular and effective programs, they then scampered to save one of the least popular and least effective federal programs on the books: the annual taxpayer subsidy for Big Oil.
As gasoline prices were rising to $4-a-gallon and higher, the House GOP voted unanimously to let the oil giants continue siphoning $4 billion a year out of our public treasury. All 241 of the Republican/tea party House members – with not even one dissenter in the bunch – declared that in this time of a supposed budget “crisis,” the neediest among us are not the elderly and the poor, but the little waifs of Big Oil.
Meanwhile, ExxonMobil just announced a 69 percent leap in profits this year, while Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and others are enjoying similar jumps in theirs. Guess what percentage of those enormous profits the corporations are likely to pay in taxes? Zilch. Their lobbyists have punched such gaping loopholes in our tax code that they can escape paying anything for the privileges and benefits they get from America. Exxon, for one oily example, had a $19-billion profit in 2009, but not only did it pay exactly zero in federal income taxes, it manipulated the system to get a $156 million rebate from us. Likewise, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips had multibillion-dollar profits that year, paid not a dime in taxes, and also got refunds.
Republican lawmakers had a clear choice in dealing with the deficit. So why did they choose to cut off your granny’s health care, while helping these corporate billionaires make off like bandits? I guess it’s a matter of who you really love.