We are on dangerous terrain when government picks winners and losers in the economy by subsidizing favored products and industries,” Koch wrote. He further complained that government is currently “subsidizing and mandating politically favored products in the energy sector,” singling out “solar, wind and biofuels” for examples of sectors currently being helped out.
But not a word about oil and gas can be found in Koch’s litany of complaints. Could this be because Koch Industries, of which Koch is chairman and CEO, was originally and is still primarily an oil-refining and pipeline company, though it has also diversified into such fields as paper, asphalt, chemicals, cattle ranches, commodity trading, and buying elections? A study by the Environmental Law Institute has tallied the amount of U.S. subsidies to the fossil fuel industry between 2002 and 2008 at roughly $72 billion. Earlier this year, President Obama called for ending the subsidies to oil companies, but a bill by Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) to do just that failed to muster the 60 votes required to surmount the cloture barrier this summer (it got 51 votes). Though Koch Industries spent more than $50 million on its lobbying efforts in Washington from 2006 and 2011, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, there’ s been no report of it lobbying for Menendez’s bill to end the government’s subsidy to the oil industry.
Koch’s hypocrisy isn’t his alone. It epitomizes the double standard of right-wing opponents of industrial policy who neglect to note all the industrial policies that benefit either their own industries (if they’re oil men, bankers, military contractors, and so on) or the industries that write them checks (if they’re politicians who are funded by oil men, bankers, military contractors, and so on). The oil depletion allowance is industrial policy, lowering the tax bills of such behemoths as Exxon-Mobil at a time when public needs and the deficit are soaring. The exclusion of derivatives from regulation, which banks insisted on over the cautionary objections of Clinton administration Commodities Futures Trading Commission chief Brooksley Born, was industrial policy, benefiting the banks while imperiling, and eventually bringing down, the entire economy. Congressional appropriations for military hardware that the Pentagon neither wants nor needs is industrial policy. The fact that 27 nations have treaties with the U.S. that enable their residents to avoid any U.S. taxation of their casino winnings is industrial policy that brings in millions, if not billions, in high-roller business to such GOP mega-donors as Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn. You get the picture.
"But not a word about oil and gas can be found in Koch’s litany of complaints."
The reason for this is that - as far as I can tell - the government hasn't been "picking winners and losers" in the oil and gas companies lately. In fact - one "war" that the Obama administration has been waging since they've been in power is a war ON oil and gas (i.e., the petroleum industry). They *love* the so-called "clean" energies (solar, nuclear to some extent, wind) but have done little to enhance the business prospects or operating environment of big oil, coal, or other "dirty" industry members. So I don't see any "hyprocisy" in Koch's "litany of complaints." I do see a whole lot of TRUTH.
Good blog, PN.
Although it is a good response I hesitated to respond because I was a bit befuddled at the initial response. My oint somehow got turned around to big buisness is why Welfare is the way it is... As in my initial post, if the article is even half true, we have an issue no matter which side of the fence you are on.
Yes - I was responding to the first response - as opposed to your basic blog. I further fumbled it by giving PN a pat on the back for the "blog" when I really meant to compliment the basic blogger (i.e., you) for your comments, too. I'm the one who was befuddled, and I shared the wealth with you. My bad - brain must be going haywire again....
No worries, Sebe. In the last couple of weeks I've got two terrible diseases wrong and failed to recognize sarcasm when I saw it.
Again no worries, frankly I just don't want to be perceived as ranting just to try and seem revelant. The abuse of the system just does not hurt the taxpayers, eventually it is going to hurt the people that really need it. I am just befuddled why some just cannot admit that there are a lot of people out there using and abusing the system at a huge price to the taxpayer. Much more than as Sebe pointed out, taxing the wealthy to make it all better. That for some reason continues to be the common call to order; "it's the lack of contribution by the wealthy that is causing our economic demise" I propose that just maybe the milions of people abusing federal programs at the taxpayers expense might have just a little to do with it as well...