Republicans Go Out Of Their Way To Protect Subsidies For Big Oil

By Yashwanth Manjunath

Yesterday the Senate voted on a bill that would repeal $21 billion of the $40 billion in subsidies received by the oil and gas industry. The bill would only apply to the five largest and most profitable oil companies, BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron and Conoco Phillips, and the savings would be used to pay down the federal budget deficit. Shockingly enough, the bill failed to pass in a 52-48 vote, with 52 Senators voting in favor of repealing the oil subsidies.  But 60 votes were needed t avoid a filibuster.

What happened to caring about the deficit?

The Republicans can’t wait to eliminate Medicare, or cut funding to Planned Parenthood, or cutoff unemployment benefits, or refuse to pay for health care benefits for 9/11 first responders, all under the guise of “cutting the deficit.” But when it comes to subsidies to the wealthiest and most powerful oil companies in the world, they don’t give a damn about the deficit. Republicans would rather cut Pell Grants for college students than cutoff subsidies to BP. BP? BP isn’t even an American corporation; why the hell are we subsidizing them? Even George W. Bush, possibly the biggest corporate stooge of our lifetime, argued that when the price of oil reaches $55 a barrel, we should stop subsidizing the oil industry. The price of oil is now up to over $100 a barrel.

This is irrefutable evidence of the fact that the Republicans are a wholly owned subsidiary of their rich corporate donors. For liberal Democrats, this news comes as no shock. But for all of the conservative Republicans out there, do you honestly still believe that the Republican politicians care about you at all?