‘Tax breaks for oil companies?’ Don’t accept the phrase at face value
Wind and solar companies, the favorites of fanatics, have always been huge net “takers” from taxpayers. And the supposedly satanic oil companies? They have always been huge net “givers.”
A catchy phrase tossed around frequently in today’s pop culture is, “tax breaks for oil companies.” Instead of merely accepting the full implications of this phrase at face value, the realities of the contributions to government and society by oil companies should be fully understood.
There are many false notions about the companies that produce essential products we require for travel, warmth, nutrition, and the manufacture of everything from appliances and computers to smart phones. Millions of uninformed people draw the incorrect conclusion that oil companies are somehow “on the take.”
For decades, our federal tax codes have been written in a way that narrows the definitions of various costs unique to the oil and gas industry. While the rules in the tax codes governing the timing of realizing costs like depreciation and depletion are occasionally accelerated or decelerated, these items should never viewed as “tax breaks.” They are schedules that apply to real business costs.
The oxymoronic term “tax expenditure” has also become a phrase useful for manipulating the uninformed. Often the use of this term is based on the bogus premise that the government has unlimited discretion over the process of accepting or rejecting various business costs.
The religion of man-made climate change
With these completely false assumptions firmly in place, when legitimate costs are properly accounted for as expenses by oil companies, preachers in the man-made climate change religion’s hierarchy feel free to apply the false but politically effective labels, “tax breaks” and “subsidies,” to oil companies. They do so to encourage their congregations to accept as a matter of faith that a taxpayer giveaway is taking place.
For a couple of decades the new-age religion of man-made climate change has been the fastest growing faith on earth. Unfortunately for America, religious fanaticism originating in this faith’s churches is the primary impediment to intelligent national energy policy. Ironically, at stake are massive government subsidies in the form of grants to these new-age churches.
The annual availability of billions for man-made climate change studies has spawned devoted government grant-dependent church hierarchies in all 50 states. The preachers in these pulpits are politically adroit. While simultaneously collecting cash from governments, this clever clergy refers to legitimate cost-allocation provisions in the federal tax code as tax breaks for oil companies. Their devoted congregations are indifferent to oil business costs or basic accounting.
Having religiously attended publicly funded man-made climate change bible schools, they have been systematically conditioned to become true believers in the satanic nature of oil companies. The human history of extremists in religions repeats itself. All heretics are referred to as “deniers” and politically persecuted.
‘Takers’ versus ‘givers’
Strangely enough, preachers and members of these new-age congregations do not seem to have the personal discipline to refrain from the acts of using fossil-fuel based products. Surely they must suffer from guilt, remorse and self-loathing each day as they take actions to stay warm, eat, travel and use their smart phones. Their repeated succumbing to temptation is reminiscent of Joan Jett’s classic rock song, “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” Step aside, Jimmy Swaggart.
Suddenly the religion of man-made climate change is under fire. Canada just rejected their favorite canonized scripture, the ill-conceived Kyoto Treaty. A Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Dr. Ivar Giaever, recently left the church, blaming anti-science fanatics. And despite the coddling and subsidizing of politically-connected wind and solar businesses, the number of bankruptcies and related job losses is also a threat to the offering plates.
Add to this the recent data manipulation scandals of Climate-gate, and suddenly there has been a marked resurgence of agnosticism. It seems the potential for growth in future devotions to man-made climate change bible study classes is suddenly less assured.
There is an “inconvenient truth.” It is inconvenient that the tax revenue contribution math is so very simple. Wind and solar companies, the favorites of church fanatics, have always been huge net “takers” from taxpayers. And the supposedly satanic oil companies? They have always been huge net “givers.”
Spence is co-host of the statewide radio program News New Mexico.