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Posted on October 3 at 10:58 a.m.
"Special interest", perhaps, "subsidy", absolutely not.
Let me ask you a simple question based on your definition of subsidy.
If the government subsidizes the oil and gas industry because of the "tax breaks," as you cite, then can a mortgage interest deduction also be called a subsidy? Is the government paying your mortgage?
If not, and there is no direct payment of funds from the government to you, then you, my friend, are receiving a tax deduction, not a subsidy.
Perhaps it would be more helpful for us to discontinue this conversation until we can agree that the Marian Webster definition of subsidy is accurate and reliable- "a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public."
Until then, watch spOILed. It really is an enlightening film. Almost as much as this conversation.
Posted on September 25 at noon
There seems to be some confusion, so let me make an attempt to clarify a few things. A “subsidy” is direct government spending; i.e. money granted from the government directly to a company. Contrary to what some in politics and the media have said, the oil and natural gas industry currently enjoys no unique tax credits or deductions. Since it’s inception, the US tax code has allowed corporate taxpayers the ability to recover costs and to be taxed only on net income. These cost recovery mechanisms, also known as “tax expenditures”, should in no way be confused with “subsidies”. Be open-minded. Watch the film, and then form your own opinions. Don’t rely on the opinions or reviews of others. What I think we can all agree upon is that rhetoric helps no one. Pinning the oil industry or the environmentalists as the “bad guy” only hurts efforts to make progress in the U.S. As a millennial I recognize the vast importance of focusing on long-term sustainability of our planet. I am of the mind that we need to and will eventually make the shift to alternative ways of living including ways of fueling society. But we need to do it strategically and responsibly. The question that needs to be asked today is: Why, if we have the need, the resources, and the most stringent regulations on the planet, do we import this commodity from foreign sources that don’t like us politically and whom employ less restrictive environmental guidelines? We are going to need oil for the foreseeable future. We have the ability to produce oil locally, which means local taxes and local jobs. If we produce oil here, we maximize the economic benefits while minimizing environmental impacts. We lessen our dependence on foreign oil and in the meantime continue to work toward new, cost effective technologies. It all seems so obvious.
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