Have I got a bill Harry Reid can get behind?

During that interview on Sunday with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week,” Harry Reid not only called for more tax hikes but stole a page from Mitt Romney and said Congress should close many tax loopholes. He and Stephanopoulos singled out the oil and gas industry by repeating the canard that it receives billions in “subsidies,” which are actually the same tax breaks as any other industry.

Here is a portion of the interview:

REID: The American people need to understand that it’s not as if we’ve done nothing for the debt. $2.6 trillion, $2.6 trillion already we’ve made in cuts. And all those cuts have come from non-defense programs. We need to keep our eye on the prize and continue doing something about spending, but I think that what we need to do is do some of the things that Mitt Romney talked about. He said there’s some low-hanging fruit; there are a lot of tax loopholes that should be closed. I agree with him. We haven’t done that.

Harry Reid being interview on ABC.

Harry Reid being interviewed on ABC.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Like which ones?

REID: Well, oil subsidies. We — we have issues dealing with shipping jobs overseas. Why don’t we do some — fill some of these …

STEPHANOPOULOS: I think, if my numbers are correct, if you do the oil and gas subsidy, I think that might save you something like $25 billion over 10 years.

REID: Oh, no.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s going to extend the sequester by a couple months.

REID: It’s more than that, George. But — but let’s — let’s assume, because the debt ceiling doesn’t kick in until August, I believe that’s what we’ll have, but let’s add these together. Let’s say you’re right, it’s $30 billion. But let’s — jobs overseas, we can dial that however we want, because it’s a huge loss of revenue. Corporate jets, there are all kind of things that are low-hanging fruit that we …

Guess what, Harry, there is a bill over in the House that does just that: H.R. 254.

The bill repeals the tax break for so-called enhanced oil recovery and the one for producing oil and gas from marginal wells to begin with.

But it does so much more that Harry is sure to love and embrace. It repeals credit for alcohol fuel, biodiesel, and alternative fuel mixtures. It ends the tax credit for fuel cell vehicles. It ends the subsidy for plug-in electric vehicles. It terminates the credits for electricity produced form renewable resources, such as wind and solar.

It also calls for cutting the corporate income tax rate, which is among the highest in the world.

While Harry keeps harping on those oil and gas subsidies, the CBO reports that in 2011 the Department of Energy’s tax dodges and subsidies totaled $24 billion — $20.5 billion in tax preferences and $3.5 billion in funding. “Provisions aimed at energy efficiency and renewable energy accounted for 78 percent of the budgetary cost of federal energy-related tax preferences in 2011,” the CBO reported.

CBO chart showing growth a tax breaks for renewable energy.


9 comments on “Have I got a bill Harry Reid can get behind?

  1. Joe says:

    That hair-brained, booger-eating nincompoop is again targeting one of the administration’s favorite whipping boys: corporate aircraft. Reid and his fearless puppet master have consistently railed about corporate aircraft and in so doing have vilified an industry which provided (note the past tense) Americans some of the best paying jobs available. Most of the aircraft produced by American conversion centers were sold to foreign buyers. Though the Obama-Reid enmity against corporate aircraft is not totally culpable for the hits the industry took, the skilled workers who lost their jobs in that industry can look to the terrible two for standing in the wings and booing their employers while failing to take into consideration what the corporate aircraft industry was doing for our balance of trade. Take a look at Hawker-Beechcraft who turned belly-up and Falcon Jet who laid off thousands. Now it looks like twin job destroyers have what’s left of the industry in their nefarious cross hairs.

  2. brucefeher says:

    You’re right Joe. I was selling yachts many years ago and they put a luxury tax on them. Guess who lost their jobs? Yep, the guys that build them aka Working Men

  3. You can say the same about the business margins tax the teachers want to put on “businesses” — people pay for all taxes in one way or another.


  4. nyp10025 says:

    1. The effective corporate tax rate is certainly not among the “highest in the world.” It is pretty average.
    2. There is no dispute that civilian jet manufacturers receive specially-tailored tax breaks. Why should they get preferences over other domestic corporations?

  5. Comparing U.S. State Corporate Taxes to the OECD (2011)

    2 United States 35
    2 Japan (2011 Rates) 30
    3 France 34.43
    4 Belgium 33.99
    5 Germany 15.83
    6 New Zealand 30
    7 Spain 30
    8 Australia 30
    9 Mexico 30
    10 Luxembourg 21.84
    11 Canada 16.5
    12 United Kingdom 28
    13 Norway 28
    14 Italy 27.5
    15 Portugal 25
    16 Sweden 26.3
    17 Finland 26
    18 Netherlands 25.5
    19 Austria 25
    20 Denmark 25
    21 Korea 22
    22 Greece 24
    23 Switzerland 8.50
    24 Turkey 20
    25 Czech Republic 19
    26 Hungary 19
    27 Poland 19
    28 Slovak Republic 19
    29 Chile 17
    30 Iceland 15
    31 Ireland 12.5

    Source: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/26/56/33717459.xls, Tax Foundation

  6. nyp10025 says:

    That is why I said “effective tax rate.” You are using an old trick that corporate lobbyists use to make people think that US corporations are terribly overtaxed. The nominal tax rates you cite do not take into account deductions, credits, and other tax reductions schemes engaged in by US corporations. Because the tax code is shot through with loopholes and other tax reduction provisions, the actual tax paid by various US corporate sectors is far, far lower than the nominal tax rate. For example, the effective US tax rate for companies in the mining sector is only 18%. For companies in transportation/warehousing, it is only 19%. http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/cch-compares-nominal-effective-tax-rates-64152-1.html
    Other industrialized countries have lower nominal rates, but fewer special preferences, so the spread between nominal and effective is lower. Overall, the
    effective corporate tax rate is certainly not among the “highest in the world.” It is pretty average.

  7. Steve says:

    “The nominal tax rates you cite do not take into account deductions, credits, and other tax reductions schemes engaged in by US corporations.” ADD and Politicians. It takes two to tango.

  8. Vernon Clayson says:

    There’s also the old adage “the beast finds a way to feed itself”, every tax initiative and deduction was planned by the same politicians that explain it away and seek more.

  9. Rincon says:

    The fact remains that U.S. corporations do not pay a particularly high corporate tax compared to those of other countries. Get rid of all the deductions and other games and then we should lower the rate, but not before that time.

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