Big business, most notably at present, big oil, maintains it must have tax breaks, which one would presume comes at the expense of regular taxpayers, who have to make up the difference. But it puts forth the ingenious argument that actually regular taxpayers benefit because the extra profits that result go into the 401K retirement benefits of regular taxpayers, said 401K accounts having investments in big business, to include big oil.
So, apparently free enterprise only works when it is subsidized by the very BIG government it abhors. It wants help from government but not controls.
Trouble is, the people or the entity that pays the money must exert some control as to how their or its money is spent, or even whether it should be spent at all. That’s kind of the way it is in life.
It may be that it is to the benefit of the nation as a whole to subsidize some industries — that is at least arguable. But it does not seem like the ones that are receiving record profits or profits far beyond other businesses logically should be the beneficiaries of those subsidies.
On a related subject, the best and surest way to make fuel prices come down is to consume less — it really works. Drive anything you want: big car, big pickup, SUV, minicar (whatever that is), big truck, just consume less — it really works. If all else fails and it is available to you, take public transit. The market forces sometimes, when not skewed by government meddling or monopoly manipulation, really do work. And even though I think most people have come to the only obvious conclusion that the oil monopoly does manipulate gas prices where and when it can, all the manipulation in the world is fairly ineffective if the buyers refuse to buy or buy as much.
Back to the first point: A Democratic bill to eliminate oil company tax breaks was defeated in the Senate, with the help of some energy state Democrats, along with ever business-friendly Republicans.
A lot of people are employed by oil companies, or energy companies as they like to call themselves. That of course gives them a lot of clout among a large percentage of working people. I recall the internal consternation among U.S. Gulf Coast residents last year during the Gulf oil spill, when those worried about the fishery and the beaches and water and vacation business and the ecology thought one way, perhaps, and those dependent upon offshore drilling thought another way, perhaps.
And as I often note, politicians respond to the big money interests because that is how they stay in office. The electorate does not pay close attention and does not analyze issues much. Instead, it responds more to the paid propaganda that even makes its way into the so-called free media (meaning news reports presented at no cost to those who benefit from the messages).
When it was discovered a couple of decades ago or so by the major media outlets that news content could be profitable if it could be turned into entertainment and if substance was sacrificed for style, we all lost.
Add to that the clever oil company lobby promotion on the airwaves that begins with the voices of purportedly regular citizens opining of the need to look for sources of alternative energy and such and how the oil companies should do something to help the economy (forgo the tax breaks, well that is not mentioned). And then the voice, running almost simultaneously, representing the oil companies saying they already are doing these things and suggesting “we should talk about more we can agree upon” (the presumption that there is any agreement between the average consumer and the oil companies).