End tax breaks to oil companies

In a letter to congressional leaders this week, President Obama urged the elimination of tax breaks to oil companies as a means to control high oil and gas prices.

"While there is no silver bullet to address rising gas prices in the short term," the president wrote, one longer term step would be to end "unwarranted tax breaks to the oil and gas industry and invest that revenue into clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

The President pointed out that special tax breaks to oil companies total about $4 billion. He added that oil company CEOs have admitted that high oil and gas prices provide so much profit they don't need extra tax breaks.

The letter further welcomed indications from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ind., that Republicans may support the elimination of these special tax breaks.

Boehner's "openness" to ending special tax subsidies to oil companies earned him a harsh response form right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh.

Despite massive profits, Limbaugh slammed Boehner for his stance and said, "If I were a political leader and a Republican … I would defend Big Oil!"

It isn't likely that Boehner will support ending tax subsidies for big oil. But the Republican "drill, baby drill" defense of oil company profits and free rein to exploit the environment and the pocketbooks of American working families.

Significantly, none of the major parties in this issue have noted that the U.S.'s destabilizing role in the Middle East, especially in countries that are major oil producers, have had the biggest impact on rising oil prices.

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