Vote on Ending Big Oil’s Government Handout Came Down to the Math

The Numbers in Republican Bank Accounts Ruled the Day

  • Since Obama became president, my dog’s hip dysplasia has gotten worse.
  • Since Obama became president, my car’s value has decreased.
  • Since Obama became president, violence in Syria has skyrocketed.
  • Since Obama became president, all kinds of sh*t has happened.

How about it? What else has changed over three years that we can blame on Obama? Anybody?

Back here in Realityland, we are amazed at the low-information people who eat up this post hoc mess, produced by the American Energy Alliance. The AEA is a lobbying group opposed to Obama’s plan to discontinue government subsidies for the richest industry in the world, which quit needing government subsidies in the days before Jed Clampett became a millionaire.

So far, they have nothing to worry about, according to the New York Times.

…the Senate on Thursday could not produce the 60 votes necessary to pass a bill eliminating $2.5 billion a year of these subsidies. This is a minuscule amount for an industry whose top three companies in the United States alone earned more than $80 billion in profits last year. Nevertheless, in the days leading up to the vote, the American Petroleum Institute spent several million dollars on an ad campaign calling the bill “another bad idea from Washington — higher taxes that could lead to higher prices.”

The actual vote was 51-47, with Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu (LA), Ben Nelson (NE), Mark Begich (AK), and Jim Webb (VA) joining 43 Republicans (which is all of them except Maine’s Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins) to continue the hand-out.

subsidies_vote_chart_20120329But speaking of things that actually are related, ThinkProgress provided this bar graph, which shows the amount of donations Big Oil has made to those who voted for and against the bill. It’s hard to argue with these numbers:

  • The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators voting to repeal oil tax breaks have received $5,873,600.
  • The senators who voted for Big Oil’s handouts received on average over four times as much career oil cash as those who voted to end them.
  • Overall, Senate Republicans have taken $23.2 million in oil and gas contributions. Democrats received $6.66 million.


  • Shorebreak
    April 2, 2012 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    – Since Obama became president, grub worms ate my back lawn up.
    – Since Obama became president, my hot water heater went out.
    – Since Obama became president, the batteries went dead in my flashlight.
    – Since Obama became president, I got bit by fire ants.

    There are so many things that are Obama’s fault that I can’t possibly list them all here. See, my hand hurts from typing. It’s Obama’s fault for that too.

  • April 2, 2012 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    Shorebreak, you’re cracking me up.

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