The Truth About Tax Breaks and Susidies

Jim Spence
Most people understand that politics and business should be separate and distinct. However, in recent years thanks to the boundless ambition of interventionists, politics and business have become so intertwined, it is difficult to determine when one ends and the other begins. Write an editorial piece on business......and politics must be part of the discussion. Write a piece on politics.....and business interests are almost inevitably part of the discussion. There seems to be widespread agreement that debate is healthy, except when religion is involved. Only a fool would venture into the public space and initiate a debate on religion. I proceed.
A catchy phrase tossed around frequently in today’s pop culture is, “tax breaks for oil companies.” Instead of merely accepting the full implications of this phrase at face value, the realities of the contributions to government and society by oil companies should be fully understood. There are many false notions about the companies that produce essential products we require for travel, warmth, nutrition, and the manufacture of everything from appliances and computers to smart phones. Millions of uninformed people draw the incorrect conclusion that oil companies are somehow….“on the take.” For decades our federal tax codes have been written in a way that narrows the definitions of various costs unique to the oil and gas industry. While the rules in the tax codes governing the timing of realizing costs like depreciation and depletion are occasionally accelerated or decelerated, these items should never viewed as “tax breaks.” They are schedules that apply to real business costs. The oxymoronic term, "tax expenditure" has also become a phrase useful for manipulating the uninformed. Often the use of this term is based on the bogus premise that the government has unlimited discretion over the process of accepting or rejecting various business costs.
With these completely false assumptions firmly in place, when legitimate costs are properly accounted for as expenses by oil companies, preachers in the man-made climate change religion’s hierarchy feel free to apply the false, but politically effective labels, “tax breaks or subsidies,” to oil companies. They do so to encourage their congregations to accept as a matter of faith that a taxpayer giveaway is taking place.
For a couple of decades the new age religion of man-made climate change has been the fastest growing faith on earth. Unfortunately for America, religious fanaticism originating in this faith’s churches is the primary impediment to intelligent national energy policy. Ironically, at stake are massive government subsidies in the form of grants to these new age churches. The annual availability of billions for man-made climate change studies has spawned devoted government grant-dependent church hierarchies in all fifty states. The preachers in these pulpits are politically adroit.
While simultaneously collecting cash from governments, this clever clergy refers to legitimate cost allocation provisions in the federal tax code as tax breaks for oil companies. Their devoted congregations are indifferent to oil business costs or basic accounting. Having religiously attended publicly funded man-made climate change bible schools, they have been systematically conditioned to become true believers in the satanic nature of oil companies. The human history of extremists in religions repeats itself. All heretics are referred to as “deniers” and politically persecuted. Strangely enough, preachers and members of these new age congregations do not seem to have the personal discipline to refrain from the acts of using fossil-fuel based products. Surely they must suffer from guilt, remorse, and self-loathing each day as they take actions to stay warm, eat, travel, and use their smart phones. Their repeated succumbing to temptation is reminiscent of Joan Jett's classic rock song, "I Hate Myself for Loving You." Step aside, Jimmy Swaggart. Suddenly the religion of man-made climate change is under fire. Canada just rejected their favorite canonized scripture, the ill-conceived Kyoto Treaty.
A Nobel Prize winning physicist, Dr. Ivar Giaever, recently left the church blaming anti-science fanatics. And despite the coddling and subsidizing of politically-connected wind and solar businesses, the number of bankruptcies and related job losses is also a threat to the offering plates. Add to this the recent data manipulation scandals of Climate-gate and suddenly there has been a marked resurgence of agnosticism. It seems the potential for growth in future devotions to man-made climate change bible study classes is suddenly less assured. There is an “inconvenient truth.” It is inconvenient that the tax revenue contribution math is so very simple. Wind and solar companies, the favorites of church fanatics, have always been huge net “takers” from taxpayers. And the supposedly satanic oil companies? They have always been huge net “givers.”


Gessing: Fracking is Essential to our Future

Paul Gessing
Mora County Commissioner John Olivas wants a ban on oil and gas drilling in Mora County because he is concerned with the environmental impact of a drilling process named hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking,” as it is colloquially called. Mora County is not alone in its concern about fracking. Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and San Miguel counties have halted or discouraged drilling and fracking with ordinances and moratoriums.
Fracking involves a process wherein, once a well has been drilled to hydrocarbon-bearing rock (usually shale), the rock is blasted by a mixture of water, sand and chemicals. Fractures in the rock then allow the trapped gas or liquids to make their exit. Why are county commissioners in New Mexico jumping on the “ban wagon”?
Michael Moore
Maybe they have been watching too many Michael Moore-like documentaries on Netflix. An Oscar-nominated documentary, “Gasland,” says that fracking contaminates our water supply with chemicals. In the movie, some homeowners set their tap water on fire. Industry experts maintained that the film was fraught with errors and misinformation, but nevertheless it dealt fracking something of a blow. The movie got a lot of attention (maybe Commissioner Olivas’?), but the movie’s arguments against fracking turn out to be deceitful. Apparently, the dramatic tap water blaze had little to do with fracking. In many parts of America, there is enough methane in the ground to leak into people’s well water. The best fire scene in the movie was shot in Colorado, where the filmmaker is in the kitchen of a man who lights his faucet. But Colorado investigators went to the man’s house, checked out his well and found that fracking had nothing to do with his water catching fire. His well-digger had drilled into a naturally occurring methane pocket. It’s not overstating the case to say that unconventional hydrocarbons have shifted the world’s energy balance of power. The “shale gale” has spread the wealth around. Vast volumes of hydrocarbons are not just Middle Eastern plays anymore. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Judge sets Congressional district lines

James Hall
From - (AP) - A state district judge has adopted a redistricting plan that will establish slightly different boundaries for New Mexico's three congressional districts. Judge James Hall issued his ruling Thursday afternoon. Hall is adopting a plan that makes the fewest changes to the existing districts. It has the support of Gov. Susana Martinez, other Republicans and a group of Democrats that include Rep. Brian Egolf of Santa Fe. Hall contends the plan respects existing boundaries and places the fewest number of voters in new districts. He says it also strikes an appropriate balance between various interests and political parties. Read more

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