During the last three months of 2011, the five largest oil companies doing business in the United States reported combined profits of about $32 billion.
Obviously, big businesses such as these need no help from taxpayers. Yet they enjoy substantial breaks in the U.S. tax code.
Congress seems poised to end that outrage. A bill recently approved in the U.S. Senate would kill several tax breaks enjoyed by Big Oil.
But if liberals in the Senate have their way, money from oil company tax breaks will not be used to reduce the federal budget deficit or provide tax relief for hard-pressed American families. It will be used for new subsidies for the energy industry, this time for companies and activities favored by President Barack Obama.
New tax breaks for "renewable energy," electric cars and energy-efficient homes would replace those for oil companies, under the liberal plan.
Billions of dollars in taxpayers' money have been wasted in renewable energy subsidies for firms such as Solyndra. Enormous amounts of fraud have been uncovered in home "weatherization" programs. Even with hefty subsidies, expensive electric cars don't appeal to most people. Yet liberals want to continue pouring money down various rat holes.
Congress should end the oil company breaks - but not replace them with yet another boondoggle.