Oil Exec Nukes "Shared Sacrifice"
May 12, 2011
RUSH: C-SPAN, ladies and gentlemen. C-SPAN is carrying the hearings of the Big Oil executives today -- and, of course, the Democrats are not in unison on this. Mary Landrieu is ripping into this Democrat effort to end subsidies for Big Oil -- and, of course, there aren't subsidies for Big Oil. Big Oil is not subsidized the way standard subsidizes work. All that happens is that they have a lower tax rate for certain aspects of their business, but there's no real subsidy that takes place. Mary Landrieu understands exactly what's going on.
Mary Landrieu says to fellow Democrats and to Obama (summarized): "Look, if you do this, you're not gonna be hurting Big Oil; you're gonna be hurting employment in my state," and then she lashes out at people who live in non-energy producing states. Mary Landrieu said, "You people in Michigan, yeah, go ahead. You complain all you want about the gasoline price. What are you doing to contribute to our energy in this country? Your state doesn't do anything for energy. But we here in Louisiana, we contribute. We have all kind of things.
"We have a lot of jobs. We have a lot of companies, a lot of businesses here that are devoted to producing and providing energy for this whole country, and I resent this notion of being singled out." She's really stepping up 'cause she understands what this is all about. She's in a precarious position, here, having to go against her party. This is an attack on oil company employment, as are Obama's moratoriums on drilling in the Gulf. But at the hearing one Democrat senator asked these execs a question. For example, I think the CEO of ExxonMobil is Rex Tillerson. (Has there ever been a better name for an oil company CEO than Rex Tillerson?)
I don't know that it was Rex Tillerson who got the question, but a Democrat senator asked them whether they believed in "shared sacrifice," and one Big Oil executive said, "We don't believe in shared sacrifice. We believe in shared prosperity." Right on! It looks as if that is a standard representative of the attitude these guys are carrying into their hearing today; they're not gonna roll over. It looks like the oil execs are not rolling over quite as nicely as the Democrats had hoped.
"No, we don't believe in shared sacrifice. We believe in shared opportunity." What a perfect answer.
RUSH: I mentioned the oil company executives. They're up there today being grilled on how unfairly they treat people. Here's an opening statement. The Senate Finance Committee is doing the hearing, and the ConocoPhillips Chairman CEO James Mulva testified. Here's a portion of what he said in his opening remarks.
MULVA: For our company we earned $11.4 billion last year and we paid $8.3 billion in income taxes as well as $3.1 billion in other taxes. So our total worldwide taxes paid actually equaled our income, so any fair-minded person would likely agree that we pay our full share.
RUSH: You hear that? Total worldwide taxes paid equaled their income, and these people are being told they're not paying their fair share. Senator Schumer asked an oil CEO if he thought that calling for an end to oil subsidies is un-American or not. And the oil exec tried to answer and Schumer interrupted, cut him off, said, "Yes or no, yes or no, is calling for an end to oil subsidies un-American or not?" Trying to trap these people in sound bites. Now, here's John Watson. John Watson is the Chevron Corporation CEO. Senator Jay Rockefeller interrogating him, "How much profit on a barrel of oil do you have to make to not be needful of these subsidies - that we think you don't need but you say your life depends on? At some point, you know, you wouldn't need the subsidies. I think you're there already, but you don't. So at what point do you think you don't need these subsidies?"
WATSON: As we've described, we don't receive subsidies, Senator. What we do require is a reasonable return on our invested capital, and I would tell you that I don't think the American people want shared sacrifice. I think they want shared prosperity. And what we have to --
ROCKEFELLER: Oh, yeah, lovely statement. But do you understand how out of touch that is? We don't get to shared prosperity until we get to shared sacrifice.
WATSON: Our oil field workers that are unable to work today because we can't receive drilling permits or there are leases that are not being made available, they feel that.
RUSH: Not rolling over, folks, the oil execs are not rolling over. And, of course, here's Jay Rockefeller, wouldn't have a dime were it not for the oil industry. Would not have a dime were it not for the oil industry. As we've described, we don't receive subsidies, Senator. We require a reasonable return on our investment. And, of course, the point he made that we want shared prosperity, you can't say that to a liberal, because it hits home. That's a grand-slam home run. So Rockefeller has to recovery quickly, wait a minute, wait, shared prosperity, you don't talk about prosperity when liberals are running the show, that's not how they advance their game. Shared misery is what they want. Shared anxiety, shared depression, shared misery. Shared prosperity, that's code words for conservatism. No, no, no, we're not gonna have that here.
So Rockefeller says, "You understand how outta touch that is? We don't get to shared prosperity until we get to shared sacrifice." Would somebody care to try to define that for me? Is he saying that the oil companies do not provide shared prosperity? Because they most certainly do. Well, what does this mean, you don't get to shared prosperity until we get to shared sacrifice? It ought to be incumbent upon Rockefeller to define shared sacrifice. You and I know what it is. The American people ought to be told what they mean by this. I wonder, has Jay Rockefeller ever been in touch with the so-called common man? Why isn't Richard Trumka, the AFL-CIO hooligan, why isn't he up there about the damage that he's done to industry and jobs? Richard Trumka and his union guys have done far more damage to jobs and industry than the oil execs have.
Why isn't the SEIU up there explaining how they destroy jobs and drive up costs? And why isn't Rockefeller divesting himself of all those trust fund monies he inherited from the old Standard Oil? Without that he wouldn't have a dime. Why isn't he exhibiting leadership here? Folks, what could be more out of touch than believing or thinking that increasing taxes on Big Oil by $21 billion over the next ten years is gonna lower the price of gas? How out of touch do you have to be to believe that? We're talking $21 billion here, chump change, is not a factor in the price of gasoline. It's just another show trial. It's predictable. Every time the gasoline price goes up this kind of thing happens, every time. I'm sure it's part of a revolving door joke made between all the participants. The problem is that when the Democrats prevail on this stuff, they actually do harm to people. That's the problem with it.
RUSH: Somebody really needs to tell Jay Rockefeller, folks (and the rest of the Democrats) that most of the oil in the world is owned by government, governments. Did you know that? It really is. Five percent of the world's oil resources are owned by Big Oil. Ninety-five percent -- 95% of all oil reserves, or resources -- are owned by governments. The private sector controls just 5% of it, and that's according to the April 16th, 2007 edition of Forbes magazine. So all of this dog and pony show is over 5% of the oil -- and, in fact, even Max Baucus (top Democrat, here) says gas prices are not the issue: "Our bill, removing subsidies from the oil companies, is not gonna change the price at gas pump." Max Baucus, a Democrat, is saying this. "You know, this is not gonna change the price at the gasoline pump. That's not the issue. I don't see that as an issue at all. The issue I see is: Who shares?" Right. Well, the issue of the American people is the price of gas. A witch hunt is not what they care about. So this is not about the supply, it's not about the price, it's not about anything like that. It's a show trial for Democrats to show how tough they are against Big, Evil Oil.