No one out to punish big oil, but it should pay its fair share, reader says

To the editor:

Anita Yeckel wrote in a Sept. 1 letter to the editor that raising taxes on big oil is a punitive measure.

No one wants to punish big oil — just that it should pay its fair share. She added that the tax deduction was set up to “boost international competitiveness and job creation.”

In the words of Dr. Phil: “How’s that been working?”

At a time when so many Americans are without paychecks or working low-paying jobs, big oil is raking in the money. Exxon Mobil reported its net income for the second quarter — March, April and May 2011 — was $10.68 billion, up from only $7.56 billion from last year’s second quarter.

That’s an increase of $3.12 billion.

Conoco Phillips reported earnings for the same quarter at $3.4 billion. And Chevron Corp. earned $7.7 billion that quarter, a $2.3 billion increase over last year’s quarter of $5.4 billion.

Perhaps other business would be helped by such tax breaks, but why are big oil companies that make such obscene, enormous amounts of money in need of tax breaks?

How can big oil justify or even morally accept any tax breaks after such record-breaking profits when most Americans are asked to sacrifice more?

How can any member of Congress justify his or her vote against removing these tax breaks when most Americans’ total lifetime income would not equal what just one oil executive receives in a month?

This is not a punitive or job-killing program.

It is the American way to have big oil pay its fair share to this country it claims to love so much.

Ray Hoffstetter

Crestwood