In the April 19 issue, Joanna Livingstone wrote to complain that Congress voted against eliminating tax breaks for oil companies (“GOP: not for the people,” Letters). Ms. Livingstone is advocating action for something with little knowledge of the consequences.
President Obama has touted how much oil production is happening in the United States. What he has not mentioned is that the rising production is all occurring on private lands and if you take away the incentives that production will be reduced.
If I were to ask Chronicle readers what the oil depletion allowance is and how it affects companies most of them would not be able to answer. Yet, people like Ms. Livingstone wants to change tax laws just because some politicians are demagoging the issue.
Exxon Mobil made over $41 billion in 2011. That is a lot of money. What readers do not realize is that they ended the year with over $331 billion in assets. Their return on assets was not very different than that of Google or many other companies. Why is it that no one wants to raise the taxes of those other companies? It is only because President Obama is playing the politics of envy and blaming others for his lack of real results just like he is with his false argument that the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes.
I suggest that Ms. Livingstone would benefit from taking some courses in economics and taxation. It would result in a more enlightened letter.