Response to an article in the Las Cruces Sun-News entitled, "Hispanic Vote Critical"

"The Myth of Big Oil Subsidies"

Contrary to the ads on the radio and in the paper from my democratic friends, "Big Oil" receives ZERO subsidies from the federal government. A subsidy is when the government actually writes a check to a company. It is a direct payment to a company before they even incur any expenses. This is not what "Big Oil" receives. Rather, they are allowed tax breaks that are, and have always been, received by ALL companies.

Specifically, these so-called subsidies for "Big Oil" are as follows: Domestic Manufacturing Tax Deduction (a deduction for ALL manufacturers designed to keep companies in the Unites States); Percentage Depletion Allowance and Intangible Drilling Costs (designed for ALL industries to deduct the cost of doing business), and the Foreign Tax Credit (ALL companies get a credit for taxes they pay to other countries).

To single the oil companies out for punishment by removing these tax breaks that ALL companies receive is unfair and reeks of political opportunism. It will also have the negative effect of raising our gas prices at a time when they are at record highs. So, bashing the oil companies not only has negative consequences, but it is deceitful and is used only to score political points.

Just to be clear, I am in favor of looking for ways to address cost cutting such as reducing tax breaks for ALL companies, coupled with a reduction in the corporate tax rate. However, depicting tax breaks used by the oil industry - that are the same for ALL industries - as proof that "Big Oil" must be evil, greedy and hurting you is dishonest.

Neal Hooks

New Mexico State Senate Republican Candidate for District #38