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By CNN's Wolf Blitzer
(CNN) - Did you notice that ExxonMobil’s profits rose 41 percent in the last quarter to $10.33 billion? A year ago, its third quarter profit was $7.35 billion.
ExxonMobil is doing just fine, and that is good. It employs thousands of hardworking people, and I’m happy about that.
But these impressive profits also raise an important question: Why should hardworking American taxpayers continue to subsidize ExxonMobil? Like other oil giants, ExxonMobil continues to get hefty tax benefits.
Donald Trump says that’s “insane and ridiculous.” In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Trump said tax breaks for ExxonMobil don’t “make any sense.”
Trump goes one step further.
He says ExxonMobil and the other major oil giants have been “in cahoots with our enemy which is OPEC…They’re the ones that distribute the oil. You know OPEC takes it out of the ground and these guys come along and distribute it. For us to be subsidizing Exxon and other companies like ExxonMobil is absolutely insane and ridiculous.”
According to reports, ExxonMobil and other oil companies get nearly $4 billion a year in write-offs for drilling and other tax breaks.
In the scheme of the huge trillion dollar deficits, $4 billion may not seem like a lot. But $4 billion could do a lot of good in other critical areas of government spending. Or that money could be used to pay down the growing U.S. debt.
As they say in Washington: “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”
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