From David Harsanyi writing in NRO:
"Some of us, believe it or not, aren’t completely grossed out by the notion of profit — even a lot of profit. Strong earnings are good news not only for those dastardly Oil Barons, but for the millions of people who depend on the industry for their employment, as well as the vast number of Americans who rely on investments in oil to bolster their pension funds, retirement funds, college funds, etc.
An industry as useful, wide-ranging, and essential to the economy as fossil fuel is inevitably going to entail talk of “billions.” Oil corporations are indeed “highly” profitable, averaging around a 7–8 percent profit margin the past few years — but they’re less profitable than government, which hauls in a higher margin on, for example, gas taxes.
How much would Harry Reid and friends save Americans by ending these tax perks? In five years, an estimated $18 billion. To put this savings in perspective, the federal government borrows around $28 billion every week. To make this kind of trivial savings the focus of a high-profile plan to is to engage in transparently political gotchas."