Fact-checkers flub debate analysis of oil industry taxes

Fact-checkers who can’t keep facts straight perform no service. When a group of National Public Radio reporters tore into the Oct. 3 presidential debate like sharks on a tuna carcass, one of them thought he smelled Mitt Romney’s blood. In an exchange about oil and gas taxation, President Barack Obama had repeated his pet howler about $4 billion of “corporate welfare” supposedly enjoyed by big oil companies. He even stretched the fabrication. “Basically,” he said, “they get deductions that those small businesses that Gov. Romney refers to, they don’t get. Now, does anybody think that ExxonMobil needs some extra money?” Romney pointed out that the Department of Energy estimates oil industry...

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