Sen. Scott Brown (R) appeared in Plymouth, Mass., last week, and a voter asked about ending tax subsidies to the oil industry. The senator's response was unexpected.
The clip, recorded by American Bridge 21st Century, can be a little tough to hear, but in response to the question, Brown said, "Oil companies don't get subsidies.... I'm positive. They're able to take deductions like every other business."
This doesn't make sense. As Brad Johnson explained, the oil industry receives $7 billion in subsidies a year. When Brown says he's "positive" he has it right, his understanding of the facts is the opposite of the truth.
It's tempting to think the Republican senator, who's routinely struggled with the basics of public policy, is just confused and didn't intentionally try to mislead the voter, but as Joan McCarter mentioned, Brown has voted several times on whether to continue the tax subsidies to the industry. He must have had some understanding of the issue at the time of these votes.
So why tell someone oil companies "don't get subsidies," when he must know that's not true?