Fox & Friends Utterly Distorts Oil Subsidies To Attack NPR And Planned Parenthood

Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy attacked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for her comments about the U.S. government's large subsidies to oil companies, asking, “Why didn't she mention the big subsidies to NPR or Planned Parenthood?” In fact, NPR and Planned Parenthood--both nonprofits--receive miniscule amounts of federal money compared to the subsidies given to oil companies.

Doocy Compares Oil Company Subsidies To Those For NPR And Planned Parenthood

Doocy: Pelosi Mentioned Oil Subsidies, But “Why Didn't She Mention The Big Subsidies To NPR Or Planned Parenthood...While She Was At It?” On the April 20 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, the co-hosts discussed some of President Obama and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's recent comments on the GOP's budget priorities. From the show:

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Welcome back. Are Democrats turning to scare tactics to attack the GOP's budget plan?

[start video]

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I want to live in a society that's fair. [cut] It improves my life. If there are young people out there who are going to good schools and have opportunities -- if -- if I'm not, you know, driving by and seeing homeless folks on the streets --


PELOSI: They're voting to end Medicare as we know it while it gives big subsidies to big oil. Tens of billions of dollars to big oil while asking seniors to pay $6,000 or more than they do now.

[end clip]

DOOCY: Why didn't she mention the big subsidies to NPR or Planned Parenthood there while she was at it? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/20/11]

But Oil Companies' Subsidies Are 11 Times Greater Than Planned Parenthood's And 800 Times Greater Than NPR's

NPR Subsidies: $5 Million. According to a March 17 Associated Press article, NRP received about $5 million in federal funds in fiscal year 2010. NPR has stated that “competitive grants from [the Corporation of Public Broadcasting] and federal agencies ... [account for] approximately 2 percent of NPR's overall revenues.” [Associated Press, 3/17/11; NPR, accessed 4/20/11]

Planned Parenthood Subsidies: $363 Million. According to Planned Parenthood's 2008-09 annual report, the most recent available data, the group received $363.2 million in “government grants and contracts” during the year ending in June 2009. [Planned Parenthood, accessed 4/20/11]

Oil Industry Subsidies: $4 Billion. As The New York Times reported last year following the BP oil spill, the oil industry receives about $4 billion a year in tax breaks and subsidies. From a July 3, 2010, article:

[A]n examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process.

According to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2005, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry.

Oil industry officials say that the tax breaks, which average about $4 billion a year according to various government reports, are a bargain for taxpayers. By helping producers weather market fluctuations and invest in technology, tax incentives are supporting an industry that the officials say provides 9.2 million jobs. [The New York Times, 7/3/10]

Oil Companies Receive 11 Times The Subsidies Planned Parenthood Receives And 800 Times The Subsidies NPR Receives.

Subsidies chart