Exxon Mobil’s public affairs department no doubt knows all about the dangers of the Big Lie — a communications strategy perfected by Herr Goebbels, practiced by community organizer Alinsky & Friends, and now embraced by the powers that be in Washington.
Repeat an outrageous lie often enough, and the public will take it as the truth.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist and advocate of wind power, has recently been playing the Big Lie game with Exxon Mobil — claiming it paid no federal income taxes in 2009. On Saturday, the energy giant fought back with a letter-to-the-editor in the Wall Street Journal – “Inaccurate Statements about Exxon Mobil” – signed by Kenneth P. Cohen, Vice President of Public and Government Affairs for the Irving, Texas-based company. He wrote:
In his Jan. 2 letter defending taxpayer subsidization of wind power, Sen. Bernie Sanders repeats his inaccurate claim that Exxon Mobil, one of the largest taxpayers in the United States, paid no federal income taxes in 2009.
That is not true, as we and others, including the PolitiFact truth-checking website, have told Sen. Sanders repeatedly.
He also incorrectly repeats the claim that billions in subsidies are going to the fossil fuel industry, when he’s really talking about tax provisions available to all industries to support job creation and economic activity.
The fact is that Exxon Mobil is one of the largest taxpayers in the country. Over the past five years, our total U.S. tax expense was $57 billion, about $18 billion more than the company earned in the country during the same period.