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It is quite a shock when you go to a gas station and fill up your tank these days. When you think about the huge revenues that oil companies are making, it is good to keep in mind that in addition to paying the price at the pump, as a taxpayer you are also subsidizing oil companies to the tune of $21 billion per year.

You should also remember that on May 17 your very own Sen. Mark Kirk joined his fellow Republicans in voting against a bill that would end these obscene subsidies to the already hugely wealthy oil companies.

The cycle seems complete: First, you pay through the nose for gas. Then oil companies donate tens of millions of dollars to the campaigns of politicians — including a reported $199,200 to Sen. Mark Kirk. Then Kirk and others vote to keep oil company subsidies.

So, in a way, by purchasing gas at $4-plus per gallon, you’re helping to fund Mark Kirk’s next campaign. It is a win-win situation for the oil companies and for Mark Kirk.

Don’t believe the malarkey that oil companies somehow need to be subsidized. Or else what? They will go out of business? Don’t insult my intelligence.

When you see oil company executives on TV arguing that their business requires huge investments and big risks, and therefore they need government subsidies, ask yourself when did oil companies not make huge profits? Their subsidies represent a scam perpetuated by complicit politicians like Kirk.

John B. Pryor, Bloomington

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