Another quote from the article:
in no sense can they be called subsidies—i.e., money taken from Smith and given to Jones. The failure to tax Exxon more does not increase your payment to the IRS by one red cent.
This passage is perfectly defensible.
If there is a deficit, the-failure-to-tax-Exxon-more has the short-term effect of increasing the deficit.
If there is a surplus, the-failure-to-tax-Exxon-more has the short-term effect of decreasing the surplus.
(The long-term effect, of course, depends on whether we sit on the inhumane side of the Laffer Curve.)
But what the-failure-to-tax-Exxon-more does not do is increase your tax rate. Only a literal act of Congress can do that.
(No, I'm not advocating deficit spending. One does not have to advocate deficit spending to defend the correctness of this passage from the article.)
Imagine an outrageously oppressive income tax rate: 99.9% of your income is being confiscated. Then imagine that you get a slight tax break, reducing your rate to 99.8%. By your definition, you have just gotten a subsidy.
Here's an example of an entity that receives a true subsidy: Amtrak. In all its years of existence, Amtrak's revenue has never been sufficient to cover its expenses. The only reason it can carry on is that the shortfall is covered by a subsidy. Amtrak has never paid tax -- which makes sense, given that it has never had a profit, and only profits are subject to tax.
If you are going to claim that "a tax reduction is the same thing as a subsidy," you must conversely also claim that "a subsidy reduction is the same thing as a tax." Do you really want to go there? If words are to mean anything, I should hope not. Amtrak's subsidy has generally increased quite a bit over the years -- from $601 million in FY1986 to $1,555 million in FY2010 -- but it dropped to $1,475 million in FY2011. Does that reduction mean Amtrak has paid tax? No, not by any stretch of the imagination. And profitable oil companies have been subsidized to the exact same extent that Amtrak has been taxed -- which is to say, not at all. Your assertion to the contrary seems to be purely for political purposes; i.e., it's doublespeak. Was is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, and Tax Reductions are Subsidies. Big Brother is beaming at this new addition to the doublespeak lexicon.