Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Obama, Exxon Mobil, economics and populism
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, February 12, 2008

From Barack Obama's victory speech last night, this line struck me as scary:
I know that it won't be easy to change our energy policy. Exxon Mobil made $11 billion last quarter. They don't want to give those profits up easily.
It really tells you where he's coming from, because he is only telling part of the story. The part that appeals to his audience - that appeals to populism.

Yes, Exxon Mobil made $11 billion last quarter. But they also paid 41% taxes on that income.

Dr. Mark J. Perry did a little calculating on his blog about Exxon Mobil's tax "contribution" based on its profits.

I think you'll find the results interesting.
Over the last three years, Exxon Mobil has paid an average of $27 billion annually in taxes. That's $27,000,000,000 per year, a number so large it's hard to comprehend. Here's one way to put Exxon's taxes into perspective.

According to IRS data for 2004, the most recent year available:

Total number of tax returns: 130 million

Number of Tax Returns for the Bottom 50%: 65 million

Adjusted Gross Income for the Bottom 50%: $922 billion

Total Income Tax Paid by the Bottom 50%: $27.4 billion

Conclusion: In other words, just one corporation (Exxon Mobil) pays as much in taxes ($27 billion) annually as the entire bottom 50% of individual taxpayers, which is 65,000,000 people! Further, the tax rate for the bottom 50% is only 3% of adjusted gross income ($27.4 billion / $922 billion), and the tax rate for Exxon was 41% in 2006 ($67.4 billion in taxable income, $27.9 billion in taxes).
Barack Obama doesn't tell that part of the story. Nope, only the part about those huge corporate profits find their way into his "inspirational" speeches. There he demonizes a company and an industry which provides precisely what he says he wants for this country - jobs.

Nor does he mention the fact that it provides a strategically vital commodity that increasingly costs more and more money to extract and refine.

And, of course, it's Exxon Mobil's fault we have no alternative for our insatiable desire for oil, isn't it? Now that the world's thirst is increasing as well, it is Exxon Mobil which is the blame for the market increase in price based on demand, correct?

It is certainly Exxon Mobil's fault that we can't drill in a featureless wasteland in Alaska which could provide for much of our own domestic oil need and possibly ease prices a bit, isn't it?

No, Obama never mentions any of that in his speeches. And he certainly never mentions the fact that that company alone pays more in taxes every year than half the "taxpayers" in this nation, does he?

One corporation.

Phenomenal.

But get used to it. This is populism with a silver tongue, and he'll be taking the same song and dance to big pharma, health insurance carriers and any other corporation he can demonize to those ignorant enough to buy his message but unable to comprehend the fact that he is attacking the very foundation of our wealth and prosperity as a nation.

What's ironic, of course, is that 41% - which Mr. Obama seems to imply isn't enough, given his statement - will be paid by the very people, who are cheering him as he attacks Exxon Mobil, every time they fill up their car. Funny that.

The dream of the founding fathers was to have a knowledgeable and educated electorate who could see through rhetoric like this and be able to vote accordingly. If they could see what is happening today, I think their confidence in the electorate would be profoundly shaken. That line about Exxon Mobil's profits was a huge applause line for Obama. If he has his way, that bottom 50% of taxpayers - the 50% who can afford it the least - will end up paying much higher prices at the pump than they are now, and they don't even understand that. But even as they pay higher prices at the pump for their gas, they'll have the satisfaction of knowing that evil corporation isn't making those huge profits it once was, won't they?
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
I think ol’ George would reconsider installing a new monarchy if he saw us today...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Please allow me to disagree. I disagree not on the basis that Exxon hasn’t paid a fair amount of taxes, but that despite those taxes, the people of the United States are facing a crisis, while Exxon Mobil is clearly not. Let us also us keep in mind that the money from Exxon’s taxes did not go towards education, health care, or human/social development. It went toward funding a war...which, curiously enough, was waged under the principle of securing "American economic interests" in a rather curious manner: we’re spending taxpayer money to fight a war to secure cheap oil. Meanwhile, oil prices rise, and yet Exxon Mobile is making huge profits. After the war is over, we’ll have more enemies than we started with and no greater access to oil—and that’s not discussing anything about our dependence on a non-renewable, polluting resource. I understand Exxon pays taxes, but the the debate at hand is how they are making the most money they have ever made while the rest of the country dives into recession. I am not clamoring that they join the rest of us, but I question the policies that foster the current situation. It’s high time we focus on allocating money and services to people that are in crisis instead of focusing on how huge oil companies’ taxes will trickle down. What is it that’s associated with trickle down economics again? Oh yeah, stagflation. Maybe we’ll finally learn that trickle down economics don’t work.
Although I am in support of Obama, I am keeping my expectations low for real "change." What is more important at this moment, however, is the radical change in both agenda and manner. I am stunned by how bravely Obama has pushed through the politics of fear to discuss real issues—issues that, in my political lifetime, have taken a back burner to security, democracy, family values, and thanking God for our blessed imperialism. This is not simple populism—this is the swing of the pendulum rushing back after an awful and embarrassing eight years...and it’s about time.
 
Written By: Francesca
URL: http://
I think the most important point regarding the attack on Exxon-Mobil is the insinuation that gasoline prices can be lower if Oil Company profits are somehow reduced. This is a naive assertion that ignores the fundamental economic law of supply and demand. Does Barack suggest that the Federal Government should simply regulate (lower) oil and gas prices thus creating less supply and the resultant shortages? Would this not also significantly reduce tax revenues and cause major employment contraction? This portion of his speech indicates the lack of even an elementary understanding of capitalism. I am shocked that our electorate is this naive.
 
Written By: Frank in Louisiana
URL: http://
Francesca is basically saying, "I want mine!" unless it’s simply an attempt to get a rise, in which case it was a splendid success. That’s disgusting on every possible level. Do people really think the Gini curve has any deep meaning? Are they really malicious enough to increase taxes? Are they really deluded enough to believe their own slogans?

Might I ask Francesca whether, if we assume that any war is about oil, which it’s not, we should drill in Alaska? How about building refineries and power plants? Or should we buckle down for solar winter in huts?

I hear people trot out their socialist soapbox quite a lot, but you hardly hear about the disasters Chavez is wreaking in Vz.; or about his oil shenanigans, EM is fighting quite nicely, which will hurt Vz. citizens far more than it will hurt anybody else. And that’s what’s going to happen here. We are doomed. Years of Leftist fabrications are used as fact in the same way second-or-worse-hand lay-pronouncements are used as fact in consensus science.

We are entering a dark period, people. Watch out for ice crystals falling from the freezing economy. And Francesca is right: this isn’t populism, this is something far, far more dangerous.
 
Written By: [cb]
URL: http://
That Obama is a populist is one thing. Bad enough. That he’s a messianic populist is another. John Edwards’ populism could be called "ambulance chasing" populism, or maybe "Nader-plus" populism. Hillary is a technocratic populist. Given a choice between a technocratic populist like Hillary and a messianic populist, I think that I’ll take a pass on either.

The media seems to be reacting to Obama, so far, in two ways. Like Chris Matthews last night, by having an orgasm under his anchor desk (Mark Steyn says that Matthews, like Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show, can only be shown from the waist up). Or like Fox News, which blinkingly covers Obama at face value, as the young charismatic challenger to the Clintons.

Well, he is a challenger to the Clintons, that’s for sure. But what else is he and where is he coming from?

Here is a New York Times article from yesterday. Read through it (not easy) and you’ll find it rather flat-faced as it quickly makes its way past the comment by Al Sharpton on his "agreement" with Obama. But for anyone here who comes back with what I’ll call the "big cough" in the article, I offer the "Between the Lines" award.

The whole thing is like an account of a traffic pile-up through the eyes of a heavily sedated onlooker who finds nothing unusual at the scene.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I would like to think that he is only saying it to pander to democratic voters and that he would be more circumspect if elected, but the evidence shows that these politicians are actually dangerously ignorant of anything not pertaining to elections and political infighting.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"the people of the United States are facing a crisis,"

*Yawn* Which one are you referring to? We seem to have so many, so often.

" Exxon’s taxes did not go towards education, health care, or human/social development. It went toward funding a warwent toward funding a war"

Wow. Is that like the checkoff box for campaign finance? How come I don’t get to earmark my taxes?


"It’s high time we focus on allocating money and services to people that are in crisis"

Organizations like The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities stand ready to accept your contribution of time and/or money.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"It’s high time we focus on allocating money and services to people that are in crisis"

Organizations like The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities stand ready to accept your contribution of time and/or money.
Also, the U.S. Treasury will accept a check from you for any amount you wish to send. Taxes not high enough for you? Then put your damn money where your mouth is and leave the rest of us the hell alone.
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
. . . .the people of the United States are facing a crisis, while Exxon Mobil is clearly not.
Ah, but the crises we face is of our own doing (or our forefather’s): electing leftist Democrats who create massive entitlements.

In any case, need doesn’t give you a right to something. Exxon earned it’s profits, and has a right to them.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
It’s high time we focus on allocating money and services to people that are in crisis instead of focusing on how huge oil companies’ taxes will trickle down.
Francesca, stealing from the succesful to support failure is not simply immoral (i.e., theft), but stupid economic policy.
I am stunned by how bravely Obama has pushed through the politics of fear to discuss real issues—issues that, in my political lifetime, have taken a back burner to security, democracy, family values, and thanking God for our blessed imperialism.
I am stunned that an empty suit like Obama, with such an immoral and economically ignorant set of ideas can be so convincing to so many.

Oh, and we are not imperialistic, either, although I guess you can use that claim to feel better about you shallow anti-Americanism.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
It went toward funding a war...which, curiously enough, was waged under the principle of securing "American economic interests" in a rather curious manner: we’re spending taxpayer money to fight a war to secure cheap oil.
No, our primary funding issues are related to the entitlements your heros set in place—entitlements that are in fact serious constitutional violations.

The war is cheap, by comparison, and it’s constitutional. Further, the war is being fought to address real and serious security issues, not to secure oil.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I am stunned that an empty suit like Obama, with such an immoral and economically ignorant set of ideas can be so convincing to so many.
I have an hypothesis. He is, by far, the best looking of all the major presidential candidates this cycle. The face, the body in the swim trunks on the beach, the smile, etc. all look like they walked off the cover of GQ!

In a field of all empty suits what else do you have to go on?
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
the debate at hand is how they are making the most money they have ever made while the rest of the country dives into recession.
Exxon’s taxes did not go towards education, health care, or human/social development. It went toward funding a war...
Maybe we’ll finally learn that trickle down economics don’t work.
I am stunned by how bravely Obama has pushed through the politics of fear to discuss real issues
This is someone who’s very comfortable with Chavez’ policies. Undoubtedly hopes fervently for the Obama Presidency to mimic Chavez’ dictatorship. Apparently, these folks are everywhere now.
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
Just don’t call ’em communists, socialists, or even liberals. They hate when you do that. They go all frothy on you and everything.
 
Written By: Mike
URL: http://coldfury.com
the debate at hand is how they are making the most money they have ever made while the rest of the country dives into recession.
Subtext: "So lets get ’em and drag them back down into the muck with the rest of us!"
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Exxon earned it’s profits, and has a right to them.
I keep hearing that oil companies profits come from increasing global demand and constrained supply. How did Exxon "earn" skyrocketing demand?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
I keep hearing that oil companies profits come from increasing global demand and constrained supply. How did Exxon "earn" skyrocketing demand?
Wow ... heck of a twist of words there retief. No one said they "earned skyrocketing demand", what was said was they earned their profits. How about addressing that point instead of introducing a red herring into the discussion.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net
AND those taxes paid by Exxon (and indirectly by us) don’t include the gas tax at the pump. The government extracts a h*ll of a lot out of the production and delivery of gasoline.

Obama could save himself some money and get his next speech out of Atlas Shrugged quoting one of the looters. It’s the same thing.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
McQ, if you want to pretend that higher prices leading to higher profits is a red herring than go ahead. Perhaps you can tell us what Exxon did differently between 2004 and now to "earn" 50% more Profit.

Back to the original rant re Obama’s comment,
I know that it won’t be easy to change our energy policy. Exxon Mobil made $11 billion last quarter. They don’t want to give those profits up easily.
Are you suggesting that Exxon Mobil doens’t benefit, to the tune of $11 B last quarter, from our current energy policy? Or are you suggesting that they do want to give those benefits up easily? Or that it will for some other reasons be easy to change our energy policy? Personally I think that while those interests are an impediment to "changing our energy policy" they are only one of a large nubmer of factors. But they are a beautiful emblem of the staus quo and a lovely link to Obama’s political opponents currently running the show from the Vice President’s office. And if populism is anathama to you, good luck over on the republican side too.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
"I know that it won’t be easy to change our energy policy. Exxon Mobil made $11 billion last quarter. They don’t want to give those profits up easily."
I am, however, going to give Obama the benefit of the doubt here and assume that he doesn’t mean to tax them more (though he probably thinks that is a swell idea too) but rather that Exxon will resist a decline in oil demand when Obama wants to shift national energy supply to forms other than oil.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
McQ, if you want to pretend that higher prices leading to higher profits is a red herring than go ahead.
Was there a red herring sale where you live Retief?

Here’s another one. I never said higher prices don’t lead to higher profits. They don’t necessarily, but then that’s not the point, is it?

What I actually did was challenge your made up claim that someone else was saying they "earned skyrocketing demand".

Show me where that was said, please.
Are you suggesting that Exxon Mobil doens’t benefit, to the tune of $11 B last quarter, from our current energy policy?
Our current "energy policy" or the world’s current demand?

Got anymore flopping fish you want to throw out there?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net
Nine comments down from the top Don suggests that "Exxon earned it’s profits, and has a right to them." But I don’t think you contest that. Just now you do suggest that Exxon’s profits come from "the world’s current demand."
Are you suggesting that Exxon Mobil doens’t benefit, to the tune of $11 B last quarter, from our current energy policy?
Our current "energy policy" or the world’s current demand?
So how did they earn "the world’s current demand"?

There is an easy answer to this: They earned it by choosing to be in the oil business. Whether that is sufficient is left as an excercise for the reader.

But as I asked, what part of his comment do you disagree with? Or is the tone you find unappealing?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Nine comments down from the top Don suggests that "Exxon earned it’s profits, and has a right to them." But I don’t think you contest that. Just now you do suggest that Exxon’s profits come from "the world’s current demand."
Which has what to do with whether Exxon has earned their profits and have a right to them?

Meanwhile, back to the point which you have avoided twice now, show me where anyone said they "earned skyrocketing demand".
So how did they earn "the world’s current demand"?
You tell me, you’re the one twisting words again.

They "benefited" from increased demand (that’s the word used, not "earned"). And that is reflected in the profits they earned.
There is an easy answer to this: They earned it by choosing to be in the oil business.
Yeah, that’s a snap decision with very low bars to entry, isn’t it?
But as I asked, what part of his comment do you disagree with? Or is the tone you find unappealing?
Neither. What I find unappealing is your willingness to claim things are said which aren’t to make some vacuous strawman point.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net
I keep hearing that oil companies profits come from increasing global demand and constrained supply. How did Exxon "earn" skyrocketing demand?
Same way Al Gore preaches doom and gloom then positions himself to profit from carbon offsets and assorted other greenery. Except... Exxon’s widget is something of value to the customer.

See? Easy.
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
There is an easy answer to this: They earned it by choosing to be in the oil business. Whether that is sufficient is left as an excercise for the reader.
Ignoring the oil snobbery, what’s the difficulty here? Before it became a dirty word, profits represented the barometer of a company’s health which translates into more employees and more equipment purchased from other companies. Even with fatcat salaries, those profits represent the welfare and standard of living for thousands (in Exxon’s case) of employees and shareholders and their families. It’s not as if it’s a zero-sum game where the money is lost to them forever.

You do know that, right?
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
Call me whatever you like...but in response to a few things...
If we want to talk about "Chavez like" policies, and I’m assuming you mean authoritative, let’s talk about the Bush administration, and how they’ve made more documents confidential than any other administration in our country’s history. Did you hear the latest? Bush wants to be able to tap our phones without a warrant. Cool. CIA, can you hear me now? Good.

I love how quickly you jumped on me in relation to raising taxes...funny, though, I never mentioned raising them. And Obama isn’t talking about taxing the middle class more either, just the top 1%, who received tax breaks from Bush. Timactual and Jordan, I said I’d like to change the ALLOCATION of tax money, read, not driving the US into increasing debt (after Bill Clinton, a democrat, balanced the budget, thankyouverymuch) starting wars in all the wrong places. I’d like for more money to be spent on education, health care etc...I live in CA, where we are facing yet another round of budget cuts in public schools. Forget after-school programs, forget music programs, forget decent physical education...that’s not even getting started on what teachers face. I’m not saying that I want mine, I have no complaints about my own life; I just think that it is absurd that we are the only first world country on the planet without universal health care, and that we aren’t investing in our nation’s future by making sure education is an economic priority. I’m not talking about donating money to your local charity, I’m taking about the government investing in its future. We are entering a dark period,indeed, [cb]. With a fraction of what we spent in Iraq, we could have had that. Instead of investing in our citizens (I’m sorry, I didn’t know that was anti-american, but I also thought the Cold War was over, my mistake.) we’ve been parading around in the Middle East for reasons still unclear. (Not oil? Ooook.)

And entitlements? From 1935 to 1980, the US government spent the same amount of money investing in affordable public housing as it did in tax breaks to homeowners in one year, in 1980. No, I’m NOT arguing that we should take tax breaks away, but please check yourselves when you decide to deem one sector of the population dependent. Welfare to work forced those you label "dependent" into taking low paying jobs, creating a pool of cheap labor—if anything, we are talking about codependency. Anyone who wants to challenge this, read some of what UC Berkeley professor Ananya Roy has to say on the matter.

As far as denying our imperialism, please take ONE class on the history of Latin America. Does the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine ring any bells? We’ve put our money behind countless corrupt dictators that were responsive to our economic policies in Latin America for decades. Reagan (your hero, I’m sure) when describing Somoza, an oppressive and corrupt dictator put into power by the US government in Nicaragua, said "Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch." So please, do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor and read up on it, before you proclaim that US History ends with what you learned your junior year of high school.
 
Written By: Francesca
URL: http://
"They earned it by choosing to be in the oil business."
I choose too. Send me some profits people.

Hey Retief, you’re right, it IS just that easy!



 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Francesca,
funny, though, I never mentioned raising them. And Obama isn’t talking about taxing the middle class more either, just the top 1%, who received tax breaks from Bush.
We say "government strangles the economy," you hear "I want free money!"
I’m not saying that I want mine, I have no complaints about my own life; I just think that it is absurd that we are the only first world country on the planet without universal health care
Maybe if you type one-handed, you’d be more consistent within each sentence. Just a thought.
Instead of investing in our citizens
The government has to take money away from us, find an inefficient way to use it, and then wait until that usage is out of date in order to "invest" in us. Are you for real? Do you get this? Redistribution of wealth is not a good thing. You keep going back to that. Prices act as signals, people engage in mutually beneficial transactions.
same amount of money investing in affordable public housing
You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.
Does the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine ring any bells?
Who ever said Roosevelt was somebody to imitate? Not me, anyway. Yuck.
before you proclaim that US History ends with what you learned your junior year of high school
You would know. That’s when you took your last economics class, too.
 
Written By: [cb]
URL: http://
Look cb, when you are dealing with an unequal society in which you don’t really want to kill off people that can’t afford to pay for services in the private sector, you do actually have to use government money to make sure their children get educated. Do you know what happens when you don’t? Poverty and violence. Let’s call it investing in your future security, did I use the word right?

Equality of opportunity is something I want this country to strive for, that’s the bottom line—free money has nothing to do with it. Free money, my friend, is EXACTLY Bush’s plan to get us out of recession, so why don’t you call him and give him a lesson on economics.
 
Written By: Francesca
URL: http://
* Increased poverty and violence.
 
Written By: Francesca
URL: http://
Francesca

Your history is as bad as your economics. Somoza was assassinated in 1956. A little before Reagan’s time. If the quote was said by anyone and there is apparently some dispute, it was by FDR, who I safely assume is a hero of yours. For crying out loud, think before you beclown yourself again.
 
Written By: Just Another Bloody Lawyer
URL: http://
Perhaps you can tell us what Exxon did differently between 2004 and now to "earn" 50% more Profit.
I’m guessing that they took in a lot more revenue. Do I get a prize? I’m guessing that even if they made only 5% profit, we’d still be hearing screaming. Am I wrong?

Meanwhile, Microsoft makes $12 billion on an income of $44 billion, and we hear nothing but crickets. There’s something about oil that drives (hopefully) otherwise-rational people mad, I think.
 
Written By: Slartibartfast
URL: http://
Oh, crap. You covered the above, a couple of posts later.

Here’s what I think. I think we should split Exxon into two companies, each capable of making equal amounts of gasoline. That way, each half would only make half as much profit. Of course, there’d be the reorganization costs to recoup...

I had no idea that Exxon paid as much corporate income tax as you stated, though. How much of that tax do you suppose gets passed on to the poor guy buying at the pump, and is that cost delta included in the stackup of the cost of a gallon of gas due to tax?
 
Written By: Slartibartfast
URL: http://
I’m wondering if anyone has checked the profit margin of "good" companies like Google and Apple to see what they are. I think those people might be in for a shock. Apple made $3.5 billion on $24 billion, and Google made about the same on $10 billion of sales.

But Google actually does something, I guess. Oil, it practically drills its own wells, pumps itself out of the ground, tanks itself overseas, refines itself and ships itself to individual stations, which have no operating costs. It ought to be free, I tell you.

Information, though, is expensive.
 
Written By: Slartibartfast
URL: http://
Oh, crap. You covered the above, a couple of posts later.

Here’s what I think. I think we should split Exxon into two companies, each capable of making equal amounts of gasoline. That way, each half would only make half as much profit. Of course, there’d be the reorganization costs to recoup...

I had no idea that Exxon paid as much corporate income tax as you stated, though. How much of that tax do you suppose gets passed on to the poor guy buying at the pump, and is that cost delta included in the stackup of the cost of a gallon of gas due to tax?
 
Written By: Slartibartfast
URL: http://
Yeah, you’re totally right, it was FDR, my mix up.
 
Written By: Francesca
URL: http://
Oh dear, Socialist Francesca,

Please read the information contained at this link and then come back and explain why the government, which made more money from oil than oil companies from 1982-2005 (which is as far as the study covered), should continue confiscating more money from oil companies.

Also, some extra credit for you:

If the government demands windfall taxes in time of prosperity for commodity based companies, why is it not going after farmers, mineral extraction companies, and steel producers (among others)? Should the government reduce taxes on these companies when prices fall?
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
Timactual and Jordan, I said I’d like to change the ALLOCATION of tax money, read, not driving the US into increasing debt (after Bill Clinton, a democrat, balanced the budget, thankyouverymuch) starting wars in all the wrong places. I’d like for more money to be spent on education, health care etc...I live in CA, where we are facing yet another round of budget cuts in public schools.
I’d like a pony. Did you ever stop and think about why even wonderfully liberal California can’t afford to spend more money on education, health care, etc? You can’t even use Iraq as an excuse for that one. Perhaps government can’t provide all the services you want without taxing productive citizens into oblivion?

It would take 30 Iraq Wars to match the cost of our unfunded liabilities. The CBO’s 2003 Long-Term Budget Outlook (released before Iraq) plainly stated that our current spending will be unsustainable in the next 50 years. So, if you really don’t want any cuts in entitlement programs as you claim, then either you’re lying about not wanting to see tax rates rise, or you don’t care if the economy becomes completely crippled.
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
And for the love of god, can we dispense with this "Clinton balanced the budget" nonsense:
Now let us contrast this with the Clinton fiscal record. Recall that it was the Clinton White House that fought Republicans every inch of the way in balancing the budget in 1995. When Republicans proposed their own balanced-budget plan, the White House waged a shameless Mediscare campaign to torpedo the plan — a campaign that the Washington Post slammed as "pure demagoguery." It was Bill Clinton who, during the big budget fight in 1995, had to submit not one, not two, but five budgets until he begrudgingly matched the GOP’s balanced-budget plan. In fact, during the height of the budget wars in the summer of 1995, the Clinton administration admitted that "balancing the budget is not one of our top priorities."

And lest we forget, it was Bill Clinton and his wife who tried to engineer a federal takeover of the health care system — a plan that would have sent the government’s finances into the stratosphere. Tom Delay was right: for Clinton to take credit for the balanced budget is like Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel taking credit for delivering the pitch to Mark McGuire that he hit out of the park for his 62nd home run.

The figure shows that the actual cumulative budget deficit from 1994 to 1998 was almost $600 billion below the Clintonomics baseline. Part of the explanation for the balanced budget is that Republicans in Congress had the common sense to reject the most reckless features of Clintonomics. Just this year, Bill Clinton’s budget proposed more than $100 billion in new social spending — proposals that were mostly tossed overboard. It’s funny, but back in January the White House didn’t seem too concerned about saving the surplus for "shoring up Social Security."
You do remember that Congress controls the purse-strings right?
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
The budget didn’t even begin to balance during Clinton’s presidency until the peak of the dotcom era.

You know, when revenues grew much more quickly than expenditures.
 
Written By: Slartibartfast
URL: http://
McQ, take a deep breath and calm yourself.

Allow me to recap.
Don says they earned their Profits. (That is, $11B last quarter).
You say they benefited from the world’s current demand to the tune of $11B last quarter. (i.e. Their Profits.)

Please tell me what part of this chain you take issue with: Oil companies’ profits have increased as prices have risen. Their record profits are in some large measure driven by high oil prices. (Their business is extracting a commodity, when they sell it for more, they make more.) High prices are a result of constrained supply and high and increasing demand, or to use your shorthand "the world’s current demand." (As is tediously explained everytime anyone complains about high prices, it is supply and demand not oil company actions or greed that creates them.) Or, world’s current demand >>> high price >>> record profits. Are you really going to pretend that one can say that they earned the profits without saying that they earned the key driver of those profits? Good luck.
But as I asked, what part of his comment do you disagree with? Or is the tone you find unappealing?
Neither.
So you don’t disagree with what Obama actually said, just thought it would be a useful segue into bashing Obama with a canned "dirty socialist ignoramuses hate lovely capitalist corporations" rant?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
One more thing, Francesca. Did it ever occur to you that maybe funding is not the problem with our education system? Did you know we spend more per pupil than any other nation on Earth? Here are some sobering statistics:
A 1996 US News & World Report study showed that students in Japan, Germany & France spend 100% more hours studying math, science and history than U.S. students. A full 50% of all students take advanced examinations, compared to but 6.6% in U.S. The left chart shows this equates to 500 per 1,000 foreign students taking advanced exams vs. but 66 per 1,000 in the US. Which means foreign schools are 8 times more intense in pushing for measurable quality at advanced levels of learning

[...]

Combining primary & secondary spending, U.S. spending per student is 45%-67% higher than the most advanced international competitors.

[...]

The chart at left shows students of other nations have 22-35% more school days per year than U.S.
Additionally, some nations (like Germany) require 13 years for a high school diploma vs. 12 years in the U.S.

Not only do more days in school potentially assist their higher quality output, but it is done at LESS cost per student - - as seen on the preceding charts.

 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
(after Bill Clinton, a democrat, balanced the budget, thankyouverymuch)

...when the Rep Congress forced it on him, your welcome. Be more juvenile.
just the top 1%, who received tax breaks from Bush
I’m in the second quintile and I got a tax break from Bush. You are a lie sprinkler.
I live in CA, where we are facing yet another round of budget cuts in public schools.
I, too, live in CA and we face a $16B budget deficit and legislators that don’t know how to cut spending. Arnold made a brave stance against the unions but I’m not optimistic. Our schools get plenty of money. They spend it foolishly on administrators and union officials. In Los Angeles, it’s as mobbed-up as the teamsters. "Yet another round"? There hasn’t been one yet. Arnold promising more money pre-election and then not following through is not a "budget cut".
I just think that it is absurd that we are the only first world country on the planet without universal health care
No, it’s hopeful. That Euro health care is superior to ours is a canard told by supposedly authoritative studies by world organizations with data skewed towards socialism. Not cool. Do we have problems? Of course we do and that is because govt has already gotten involved and tainted the free market. More of the same will result in, uh, more of the same. We have citizens traveling to Asia for surgery because of expense. They have citizens traveling here from Canada and England because, well, they’re dying and on a waiting list. I think I prefer our problem.
Welfare to work forced those you label "dependent" into taking low paying jobs, creating a pool of cheap labor—if anything, we are talking about codependency. Anyone who wants to challenge this, read some of what UC Berkeley professor Ananya Roy has to say on the matter.
Great, so a gender politics professor is supposed to be authoritative on the subject. Bet she doesn’t mention anything about "jobs Americans won’t do".
As far as denying our imperialism, please take ONE class on the history of Latin America.
As long as you choose the professor and the syllabus, I’m sure.
Free money, my friend, is EXACTLY Bush’s plan to get us out of recession, so why don’t you call him and give him a lesson on economics.
You’re right, he needs one. Or maybe it’s just election year legislation. And, again, we’re not yet in a recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. We haven’t had ONE yet! Words have meaning.
you do actually have to use government money to make sure their children get educated. Do you know what happens when you don’t? Poverty and violence.
Just yesterday, I had to scare off a nomadic child tribe from my trash cans. It’s getting hairy out there. We’re the only country in the world whose impoverished have cell phones, TVs, and cars. Why are our poor so much richer than in other countries? That seems unfair.
There’s something about oil that drives (hopefully) otherwise-rational people mad, I think.

I’d like to think it’s stupidity, but I’m sure it’s willful deception, an orchestrated plan by enviros to shame them out of business. First step: Shame the public for their ghastly high demand. Success.
explain why the government, which made more money from oil than oil companies from 1982-2005 (which is as far as the study covered), should continue confiscating more money from oil companies.
Well, it seems Exxon tax receipts has funded this war... and schools and roads and healthcare and...



 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
McQ, take a deep breath and calm yourself.
The only person I see hyperventilating is you, slugger.

For the third time, who said Exxon "earn[ed] skyrocketing demand?"
So you don’t disagree with what Obama actually said, just thought it would be a useful segue into bashing Obama with a canned "dirty socialist ignoramuses hate lovely capitalist corporations" rant?
Uh, no. The "neither" meant that your two questions weren’t at all germane and had nothing to do with the questions I’d asked you in the comment section (see above).

And then I addressed what I was discussing specifically:
What I find unappealing is your willingness to claim things are said which aren’t to make some vacuous strawman point.
What part of that don’t you understand?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net
There are many fine arguments here, but I think they are off the mark in terms of what was said by Obama.

"They don’t want to give those profits up easily."

That is, Exxon is not going to be happy with his energy policies which have far more to do with moving to clean, renewable energy and away from foreign oil dependence than with just taking money from Exxon.

Most blog posts I’ve seen pick on this as some sort of populist, tax the rich statement but I do believe they are overlooking his stated policy goals. I guess any chance to paint the man as a communist, right?

Why is Exxon spreading disinformation about clean energy when they could be investing in it, like most other oil companies, if only for the sake of their current and future employees and shareholders?

They actually take a stance against investing in clean energy, as they would rather re-invest in oil exploration.



 
Written By: angryflower
URL: http://
For the third time, who said Exxon "earn[ed] skyrocketing demand?"
For the nth time, Don did, when he said they earned their profits. McQ, you kindly pointed this out yourself when you suggested that those profits derive from world current demand. I percieve that continue to explain that will not help it to penetrate.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
For the nth time, Don did ...
No, he didn’t.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, enjoy your fish.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net
No, he didn’t.
How deconstructionist of you. What are profits, really?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Oh, profits are skyrocketing demand?

The things you learn on the innerwebs.
 
Written By: Slartibartfast
URL: http://
Just so we’re all arguing the same point, though:

My dictionary has:
earn v 1. To receive in return for services or labor. 2. To gain or acquire as a result of one’s efforts or behavior.
I think Retief’s version has earned looking a bit more like merited.

 
Written By: Slartibartfast
URL: http://
Slartibartfast, allow me to juxtapose to pieces of data for your consideration. First is your definition of earn
To gain or acquire as a result of one’s efforts or behavior.
Second is this paragraph from Exxon’s 10K.
The oil and gas business is fundamentally a commodity business. This means the operations and earnings of the Corporation and its affiliates throughout the world may be significantly affected by changes in oil, gas and petrochemical prices and by changes in margins on gasoline and other refined products. Oil, gas, petrochemical and product prices and margins in turn depend on local, regional and global events or conditions that affect supply and demand for the relevant commodity. These events or conditions are generally not predictable
Now, go and consider what "one’s efforts" have to do with global events or conditions that one can neither control not predict. Merit has nothing to do with it.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Oh, Francesca, the only investment I need in my security comes in calibers. The less the government steals from me the more security I can buy.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Now, go and consider what "one’s efforts" have to do with global events or conditions that one can neither control not predict.
I don’t need to "go and consider" it, I already have considered it. Earning something as a result of one’s actions in no way guarantees that the same actions will result in the same earnings at a different time and under different conditions. You can crank out pet rocks by the millions in the here and now, and not be able to unload a one.
Merit has nothing to do with it.
Right. Merit has nothing to do with the definition of "earned", either. Your notion of "earned" has no relationship at all with standard usage, Retief. When the IRS asks you to state earned income, they’re not looking at whether you actually merited your pay; what they’re looking for is what you acually received. What you’re doing is applying a selective standard of earnings to oil companies simply because you don’t like them.

If you think their profits are egregious, you simply haven’t been paying attention to what other companies are booking. If you think making a profit from oil requires no effort or ingenuity at all, I invite you to substantiate that.
 
Written By: Slartibartfast
URL: http://

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider