Monday, May 01, 2006

Tax the oil companies?

With all the hoopla going on in the press and in Congress, including some mis-guided Republicans talking about supporting a corporate windfall tax on the oil companies, and the criticism about the sweet deal the retiring CEO of Exxon is getting with his $400 million retirement package, could somebody please tell me why there's no screaming in the streets over Bill Gates and Microsoft for even higher profits?

Let's talk about gouging.

"For the fiscal third quarter, Microsoft reported operating income of $3.89 billion and profit of $2.98 billion on sales of $10.9 billion."

That's almost a BILLION DOLLARS A MONTH of pure profit!

Bill Gates is the richest guy on the planet. $400 million is chump change to him.

Microsoft is selling a plastic disk for over $200 that costs them less than a penny and all it has pressed on it is a copy of Windows XP, which still, after 15 years, is a mediocre OS so poorly written and so full of security holes and leaks that it looks like a piece of Swiss cheese from a Tom & Jerry cartoon.

Who is gouging whom?

Or how about Charter cable (run by another Microsoft Billionaire) and all the other cable and satellite companies. We're over $100 a month now for "basic cable" and internet service, and they still nag you to add on yet more movie channels like Showtime, HBO and Pay-per-View.

Yes the oil companies are reaping record profits in terms of dollar amount. But the reality is they make about 10 cents a gallon on gas. They just sold a LOT of gallons. The Federal government takes almost twice that from you in taxes on every gallon. And state and local governments take even more. About 40 cents of a gallon of gas is TAXES. So why aren't you boycotting them?

Who is gouging whom???

The oil companies create hundreds of thousands of jobs directly and literally millions of jobs indirectly. You'd better be damn glad they're out there cranking out gas as fast as they can so you've got gas when you want it so you can hop in your SUV and drive to the spa any time you want to. Maybe you tree-huggers should keep that in mind the next time an oil company wants to build a new refinery.

And don't even get me started on ANWR.


One other thing on taxes.

Repeat after me: Corporations don't pay taxes, PEOPLE pay taxes.

You can tax the oil companies all you want, but they're still going to earn their 10 cents a gallon profit. How? Simply by raising prices of course. Who do you think pays for ALL of the expenses and taxes a corporation pays in the process of producing and selling their product? You do! It's built into the price of the product. "Profit" is the money that's left AFTER all expenses are paid and those expenses include taxes, regardless of how much you tax them.

That's so obvious I can't understand why those pinheads in Washington don't get it.

Government Remains Biggest Oil Profiteer

Even the LA Times gets it:

LA Times Op-Ed: Crude economics

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