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Sophistry is used by Obama, the Democrats and even some Republicans to vilify very successful companies dealing with crucial commodities – like gas. Opponents and demagogues portray the $10.65 billion profit of Exxon Mobile as obscene and rapacious – and demand that punitive actions such as windfall profits taxes be imposed in order to “recoup” what shouldn’t be theirs.
This is an essential component of the Democratic Party’s ideology - punishing those individuals and companies that are successful and ironically, pay inordinate amounts of taxes to begin with.
In contrast, what has Government Motors (GM), a government and union favorite and perennial loser, done for us lately?
How about cost the American taxpayer tens of billions of dollars that we will never see again. A failed company on life support (thanks to Federal government) that should have been allowed to fail and close or markedly downsize that is persistently sucking out rather than contributing tax dollars.
The editorial below places this deception into proper perspective. We will add one more element. Though not entirely linear, if Exxon Mobil had produced only one fifth the amount of oil that it actually did, its profit would have been only be around $2 billion – not so excessive sounding. However, this would have also translated into a higher cost of a gallon of gas (due to supply and demand issues) and its tax “contribution” to our government would have been billions of dollars lower.
Seen And Obscene
Investor’s Business Daily 04/28/2011
Earnings: A few oil firms post what some call outrageous profits. How long before the uninformed and envious demand these companies pay a windfall profits tax?
Exxon Mobil, the largest oil company in the U.S., reported Thursday a first-quarter profit of $10.65 billion, or $2.14 a share, up 61% from a strong year-earlier period. Royal Dutch Shell came in at $8.78 billion, or $1.76 a share, up 68%. And on Friday, Chevron is expected to post a 27% increase in earnings to $5.69 billion, or $3 a share.
Speaking for the anti-capitalist, anti-corporate wing of his party (it's a big wing), Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., called Exxon's profits "obscene" and claimed that "Big Oil" is "robbing" the middle class.
Two days earlier, ABC's Jonathan Karl displayed the bias widely found in his profession when he, too, asked if there is something "obscene" about high oil and gas profits "when Americans are struggling just to fill up the tank."
While billions in profits might seem a little much, let's take a look at the context.
Exxon earned $10.65 billion on $114 billion in revenue. Shell's $8.78 billion profit came on $114.84 billion in revenue. Chevron's expected top line of $66.62 billion will likely yield a bottom line of $5.69 billion. These are not outsize margins — roughly 9% after taxes in the case of Exxon, less than 5% for Shell and 8.5% for Chevron.
In comparison, Apple made $6 billion on revenue of $24.7 billion, a profit margin of almost 25% in the first quarter. Google's profit margin for the same period was nearly 27%. Too high-tech for you? McDonald's makes 20 cents on the dollar. Where is the outrage over their profits? Aren't they committing robbery too?
Also lost in the rush to demonize oil companies is historical context. What some would say are large profits simply aren't inevitable. The oil industry has gone through periods of low profits before and will again.
Further, there's a (probably willful) misreading on the left and in the media of oil company profits. They aren't squandered by rich executives but paid to investors — some of them Democrats — and plowed back into producing more energy. If profits are taxed more, investors are hurt, as are consumers who pay higher prices due to energy scarcity caused by curtailed development.
"Obscene" profits? A need for punitive taxes on oil companies? The facts show the Democrats and the media (but we repeat ourselves) are wrong on both counts.
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We have just finished our second year of presenting you with information and opinions on issues relating to attacks by our government on our rights, freedoms and way of life as intended and established by our Founding Fathers. These past 27 months under the ideologically radical, intellectually dishonest, corrupt, arrogant, racist and abjectly incompetent Obama Administration have been among the worst (excluding the Civil War) in our nation's history.
Even worse than the Carter's years.
We have a "president" who shows an unmistakable and perpetual disdain for our country and a majority of its citizens (which has been on display internationally). His actions have consistently been geared to weakening us economically and militarily and to reducing us to a non-exceptional and middling nation in the eyes of the rest of the world.
Domestically, he has relentlessly sought to abrogate our rights, freedoms and choices often by resorting to unconstitutional or fringe means and regulations that frequently make use of his hand-picked radical, anti-American and often Marxist czars and far-left infested government agencies. These are imposed against the will of the people - US!
These are the signs and manifestations of tyranny and MUST NOT BE TOLERATED.
Obama, as well as those in his Administration, in Congress and elsewhere who seek to negate our rights like that which occurred in the old Soviet Union through the Politburo, must be vehemently and vociferously opposed and either neutralized or removed from office or government positions.
Information is power and we must use it to Save Our Rights!
Thank you for your continued support ... and spread the word.
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We have seen countless instances of Obama puerile, vindictive, and indefensible behavior and actions in his treatment of individuals, politicians and even States that he doesn’t like for any of a variety of political reasons. Many dismiss such occurrences as just the “Chicago way” when, in fact, such behavior is not merely just un-Presidential but may violate the law.
Such arrogance and abuse of power by Obama is his essence.
Being and acting Presidential for all the States and citizens is a foreign concept to him so to speak.
Messing With Texas, Chicago Way
Investor’s Business Daily 04/27/2011
Politics: Asked last week why he's so unpopular in Texas, the only thing our president could say was "Republicans." Now that Texas has been lashed by tornadoes, his curious refusal to aid the state suggests the depth of his dislike.
Two weeks ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry pleaded with the president in a 16-page letter to declare a large number of Texas counties disaster areas after historic wildfires ravaged over a million acres across the state, burning 350 homes and killing three.
A bad combination of hurricane rains, freezing weather and subsequent drought have made ideal conditions for the inferno during this tornado season.
Perry's request was a routine effort to free up federal disaster funds so the state wouldn't have to fight the fires alone. Texas should have been granted it easily.
But to date, nobody's gotten back to him — though other states with natural disasters, such as Oklahoma next door, got the declarations they needed. North Carolina got its declaration a mere four days after it made its request. So far, the White House seems to be saying Texas can burn.
This is no isolated incident. In the aftermath of the September 2010 killing of a U.S. citizen by Mexico's Zeta cartel in Texas waters, Perry pleaded in another letter to the president to send 1,000 extra National Guard troops to the border, warning of a "dire threat amassing on our southern border."
The response he got was little more than pablum from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano assuring that all was well on the border.
Since then, mass graves have been found on the Mexican side of the border, and they aren't done digging.
This Monday, Perry announced that Texas would finally get its $830 million in promised federal funding for education from the Department of Education after a nine-month delay. Texas alone of all 50 states had been denied its share of the funds as a result of an amendment from an Obama ally, Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin, who wrote a special provision into the 2010 federal education jobs bill to require Texas alone to "supplement and not supplant" state education financing through 2013. Perry called it unconstitutional, and it was reversed in the 2011 budget.
If this isn't a pattern, what is? In Texas, it's been one thing after another since the president told WFAA-TV in Dallas last week that he's unpopular in the state because it's full of conservatives.
What's more, he suggested they weren't sufficiently grateful to him. "Gov. Perry helped balance his budget with about $6 billion worth of federal help — which he happily took — and then started blaming the members of Congress who had offered that help," Obama told a TV interviewer.
Seems the president considers federal funding "his" money — rather than a round trip of cash from the states — deserving of gratitude, and any state that thinks otherwise gets payback, the Chicago Way.
Arizona, Wisconsin and Louisiana have felt similar stings for defying Washington.
This kind of ward-heeling behavior may seem logical to Obama, but it's quite beneath the office of a president who is presumed to govern all the country.
Texas, and the rest of the U.S. for that matter, desperately needs a leader, not a partisan politician whose only fealty is to his political cronies.
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Obama’s policies regarding our economy have been an unmitigated abject failure but you will never read this in the far left “main stream” media. They will make little or no mention of his failed, irrational actions.
Because Obama’s their man!
To them, this is still Bush’s fault as well as of the Republican Party. They will never admit to the fecklessness and ideological rigidity of Obama’s policies and the profound damage that is has and is causing.
Who's Turning U.S. Into The Third World?
Investor’s Business Daily 04/15/2011
Economy: President Obama says Republicans, if they get their way, will turn the U.S. into a "Third World" nation. Has he looked recently at the course he's set us on? As psychologists say, it sounds like projection to us.
One of the cheapest tricks in political rhetoric is to accuse your opponents of doing something bad that you yourself are doing. That's exactly what President Obama did when he charged that GOP efforts to restore fiscal responsibility would turn us into "a nation of potholes, and our airports would be worse than places ... that we used to call the Third World."
Never mind that most of what he's talking about — like "potholes" and airports — have always been local priorities. And Obama is U.S. president, not U.S. mayor.
But what stuck in our craw was that "Third World" crack. Excuse us, isn't that the way we've been heading under Obama? Consider for a moment these trends:
• Real earnings have fallen for five straight months, and are down 1% since the end of last year.
• Consumer price inflation is growing at a 6.1% annual rate over the last three months, while producer prices are rising an even-faster 13%. According to John Williams of the Shadow Government Statistics website, if we measure consumer prices the way we did before 1992, inflation is now running at 10% a year.
• The U.S. has added $6 trillion to its debt under Obama, a sure sign of being on the road to Third World status. Three years ago, the U.S. had $7.9 trillion in debt. Today, we have $14 trillion. Bankrupt, hyperinflated Zimbabwe couldn't do any better.
• The U.S. dollar has fallen so much and foreign nations have so little confidence in our ability to run our fiscal affairs that the "BRIC" nations — the mostly fast-growing former Third World nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China — are talking about replacing the U.S. dollar in foreign trade with the Chinese yuan.
• Just 45.4% of Americans had jobs last year, the lowest since 1983, according to census data crunched by USA Today. Among men, just 66.8% had work last year, the lowest ever.
• Obama touts the "recovery" that supposedly began in June of 2009, but a look at the data show that last year's real private sector GDP was in fact still down 1.1% from its peak in 2007 — so all of the "expansion" has been in government, not the private sector.
• While we're at it, under Obama, spending has risen farther and faster than under any president in history. At current rates, government at all levels will take up more than half of all economic activity by 2050.
Can't happen here, you say? In 1920, Argentina was one of the five richest countries on Earth. Then it followed policies similar to Obama's — kowtowing to unions, government control of industry, price controls. It crashed, burned and never really recovered.
We're headed down that road. Today, government spending is at a record 25% of GDP, while government regulation costs the U.S. economy $1.7 trillion a year.
As Vice President Biden might say, "That's real Third World, man."
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