I’m a bit busy today so your benevolent dictator has suspended “this date in history” but I do have something of interest and something for you to ponder this Super Bowl Weekend. Most of the headlines you read concerning ExxonMobil and its 2008 report will shout about the company’s record profit. Here is one from Fox News that does exactly that. I chose that outlet on purpose because so many people claim that it is so biased. I personally find it biased a shade but not nearly as much as some other networks are biased in the other direction. Here is an example of even Fox News writing a story and burying the headline in favor of something that is true, but is biased in favor of the opposite side of where its detractors think it is. Here is another article on the same story from a business site related to the oil and gas industry and they do the same thing.
Here’s my beef. Is it really news that Exxon made record profits in 2008? I mean that is what every one already knows or at least suspected. What these article bury is that in the 4th quarter, Exxon saw a decline in profits from the previous year of 33%. But the reall big part of the story that gets buried is the taxes ExxonMobil pays versus their profit.
ExxonMobil had a $45.22 Billion total profit in 2008. That is a record. ExxonMobile PAID $36.5 BILLION IN INCOME TAX. That comes to a 47% income tax rate, up from 44% from last year. Now, President Obama campaigned to punish the oil companies. I say punish because I saw a commercial here in Louisville that then candidate Obama said he wanted to impose a “windfall profits penalty.” That’s right. He didn’t even call it a tax he called it a penalty. Now, Exxon’s overall profit margin for 2008 was 10.57%. Yup..,that’s it. So, the proposal basically said that Exxon should be “penalized” for making an 11% profit. How does that sound, especially when you consider that they already are paying 47% in income taxes. How much is enough? But..it gets better….
In addition to the $36.5 Billion in income taxes, Exxon Mobil PAID $34.5 BILLION IN SALES TAX. I’m not done yet. ExxonMobil ALSO PAID $45.2 BILLION IN “OTHER TAXES.“
EXXONMOBIL TOTAL TAX BILL FOR 2008 WAS $116.26 BILLION WITH A FINAL PROFIT OF “JUST” $45.22 BILLION
To be fair, I bet much of that sales tax is passed on through to whom they sold their products to, which could be anyone from foreign governments to a typicalSo, the biggest winner by over 250% was…the government. Uncle Sam profits nearly 3 times as much as ExxonMobil when oil prices are high. In 2006, all of the US oil companies paid more than the bottom 75% of US taxpayers in income tax..that doesn’t include all of the other taxes that they had to pay. The corporate bigshots at ExxonMobil do not keep the money for themselves. No, they share the profits with the shareholders…everyday Americans, America Labor Unions, American Pension Plans…everyone who owns part of ExxonMobil not only enjoyed the rise in the stock price, but also in the dividends. ExxonMobil’s profits rose by 8% from 2007 to 2008 but they raised their dividend by 13% per share to $40.1 Billion.
Now, don’t you think that all of that information is much more helpful, more interesting and more pertinent to the news story than just ExxonMobil made a record profit? Isn’t it more interesting to know that government makes nearly 3 times as much money as ExxonMobil does on the business that ExxonMobil is engaged in? I’m not certain of the exact number but I want to say that ExxonMobil had paid some $250 Billion in the previous 3 years in taxes. Wouldn’t all of this type of information been helpful in your forming an opinion about the oil industry? Yet, media types, in my view, are either too stupid. are ignorant and lazy or they deliberately leave out information in order to sway your view. And you are not informed. If you want to learn truth, you cannot rely on the media.
Weather Bottom Line: I’m not too surprised at the data now coming out concerning the next storm. You see, quite often when the subtropical jet inititalizes a low along the Gulf Coast and then phases with the polar jet, the low will track along the northern Gulf Coast and then up the East Coast and you get a “Noreaster” with big snow for the east coast. This is also one of the more common scenarios for snow in the Dixie states. The way the models were shaping up, it was taking the low on a more inland route that would bring the storm up the Appalacians and bring rain to snow in our area with a whole mess of snow in Eastern Kentucky.
If you recall, I had said the problem with this was not that the storm would not form, but instead where it would go, especially given that the storm had not even formed yet and it really even hasn’t at this time either. But, the current line of thinking makes some sense as the trof digs in a little faster and so the whole long wave pattern gets shifted east. In fact, there is some indication that the storm may end up being so far off the coast that the Northeast doesn’t get a huge dump of snow…but its too far out to really tell. We do have the prospects of a vortmax coming down from the northwest through the flow on Tuesday and there may be enough wrap around moisture from the storm that will by that time be off the mid-Atlantic coast, to wring out some accumulating snow. My guess is that if the current scenario of the track plays out, we’d get a little snow on Monday and into Tuesday. Ice is not likely and snow accumulations total would be minimal. In fact, the 12Z Sat GFS and NAM have just a half inch of snow total for the GFS and the NAM blows it off altogether. Keep in mind, if you are traveling, that the farther east or northeast you go, the greater the snow potential for those days. Also..the track is still a bit iffy. Remember it still only exists in the minds of machines and in the last 36 hours the track has been shifted east about 800 miles. Also remember US Grant’s admonission that “man proposes, God disposes.”