Can we please, please, please now tax the ridiculous profits of these companies? Robert P.'s blog Comments How about a 50% tax of their profits next year? Just take it right out of the bottom line. The world economy is moving into a depression and these jokers make a record $45 BILLION in profits in one year? Doesn't this PROVE price gouging? Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over. -me I like th 50% tax idea tax idea, or something in that vicinity, with the dollars going to carbon reduction and green energy. Lets do it As long as we carefully come to a conclusion as to how much profit is OK. Do we go by the raw number? If so, is $30 billion OK, but not $45 billion? Should we go by percentage, which takes into account gross sales? Is 2% OK, but not 10%? Oops, there are(or were before the crash) many companies out there with a higher profit margin than Exxon. They must be gouging too. We'll need to add a a law that only applies to profits for oil companies. Other industries, until we deem otherwise, can make as much of a profit as they want. Right, all profit is good, all regulation and taxes bad. That's why we're doing so well after 8 years of thinking like you just spouted off. Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over. -me Not at all I specifically brought up the point of needing to draw the line in the right place. If we are to even more highly tax "excessive" profits, we need to know how much is OK and how much is too much. If the regular tax on profits is not enough when a company beats the average, what is the standard? I am not playing dumb or playing a game here. I just want to know how what percentage profit is OK and what is the tipping point where it becomes excessive necessitating a more penal tax rate. I don't know what the profit margin for Exxon was for the latest period, but when I checked a few months ago it was something like 8-9%, which was above average, but percentage-wise seemingly well short of "excessive" or "gouging." "All" On blogs and in most debate, using the term "all" and "every" and so forth makes it just too easy to counter. You're a smart guy, Robert P. I'm sure you know what I'm saying. The best thinking is independent thinking. That is sort of what I was trying to say. I obviously misunderstood his intentions and I had a knee-jerk reaction against what I saw as a "all taxes are bad, all regulations are bad" attitude. Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over. -me Are those other companies of which you speak spending hundreds of millions each year funding their own "institutes" so that bogus "scientific" research can be presented to Congress and the American people dealing with the environmental impact of their industry? Do those other companies have wholly owned subsidiaries who are not content to merely destroy the land through strip-mining, they also destroy villages and beat people with clubs? During the demolition, some of the inhabitants of Tabaco were beaten with clubs. Some of those whose houses were demolished were sick, including the children of community leader Jose Julio Perez. One of the women said that a man's head was badly wounded by a wooden club and his daughter, who was trying to help her father, was also attacked by the police, who beat her leg with wooden clubs. Emilio Perez was attacked by fifteen men - either policemen or Intercor security personnel - as soon as he left his house. He was clubbed unconscious and left on the ground. He spent eight days in hospital and still suffers from bad headaches and forgetfulness. Agents of the company demolished 29 houses before stopping. They threatened to demolish more and to come back and demolish the school and other public buildings. It may only have been the people's resistance that stopped them destroying more. This shows that it was not a legally enforced juridical process but a form of pressure and threat, which makes the Judge's involvement even more remarkable. Another woman was hit by a rock in her side, which still hurts her. Her husband was attacked too. He fought back, and because of his agility in struggling against his attackers, they said that he must be a guerrilla - a false accusation which, in the current circumstances in Colombia, could lead to police reprisals or paramilitary attack. The police attempted to wound his eyes, which became covered in blood as they beat him. He recovered. Really makes you proud to be an American... Oh, please everyone! This is just simple capitalism at work, where the corporation makes as much money as they can so they can trickle that stuff right back down to us peons, right? GAG! Tax their asses and make them be part of the solution, whether they like it or not. The question as always is, How much money is enough? With these greedy a-holes, there is NEVER enough... North Carolina. Turning the South Blue! We're talking taxes, while we're still paying... eighteen billion in subsidies to the oil industry! We can't even get that rolled back! Some of you must think the government is there for the people. What a joke! I sure hope any subsidies are now a non-starter Now, it's time to get back our $18 billion PLUS taxes. Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over. -me I'd really like to know now that we have our government back, what those Cheney closed door energy meetings were about. Sunshine please!!! I'm with you on that! ... If it happens in the coming months, I'll know 'change' has come! The shift in taxation is interesting (not). Look at the following paper written in 2006: "A Shift in Taxation of Income From Capital to Income From Labor: The Need for a More Comprehensive Paradigm; The Need for a More Integrated Analysis". http://www.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/4/0/2/5/pages140259/p140259-1.php The capital gains rate is 15% now and would have been 7.5% in Mccain's plan. Used to be, ummm, higher? Hey I'm just sayin' -b There cannot fail to be more kinds of things, as nature grows further disclosed. - Sir Francis Bacon I was looking at some numbers the other day and I was surprised to learn that; US Tax Code = 67,000 pages GAAP = 25000 pages Size of Tax Preparation Business = $300B annually. Then I read "Smartest Guys In The Room" (rise and fall of Enron) Then I read about about offshore tax havens At this rate I'll have to stock up on tinfoil hats :) -b There cannot fail to be more kinds of things, as nature grows further disclosed. - Sir Francis Bacon "Fair Tax" Congressman John Linder and radio talk show host Neal Boortz came out with a book (#1 bestseller for weeks on Amazon) called "Fair Tax". It basically...and I say "basically"...is about a national sales tax which would eliminate the need for federal income taxes/FICA taxes and the like. If done correctly, it would mean that folks would receive everything they earn and their tax would come when they purchase goods and services. It's an EXTREMELY intersting book. It would eliminate MUCH of the huge IRS tax code...the gazillion-dollar IRS expense and would realize far more in revenue to the federal general fund than the current structure....according to the book and a host of notable economists. The problem? It would take away a great deal of power from Washington politicians. So...Hell would freeze over before it ever became law. The book is "Fair Tax"...Author Congressman John Linder. The best thinking is independent thinking. Let be fair about your Tax! Pay up or we hold your kids hostage Congressman John Linder and radio talk show host Neal Boortz came out with a book * Smitty pluging two known losers There is no such tax as a " Fair Tax".......Do you really believe the American Revolution was fought over the 13 th amendment after 1913? It's the farthest thing from fair Think about it, Smitty. Right now, if you earn a million dollars, probably $400,000 will go for income tax. Let's say if you were allowed to keep it all, you'd spend that $400,000 on goods and services (at 30% sales tax), and stash the rest. So the taxes collected from your million dollars are now $120,000 instead of $400,000. When you get up to the multi-millionaires, the difference is even greater. Under a Fair Tax, the rich would benefit like crazy, while schmucks like you and me would be shopping at yard sales just to break even with what we were paying before. Not the only problem The issue is worthy of its own thread, but the Fair Tax is not really so fair. The research on the subject is a little questionable on the pro side, with a lot of negative stuff. "Keep the Faith" The funny part is if those profits are confiscated from Exxon it will still end up being spent by the same people. companies are evil if they cut jobs or go bankrupt, but they are also evil if they make a profit meanwhile, the government can take pretty much anything it wants from anyone at gunpoint and it is the virtuous savior. what an attractive ideology. On the other hand.... there is no reason to give them $6, $10, or $18 BILLION in subsidies. On the other hand, there is no reason for them to pay a lower real tax rate than I do. On the other hand, hundreds of thousands of truckers have lost their job or houses or both because of high fuel costs last year. On the other hand, at least Exxon gave their rich, fat cats MILLIONS and MILLIONS in bonuses. On the other hand, go peddle your free market crap somewhere else. Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over. -me And what are you peddling? there is no reason to give them $6, $10, or $18 BILLION in subsidies. On the other hand, there is no reason for them to pay a lower real tax rate than I do. Whoa there - are you suggesting that the government not give out special favors in the marketplace? Are you some sort of free-market anarchist or something? On the other hand, hundreds of thousands of truckers have lost their job or houses or both because of high fuel costs last year. On the other hand, at least Exxon gave their rich, fat cats MILLIONS and MILLIONS in bonuses. Yes, fuel costs were extremely high - therefore what? Exxon executives were paid with money that was given to them voluntarily - are you claiming that money wasn't theirs to give? Who owns the money? On the other hand, go peddle your free market crap somewhere else. I guess I thought that since this was a privately owned website, with advertisements, hosted on a privately owned server, and accessed via private communication networks, there wouldn't be open hostility to the suggestion that allowing voluntary exchange of privately owned property tends to produce a fairly sensible system of distributing scarce resources. I must have mistaken hypocrisy for tacit recognition that the free market, to some degree, is both desirable and unavoidable. You are SOOO last millennium Companies can be good citizens but the robber-barons are always angling for more. Democracy doesn't fare well under the thumb of the ultra wealthy. We're due for a shake up or a shake down as the case may need to be. OMG...you folks just miss the point here C'mon, y'all...we can't start taking away profits from ANY company that makes HUGE buckaroos. EVERY company is in business to do that...why else be a company? I mean, stockholders expect it. If you're not involved in the stock market or involved in investing in companies and so forth because of your income level or just don't like doing that...Please don't trash companies that have super-duper profits. Now...if a company is receiving HUGE "profit margins"...like marking up their product WAY above what would be considered an expectation...then, yeah, I'm okay with all the "wealth envy" I see here. But, if a company sells a shit-load of product and makes a shit-load of money because of the volume...well, then, that's capitalism. What I'd like to see presented is how the evil oil companies have ACTUALLY raped us...what's the proof? How have they done that? Have they actually raised prices just to take more profits from us or have they just made more money because there's a huge increase in oil usage because of China's increased usage and America's continued reliance on oil or India's increased usage or....well, unless you're just ignorant, you get the message. It's not about "profits" y'all..........It's about "profit margin". But, alas, I guess folks that don't have an understanding with regard to that just won't get the point. To them...It's just a huge dollar amount and they need to pay because they're doing well. Geeezzzz.... The best thinking is independent thinking. Smitty come on. Why are we subsidizing a company that obviously doesn't need it? That same company is producing a product that pollutes our air and makes us sick. I'm not against companies making profits, but let's use our subsidy money wisely, eh? Maybe give ALL children health care coverage. That would be a start. It's a matter of rethinking and reallocating our priorities and our money. So, $4 gas was totally legitimate? Even though they made that profit with gas at $2 or less for a large part of the year? It's totally legitimate that the price of gas just happens to spike every holiday when people are driving? And, it is just coincidence that the price of gas goes up every summer while people are driving for holidays, but goes down every winter? Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over. -me And not to mention if a hurricane is forecasted remember the last one that was predicted? There were even shortages as people stood in line to fill up with the suddenly most expensive gas yet. At least they're "transparent". I've already spoken to the $4/gal issue I'm sure you saw my response to the $4/gal thingy. Again...no clue where that came from. I won't go with the "supply and demand" thing on your "up every summer/holiday, down in winter" stuff. We'd just have to debate that like forever and ever. You consider the oil companies an evil entity and as such would have a hard time with any kind of explaination of that nature. I play golf with a couple guys with your same opinion...we've pretty much decided to not "get into it" anymore to save the time and effort. I'm gonna do that with you. The best thinking is independent thinking. No argument here, Linda No...I absolutely support taking away ANY tax incentives or any other kind of support for oil companies. I understand what you're saying here...totally. I just HATE it when people want to trash companies..even oil companies...for making profits. If they make excessive "profit margins", that's different. Hope you understand what I'm saying. The best thinking is independent thinking. I do understand, Smitty. I'm pretty sure that's how we all feel. When most of us say "profit", we're talking about net profit, aren't we? What the company actually makes after their costs? Thanks for the reply It means a lot to me when people actually understand about our capitalist system. Companies, regardless how big, are in business to make a profit. There shouldn't be anything that controls how big that profit is. However, it isn't justifiable if a company, because their product is a social need, gets an unusual amount of "profit margin". This is paramount in our system. There should never be any company that has such a control of a socially needed product that it can have sole control over the price so as to increase their margin of profit. It would be like a town having one florist shop with no other shop anywhere close. They could charge 10-times more than what most florists charge in that situation...and it should be prosecuted for price gouging. That's not what the oil companies do. They buy a product (raw oil) and refine it into various types of fuel. They offer it up for what it will bring based on "supply and demand" If the supply does not exceed the demand, the product is expensive and the oil company receives a good margin on their investment. If not, then the price of fuel goes down...yet the margin will stay the same because the oil company buys the oil for less before it refines it. It's like denim. There is a good mark-up on denim makers because blue jeans are popular and sales are brisk...or at least have been until the economic downturn. Denim makers/suppliers have made a HUGE amount of money because of the volume of denim. This is just an example and no, they haven't made what the oil companies have made....but the process is the same. Again...I'm TOTALLY against ANY kind of tax break or financial outlay to oil companies from the U.S. government. That's just totally ludicrous. That is a remnant from the Bush/Cheney era. That's over. Let's get rid of that like N O W! The best thinking is independent thinking. I think we have to give credit to the other folks on this board They're not as misguided on the idea of "profit" as you seem to think they are. I guess I can see it because I know what they mean when they say profits, incentives, tax breaks, etc. I honestly believe that some words have different connotations to people of different political persuasions. So we wind up talking about the same thing, using slightly different words, and get all up in arms when we agree on many key points. Tomato, Tomahto, Potato, Potahto. I would not be against tax breaks to companies, oil included, if those breaks and incentives were for a purpose that would move the company ahead towards a goal for the country. For instance, why aren't we seeing affordable hydrogen powered cars? I'd incentive that. I would certainly subsidize the entire early childhood system in the country - which isn't really a system, but a patchwork quilt of different ideas and programs stretched to their breaking point trying to serve children in the best way possible. And, since it's 2 in the morning and I could ramble on for an hour or two, I'll stop. I think you see what I mean. I think you missed my point on "profits" My point on "profits" is that there is a significant difference between "profit" and "profit margin". Don't get me wrong...I stand by my belief that it's a bit ridiculous to give tax breaks/incentives to major oils even for alternative fuel/energy sources. Those huge profits they're taking in can be used partially for that kind of development and they can involve themselves in the profit side of that as well. Profits are as you said. Profit margins is the "mark up" on your goods and services. Oil gets a huge amount of profits simply because of volume. I think last I saw their "margin" was somewhere around 7 or 7 1/2% which is less than most companies. Guess we're beating a dead horse on this one. The best thinking is independent thinking. That doesn't make sense. How can their profit margin be "7 or 7 1/2%" when they sell gas for $4/gallon half the year and $2/gallon for the other half? This isn't a can of Coke that sells for $1 all year long and of that Coke gets back a nickel. That would mean they have a floating profit margin of (see below) 20% to 5% or something like that. Also, if their profit margin is 7% and their profit is $45 BILLION, then doesn't that mean they did around $700 BILLION in business? In fact: The company reported Friday that it beat its own record for the highest profits ever recorded by any company, with net income rising 3 percent to $40.6 billion, thanks to surging oil prices. The company’s sales, more than $404 billion, exceeded the gross domestic product of 120 countries. They have a profit margin of 10%. I remember not long ago that UNC Hospitals said they wanted to reach 3% profit margin and people had a fit. Seems Duke only makes 2% and they are private. Looking at this Fortune 500 list, it seems like only 10 of 50 business classes make profit margins of 10% or more. I do understand what you are saying about volume. And, maybe the market will take care of this. Maybe 10% of their customers will get pissed off that they made 45BILLION in profits while they couldn't buy groceries. Maybe they will start shopping somewhere else. I certainly will try to avoid giving them business, of course I'm a liberal hippie that walks or takes the bus. Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over. -me Just some appropriate information on oil company profit margins Here's something from U.S. News and World Report: the margin. The oil industry urges people to look beyond its profits to its profit margin: about 7.6 percent of revenues late last year. That's not much higher than the 5.8 percent profit margin for all U.S. manufacturing, and if you exclude the financially troubled auto industry from that analysis, the oil industry actually appears less profitable than most manufacturers, which were earning 9.2 cents on every dollar of sales. Here's the link: http://www.usnews.com/articles/business/economy/2008/02/01/exxons-profits-measuring-a-record-windfal... The best thinking is independent thinking. Late last fall. Well, since then things must have changed. I mean, if they sold $450 million and had $45 million in profits...... Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over. -me Ah...c'mon, Robert Look...I know ya want to be right here..and look, I really don't care if you want that and have a feel-good thing with it all. I posted what I've seen, what I feel...if ya disagree with it, then ya disagree with it. We can go back and forth with it for eternity. Go Cardinals !! : The best thinking is independent thinking. How about a gross tax for oil companies then? I would be comfortable with that. No write-offs and a 20% tax. Put them into the same boat as police officers, nurses, and teachers. Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over. -me Sounds good to me, Robert P Look, oil companies make a lot of money. They have a "combined monopoly" on oil...a HUGE commodity. Do they take advantage of the folks that use/need their commodity? Youbetcha. But, arguing about their "profit margin" is ludicrous. There are certainly industries and companies and whatever else that have less profit margin than oil companies. There are also a LOT of companies that have a larger profit margin. We're not talking PROFITS here...and I see in another post you do understand about volume. But, to make them evil because they're making kazillions of buck-a-roos just isn't right...not to me. I mean, the power companies make huge profits and Walmart makes a lot of profits while paying little to their employees and....well, oil companies seem to be the punching bag today. I have ZERO clue why gasoline went to over $4.00/gal. It absolutely KILLED me and my kids. One of my children had to go to a scooter he had bought years earlier and had garaged to get to his workplace. I cussed the oil companies. I still haven't read or heard how/why that $4.00 happened and why it went away so quickly....other than the world population cutting back significantly and the law of supply and demand cut it back. Personally, I think it went back down because of all the talk by Obama & Co. about alternative fuels and the oil companies knew that if it stayed that high, the push for these fuels/autos/other vehicles would go forward IMMEDIATELY. It worked...Now? That's not being discussed nearly as much as it was before. The Saudis and the oil companies know what they're doing in this regard. Back to the big tax on oil companies...no write-offs, no "incentive billions"...I'm TOTALLY on board with that. The best thinking is independent thinking. Let me 'splain it I have ZERO clue why gasoline went to over $4.00/gal. I'm sure you've heard of the "Enron Loophole", but it didn't just serve Enron, it opened up the commodities market to low-regulation trading by hundreds of hedge fund speculators. Phil Gramm (R) pushed the bill through in late 2000, and in 2002, he left the Senate and went to work for UBS, who made a killing from oil speculation. After we plunder the Peons! Let's kill them! * Attila Smitty There shouldn't be anything that controls how big that profit is.*John D. Rockfellar Smitty It's call the cops Smitty with the people demanding a refund! No doubt the term " Monoploy" or Robber Barons is not your strong point on Corporate history. Shame on you! A good republican would know that the Boston Tea Party was about Corporate Greed and Taxes From the "Rush Limbaugh" school of economics! "It means a lot to me when people actually understand about our capitalist system"--Smitty -I have to agree with Max on this one, Smitty. To believe that the 'free enterprise' system is working, by holding up the oil companies as an example, tells me you would have voted for Bush for a third term, if possible. No, you should not quit the Republican party! You're right at home with them. How absurd Look....you can cherry pick little snipets of what I say and give me "down in the country" if ya want and try to make me out to be something I'm not. It's a free country right? And, anything can be said here about anyone...no problem there. I have already said a zillion times that I lean right on many issues...but not on ALL issues. I like the free enterprise system as it should be...not as it is. It has served us very well throughout our history. No, it hasn't always been so great and with the goons we have in many areas in it right now and in the recent past, we've got a problem with it because they're abusing it. denno, you'll certainly win a popularity contest here doing what you're doing with my posts. If you don't like a solid, working free enterprise system...what is it you DO like? We have a new sherrif in town...hopefully he and his deputies will be able to get that system back on the right track. I'm pulling for them...and I've also said that a zillion times. Not sure what you think a republican is....but if you think I would fit in at a state republican state convention or even at a county republican meeting...you ain't the brightest bulb in the box. But, like I said...it's good banter here for you and you'll certainly get a smirk or a chuckle from some of the folks here. The best thinking is independent thinking. SHEW !!! English please. Thanks. The best thinking is independent thinking. If you might have noticed, I haven't replied to any .... of your posts since you started here. Mainly because you said you were a Republican, and obviously write your posts in defense of their philosophies. And I'm not going to get any new perspectives or ideas from right wing ideology. But if you re-read your previous comments on this one, you have been lecturing us on how we don't understand the capitalist system, and then go on to tell us how the oil profits are to be expected and normal. Then a few sentences later, explain that you have no idea of why we paid $4 a gal. Well I might not be the brightest bulb, as you say, but I certainly spent a lot of time analyzing on why this happened. There was hearings last Fall that explained a lot about how the Hedge funds, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, etc., were buying huge amounts of futures contracts, which was a 'cornering the market' strategy which worked. A few weeks back, if you watch "60 minutes", they even showed where Morgan Stanley had these big storage facilities to actually take delivery on their oil to hold it off the market. And why the price of gasoline plummeted? Because once the banks got caught up in the credit fiasco, there was no cash available to support the margin buys on the futures markets. So the hedge funds were getting caught with positions on their oil which could only be sold at lower prices. Hence, the reason for so many bankrupt hedge funds. And back to Exxon, not too long ago a CEO retired from Exxon with 400 million dollar golden parachute. In the meantime, there has been no additional refineries built in almost 30 years. So, even with the oil returning to $40 a barrel, the prices of refined gasoline is rising again. If you know that your refining capacity is 'just enough', and it's the only game in town, you can easily manipulate the domestic price. Hardly requires a bright bulb to understand that. In the future, you might just state your opinions or position, without telling us how we don't understand things, and you won't be hearing from me again. Yeah, denno, I understand all of that Curious that just stating I was a republican made you not respond to my posts before. Why now? Maybe you think you believe you've caught me up here or something. You are doing with my posts what so many here like to do. They take something I said and then put their own meaning into it saying it's what I meant. I don't believe "oil profits are to be expected and normal". I do believe that the reason they're so high is because of their volume. I offered up links that show that their profit margins aren't out of range. But, you have tried to change what I said to make an argument. It's high school debate tactics. I also haven't tried to defend the prices of gasoline. I even said I have no idea why it went to $4/gal. for that short period it did that. I DON'T know why that happened. I have not defended CEO's for getting their huge bonuses or "golden parachutes". I have, however, said that I believe it's wrong for the U.S. govt (we taxpayers) to give "incentives/tax breaks" to oil companies for alternative energy research and other purposes. I've also said that I know that the oil companies have a "combined monopoly" and that it needs to have oversight. Look, I DID state my opinion and position. You might not like it that I tried to explain the difference between "profits" and "profit margins", but many people don't understand that. As for whether I hear from you again...that's your option, my friend. This is a blog where we discuss our differing opinions. I truly try not to tell other posters what they meant by what they said, but sometimes I do that and then regret it. I think it's only fair that I don't try to change someone's intent, so I'm working on it. Hopefully you will too. The best thinking is independent thinking.