Shocker: Oil companies pay the most in income taxes

posted at 3:21 pm on March 19, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

President Obama and the Democrats’ calls for more revenue are almost never complete without some kind of shoutout to how we need to end loopholes for those treacherous, evil oil companies, but just a friendly reminder: Oil companies provide for some of the most handsome portions of federal revenue already.

To identify the companies that pay the most taxes, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed corporate tax payments for the top 150 companies by revenue. … These are the companies paying the most in taxes:

1. ExxonMobil

• Income tax expense: $31.05 billion

• Earnings before taxes: $78.73 billion

• Revenue: $428.38 billion

•1-year share price change: 6.56%

• Industry: Oil and gas …

2. Chevron

• Income tax expense: $20.00 billion

• Earnings before taxes: $46.33 billion

• Revenue: $222.58 billion

• 1-year share price change: 9.52%

• Industry: Oil and gas

I would merely like to point out, once more, that I am advocate for the elimination of all energy subsidies, breaks, loopholes, incentives, and what have you, from oil and natural gas to wind and solar alike — because they all serve niche interests, distort free market signals, and further encumber the competitiveness of our tax code.

What Democrats always conveniently forget to mention about the attractive-sounding idea of eliminating all of these greeeeedy oil company tax breaks, however, is that without an accompanying decrease in across-the-board rates, it’s really just a deceptive ways of hiking taxes, which is of course their goal. They don’t want revenue neutrality, they want more revenue to pay for their big-government schemes; and if anybody is honestly convinced that those tax hikes would come on the backs of those darn fat cats’ ill-begotten hoarded profits rather than on the backs of everyday oil consumers (which is, I might add, everybody — hence why oil companies are so very big), they’ve got another thing coming.

By the way — who’s up for some more taxes at the pump?

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) on Tuesday said Congress needs to pass legislation increasing the federal gasoline tax in order to pay for increased and ongoing demands on U.S. infrastructure.

DeFazio warned on the House floor that the federal highway trust fund will fall to zero by next year, and said the government is spending billions less on infrastructure each year, which is hurting job creation. He said a recent report from the American Society of Civil Engineers shows that the U.S. is falling behind on maintaining its infrastructure compared with other countries.

“We’re going to have to talk about revenues, it’s the only way to solve that problem,” he said. “We can get a 100 percent rate of return. It’s pretty simple. We would just index the existing gas tax — which hasn’t changed since 1993.”


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Can you fix the formatting on the bullet points to make it easier to read? Minor quibble….

nukemhill on March 19, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) on Tuesday said Congress needs to pass legislation increasing the federal gasoline tax in order to pay for increased and ongoing demands on U.S. infrastructure.

Good luck selling that to the public, Pete. BTW, I hope the Dems do push this idea. Not only will the electorate reject it outright, but it’ll force the media to discuss gas prices which have otherwise been buried as a news story lately.

Doughboy on March 19, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Somebody call Obama and Bill O’Reilly!

AllahsNippleHair on March 19, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Good luck selling that to the public, Pete. BTW, I hope the Dems do push this idea. Not only will the electorate reject it outright, but it’ll force the media to discuss gas prices which have otherwise been buried as a news story lately.

Doughboy on March 19, 2013 at 3:26 PM

don’t be naive. They just need to sell that to the urban public. You know, the folk who believe that trains and buses operate on kool-aid, food is grown by elves, and deliveries are made by grass-fed postal unicorns. The same folk that magically shows to vote even while on vacation abroad.

Archivarix on March 19, 2013 at 3:39 PM

We’ve always known this.
The headlines that scream
“Oil Companies Reap Record Profits!”
could just as easily have said
“Oil Companies Pay Record Taxes!”

Dexter_Alarius on March 19, 2013 at 3:44 PM

DeFazio warned on the House floor that the federal highway trust fund will fall to zero by next year, and said the government is spending billions less on infrastructure each year, which is hurting job creation.

Let the people on welfare get to work fixing our infrastructure. They aren’t doing any thing. Let’s make them earn their keep.

fogw on March 19, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Let the people on welfare get to work fixing our infrastructure. They aren’t doing any thing. Let’s make them earn their keep.

fogw on March 19, 2013 at 3:44 PM

That’s slavery, bro. Wouldn’t you like to crack a whip at a black man?

Archivarix on March 19, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Big oil pays a “fair share”? Whoda thunk it?

shanimal on March 19, 2013 at 3:46 PM

The whole “loopholes for oil companies” is a flawed concept from the get-go. The field is full of special provisions — e.g. “intangible drilling costs” — that distort market realities, sure….but the majority are punitive. If oil and gas extraction were just treated like every other business, the net effect would benefit the oil companies.

Instead, the Feds have bureaucratized every aspect of these companies’ operations — from needing Federal permits to drill and Federal leases for land to drill on, to a final Federal excise tax on refined gasoline.

cthulhu on March 19, 2013 at 3:49 PM

We’ve always known this.
The headlines that scream
“Oil Companies Reap Record Profits!”
could just as easily have said
“Oil Companies Pay Record Taxes!”

Dexter_Alarius on March 19, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Yep. And both of those statements are misleading in a sense. Oil companies earn “record” profits and pay enormous taxes in dollar terms simply because they are behemoths.

The important number which all of them ignore is a company’s effective tax rate. What percentage of pretax earnings is paid in taxes.

If any of the shriekers would bother to look, they’ll find that Exxon, Chevron and other “big oil” entities pay a hell of a lot higher tax rate than liberal darlings like Google and Starbucks.

BacaDog on March 19, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Who gets punished by higher gasoline taxes? (hint — not the oil execs)

Didn’t Obama promise there would be no tax increases on the poor and middle class? Or did I misunderstand?

For decades, Big Oil has been the devil (who doesn’t look like Obama) to the Left. Maybe if the Dems didn’t give away all those billions to solar companies that went belly-up, the funds might be there for infrastructure. In any case, any tax increase never goes to where Washington claims to intend it. Congress can always find money, otherwise there’s no justification for giving $2 billion for Brazil’s oil industry. There isn’t one in the first place, but I’m sure even a liberal can get my drift.

If Congress does a raid on just 10% of all the retirement accounts there, that’s about $1.9 trillion more they’ll get to play with. I’m certain that idea is soon to be kicked around more, seriously considered as an option once the bugs get worked out. They’ll say it’s for ‘deficit reduction’, but everyone knows (except liberals) it’ll all go to new spending.

At what point will even liberals say, “Enough!”

Liam on March 19, 2013 at 3:51 PM

I am advocate for the elimination of all energy subsidies, breaks, loopholes, incentives, and what have you, from oil and natural gas to wind and solar alike

While there are clearly subsidies for wind and solar, the are NO subsidies in this country for oil and gas. Taxes out the wazoo, yes. What O&G do get are standard business deductions. If were going to take tham away from O&G, take them away from everyone.

If I’m wrong, show me.

And yes, full disclosure, I’m in that business.

iurockhead on March 19, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Oh, I meant to add.

They’ll also find that those “record profits” translate to small operating and profit margins. Google and Starbucks both enjoy margins far in excess of “big oil”.

BacaDog on March 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Let the people on welfare get to work fixing our infrastructure. They aren’t doing any thing. Let’s make them earn their keep.

fogw on March 19, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Better -let’s get rid of Davis-Bacon so we get more for our tax money.

slickwillie2001 on March 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM

I am advocate for the elimination of all energy subsidies, breaks, loopholes, incentives, and what have you, from oil and natural gas to wind and solar alike

While there are clearly subsidies for wind and solar, the are NO subsidies in this country for oil and gas. Taxes out the wazoo, yes. What O&G do get are standard business deductions. If were going to take tham away from O&G, take them away from everyone.

If I’m wrong, show me.

And yes, full disclosure, I’m in that business.

iurockhead on March 19, 2013 at 3:52 PM

You are clearly not up on the new proggie English dialect. All deductions are ‘entitlements’ and ‘loopholes’ and ‘subsidies’. I’ve seen democratics refer to the Mortgage Interest Deduction as an entitlement. Regular business deductions are subsidies? In proggie-land, yes.

But two can play this game, let’s refer to the deductibility of greedy union dues as an entitlement. Ditto the deductibility of state income taxes. Why should we all be writing checks for huge subsidies to the poorly-run blue states?

slickwillie2001 on March 19, 2013 at 3:58 PM

That’s slavery, bro. Wouldn’t you like to crack a whip at a black man?

Archivarix on March 19, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Don’t remember the slaves getting food stamps and credit cards for sitting on their butts all day.

fogw on March 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM

This is LIES!!

portlandon on March 19, 2013 at 4:02 PM

That’s slavery, bro. Wouldn’t you like to crack a whip at a black man?

Archivarix on March 19, 2013 at 3:46 PM

What fogw said.
Also..why do you think that the majority of welfare goes to blacks? You may be a racist and not realize it. Regression therapy may offer insight into your unconscious racism./

Mimzey on March 19, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Every American that owns a car should write a thank you letter to the oil companies for finding, extracting, transporting, refining, transporting, and providing (at relatively short distances) access to gasoline. Not to mention damn near every product that is made with plastic. All not possible without oil companies. They make ~$0.09 per gallon of gas, yet government, who didn’t help with any of the above procedures, and really stood in the way of all those procedures, takes $0.18 per gallon.

suck it waxman!

tom daschle concerned on March 19, 2013 at 4:06 PM

DeFazio warned on the House floor that the federal highway trust fund will fall to zero by next year, and said the government is spending billions less on infrastructure each year, which is hurting job creation. He said a recent report from the American Society of Civil Engineers shows that the U.S. is falling behind on maintaining its infrastructure compared with other countries.

Why does the federal highway trust fund drop to zero? Are they not collecting taxes? Is there some massive amount of highway construction going on?

Let’s call this what it is. They’ve stolen that money, too.

trigon on March 19, 2013 at 4:07 PM

This week in MO they are going to be discussing new taxes to pay for ROOOAADSSSSSS. Yeah, isn’t that why the feds take $0.184/gal and the state takes $0.173/gal?

tom daschle concerned on March 19, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Congress has squandered money, left and right, and always wants more. I’d love to know where the highway trust fun money really went, because it’s surely not being used to repairing infrastructure. Just like they did to the Social Security Trust fund, they will do to any other trust they’re responsible for.

bflat879 on March 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM

bflat879 on March 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM

What’s the antonym of ‘trust’ – suspect? Because that’s what kind of funds they are if the gov’t is running them…

affenhauer on March 19, 2013 at 4:33 PM

GODD… After filling my tank up I think the oil companies not only should pay the highest in taxes they should pay more. Screw the blood suckers. the oil companies could give a fig about me and my family. Why should I give a crap about them.

When they provide cheap gas I’ll rethink but while they continue to suck us dry with their monoploies I don’t care.

unseen on March 19, 2013 at 4:39 PM

That’s slavery, bro. Wouldn’t you like to crack a whip at a black man?

Archivarix on March 19, 2013 at 3:46 PM

so the WPA was a slavedriven program?

dmacleo on March 19, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Shocker: Oil companies pay the most in income taxes

The oil companies need to get on their soap box and tell Obama and the Democrats that their buddies in “green” energy companies need to “pay their fair share!”

RJL on March 19, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Barry would be very happy with price increases on gas, no matter what they are.

GarandFan on March 19, 2013 at 5:20 PM

And then, it’s taxed at the pump, where I live.

Fleuries on March 19, 2013 at 5:24 PM

You’ll never hear about cutting the 1300 federal agencies.

mixplix on March 19, 2013 at 5:52 PM

How many additional tens of billions does the feds and states collect in gasoline and sales taxes on their products?

astonerii on March 19, 2013 at 6:06 PM

You’ll never hear about cutting the 1300 federal agencies.

mixplix on March 19, 2013 at 5:52 PM

…or any of the 63 redundant federal job-training programs that we learned about as a result of Simpson-Bowles.

slickwillie2001 on March 19, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Every American that owns a car should write a thank you letter to the oil companies for finding, extracting, transporting, refining, transporting, and providing (at relatively short distances) access to gasoline. Not to mention damn near every product that is made with plastic. All not possible without oil companies. They make ~$0.09 per gallon of gas, yet government, who didn’t help with any of the above procedures, and really stood in the way of all those procedures, takes $0.18 per gallon.

suck it waxman!

tom daschle concerned on March 19, 2013 at 4:06 PM

State of California gets 69 cents per gallon.

Ditkaca on March 19, 2013 at 6:19 PM

“We’re going to have to talk about revenues, it’s the only way to solve that problem

…these revenues he talks about…is that like a bunch of avenues or something?

KOOLAID2 on March 19, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Yup. And we pay for higher taxes at the pump.

kemojr on March 20, 2013 at 10:07 AM