This isn’t breaking news or anything, but it never ceases to amaze how swiftly politicians will throw much-maligned, greeedy big-oil companies and market speculators under the bus whenever gas prices begin a precipitous rise. Although the Obama administration is momentarily occupied with their headlining policy agenda (immigration, his umpteenth “pivot” to jobs and the economy, the healthcare rollout), there were several pointed provisions about energy in Obama’s budget proposal, and I have no doubt we’ll hear about the many supposed sins of oil companies and the need to forcibly wean ourselves off of fossil fuels with renewed vigor before long, nevermind that major energy companies are already such wildly generous contributors to the federal revenue that the Democrats need for their big-government agenda. Via the DC:
The three largest oil companies paid the most in taxes in absolute terms of all major corporations, according to data on S&P 500 companies compiled by The New York Times.
President Barack Obama has chastised oil companies for receiving billions of dollars in tax breaks. However, the Times reports that ExxonMobil paid $146 billion in taxes; Chevron paid $85 billion; and ConocoPhillips paid $58 billion over the last five years.
In terms of their effective tax rates, the big three oil companies don’t get off easily either. Exxon had an effective tax rate of 37 percent, Chevron’s effective tax rate was 39 percent, and ConocoPhillips’s was a whopping 74 percent. The U.S. corporate tax rate is 35 percent. …
“As we continue to pursue clean energy technologies that will support future economic growth, we should not devote scarce resources to subsidizing the use of fossil fuels produced by some of the largest, most proﬁtable companies in the world,” read the president’s 2014 budget proposal. “That is why the Budget proposes to eliminate unnecessary fossil fuel subsidies that impede investment in clean energy sources and undermine efforts to address the threat of climate change.”
As John Stossel points out in his column today, every time President Obama intones that we need to cut the tax breaks for big oil or that major energy companies need to “pay a little more” in taxes, that’s merely a roundabout way of saying he thinks we need to raise taxes on these companies, which in turn is really just a tax hike on you, the consumer. When you’re filling up your tank this summer, don’t forget where a heady portion of the price you pay at the pump is actually headed, and exactly what the administrations many oh-so-magnanimous efforts to ostensibly mitigate the effects on our wallets are getting us:
Another myth: Big Oil makes “excess” profit. Nonsense. The oil business is fiercely competitive. If one company charges a penny too much, other companies steal its business. Apple’s profit margin is about 24 percent. McDonald’s makes 20 percent. Oil companies make half that.
Per gallon, ExxonMobil makes about 7 cents. Governments, by contrast, grab about 27 cents per gallon. That’s the average gas tax. If anyone takes too much, it’s government.
President Obama says, “Gas costs too much.” So he announced: “We’ve put in place the toughest fuel economy standards in history. Over the life of a new car, the average family will save more than $8,000 at the pump.” …
Fuel economy sounds appealing when it’s presented as something created at no cost. But car dealers say it will make cars cost $3,000 more.