WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress considered billions of dollars in new taxes on oil companies Thursday, looking for ways to punish the cash-rich industry and soothe growing anger over high gasoline prices...In other words, Congress is floundering around in graceless impotence. But what about big oil? I mean, is it fair that Exxon Mobil alone should make $6 billion dollars in a single quarter? They are on course to earn almost $25 billion dollars this year! How fair is that?
...lawmakers scrambled Thursday to put together legislative packages they hoped would - if at times only symbolically - demonstrate their sympathy for the nation's motorists and their willingness to stand up to Big Oil....
Committee members acknowledged that the action was little more than a gesture.
"We are venting our frustration," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
I wondered, so instead of asking CNN, I went to the Security and Exchange Commissions's website and checked out Exxon's annual filing to read their financials. Here's something I haven't seen in the paper:
Taxes, 2005 - $98.6 billion total
Income $23.3 billion, Excise $30.7 billion, other taxes $44.5 billion
Taxes, 2004 - $86.8 billion total
Income $15.9 billion, Excise $27.3 billion, other taxes $43.6 billion
Taxes, 2003 - $75.0 billion total
Income $11.0 billion, Excise $23.9 billion, other taxes $40.1 billion
In short, Exxon Mobil paid or passed to the government $99 billion dollars in taxes last year to earn that $24 billion, more than $4 for every dollar they took home. Obviously, Uncle Sam's not getting his cut; I mean, how fair would it be if you only had to pay $99,000 in taxes to bring home $24,000? Or else obviously, for every cent that 'obscene' profits are raising the price of gas, Congress is already raising the price four cents. Yeah, those are the guys I want solving Energy Crisis II.