10 Aug 2012

ExxonMobil Has Paid A Trillion Dollars in Taxes Since Merging 13 Years Ago

By |August 10th, 2012|The Blog|1 Comment|

While blowhard ignoramuses like Bill O’Reilly lament the profits “Big Oil” brings in, no one ever mentions the amount of loot these companies have confiscated from them by the federal government. Forbes wants to change that. They are championing ExxonMobil as “Taxation Heroes” for the obscene amount of profits Washington, DC is making off their work.

For every dollar the company makes in profit, they pay the government three:

In a recent book, New America Foundation’s Steve Coll suggests there’s something almost unpatriotic with the profits earned by America’s energy companies.  For example, in the last sentence of his book he contrasts the fortunes of the energy giant ExxonMobil with that of the United States.

“From the day of the Mobil merger closing [in 1999] until the day of the S&P downgrade [of U.S. debt], the net cash flow of the United States—receipts minus expenditures—was approximately negative $5.7 trillion.  ExxonMobil’s net cash flow from operations and asset sales during the same period was a positive $493 billion.”

Now, perhaps it’s an interesting intellectual exercise to compare receipts and expenditures of a government with that of a private enterprise. But additional data overlooked by Coll, CAP, and other critics of America’s energy majors can help round out the picture a bit.

Economist Mark Perry has developed something of a cottage industry examining how much individual firms and industries pay in taxes anytime someone in the White House or on Capitol Hill insists a company or industry pay “its fair share.” I asked him if he could determine ExxonMobil’s tax bill over the period of time Coll discusses. Perry sent me the following:

That’s right, since its emergence as a unified company, ExxonMobil has paid governments around the world more than $1 trillion.  That’s more than double its net cash flow over the same period and almost three times its profits of $352 billion.

Imagine what the cost of gasoline would be if you didn’t have to pay those taxes.  Oh yeah, that’s right.  You paid those taxes.  Businesses pass the cost on down the line.

Because this data isn’t as well known as it should be, and because I know it will raise the hackles on the backs of liberal’s necks, I made a little graphic for your Facebook page.  Feel free to cut and paste this, or to pin it on Pinterest:

 

3 May 2012

Awesome: Illegal Aliens Are Getting Tax Refunds for Children Living in Mexico

By |May 3rd, 2012|The Blog|4 Comments|

This is great.  Not only are illegal aliens getting huge tax refunds, they are getting them via fraud and the IRS could care less.

Via Doug Ross:

Investigative television reporter Bob Segall of Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR TV Channel 13, was contacted by a long-time central Indiana tax preparer, who blew the whistle on a multi-billion dollar tax fraud about which the IRS has done nothing, according to the TV news show video segment that aired on Monday.

“There is not a doubt in my mind there’s huge fraud taking place here,” he said, slowly flipping through the pages of a [heavily redacted] tax return.

“We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar fraud scheme here that’s taking place and no one is talking about it,” he said.

The scheme involves illegal immigrants that are filing tax returns, claiming child credits for multiple dependents under their support in “their” U.S. household, and collecting enormous cash refunds–such as one persons tax return that showed income of over $14,000, who collected a cash refund of over $10,300.

Thank you, Bill Clinton, for making this possible:

In 1996 during the Clinton Administration, the Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) was created in order for both resident and non-resident aliens, regardless of immigration status, to fulfill their tax filing and payment obligations under IRS regulations–even though an ITIN does not confer the right to work and receive income in the United States.

This year tax preparation offices across the country were flooded by an estimated 2 million illegal immigrants, who in growing numbers have been taking advantage of a tax loophole called the Additional Child Tax Credit–a fully-refundable credit of up to $1000 per child–meant to ease the income tax burden on working families who have childrenliving at home.

However, Segall’s investigation and reporting found many illegal immigrants who were claiming these tax credits, but for kids who live in Mexico–even listing nieces and nephews.

I suppose if you audited these folks, that would be racist, or something.

Given the authority, I’d audit and deport.  Let them leech off Mexico’s social teat for a while.

Then, some repealing is in order.

And, this most likely wouldn’t happen under the Fair Tax.  Just sayin’…

18 Apr 2012

Warning: This US Tax Code Analysis May Cause Liberal Heads to Asplode

By |April 18th, 2012|The Blog|1 Comment|

The Wall Street Journal has a long article by Sen. Phil Gramm and Steve McMillin that is worth reading. Yeah, it’s on taxes, but it’s interesting enough that even my ADD riddled brain could stay focused long enough to finish it.

And I’m glad I did. It’s filled from start to end with the good stuff.

For example:

While income distribution has become a source of protest and political debate, any analysis of taxes paid in high tax-and-spend countries shows that the U.S. has the most progressive income tax system in the world. An inconvenient truth for the advocates of higher taxes on America’s rich is that big governments in developed countries are funded not by taxing the rich more than the U.S. does, but by taxing everybody else more.

That truly is a game changer for the the debate scene. Talk to any liberal about socialism and eventually two countries will come up: Sweden and France. America has a more progressive tax structure than both of them. So what if we became more like these to liberal wonderlands where taxation is involved?

We’d tax the rich less and the poor more:

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data on the ratio of the share of income taxes paid by the richest taxpayers relative to their share of income show that the U.S. has the world’s most progressive tax burden.

The top 10% of earners in the U.S. pay 35% more of the income tax burden than in Sweden and 22% more than in France. These figures—from the 2008 OECD publication “Growing Unequal?”—include all household taxes imposed on income at the federal, state and local level, including social insurance taxes.

In an eternal irony unique to large welfare states, it is the expansion of government in the name of the poor and middle class that always costs poor and middle-class families the most. When the U.S. collects 16.1% of GDP in income taxes, the top 10% of taxpayers pay 7.3% and the other 90% pick up 8.9%.

In France, however, they collect 24.3% of GDP in income taxes with the top 10% paying 6.8% and the rest paying a whopping 17.5% of GDP. Sweden collects its 28.5% of GDP through income taxes by tapping the top 10% for 7.6%, but the other 90% get hit for a back-breaking 20.9% of GDP.

If the U.S. spent and taxed like France and Sweden, it would hardly affect the top 10%, who would pay about what they pay now, but the bottom 90% would see their taxes double.

That’s important information. That’s data you need to commit to memory for the next time you have to debate taxation with either a liberal or an ignorant would-be pundit.

As I have said over and over, France and Sweden may have more government funded programs, like medicine and welfare, but they have to loot more from the citizens to fund it. While you get “free” health care, it’s lower quality health care than the free market would provide and you get less of the property you earn from your labor.

That’s a lose-lose, no matter how you look at it.

The article also describes what would have happened if the tax rate changes made in 1986, 1997 and 2003 werent’ made. Turns out, income inequality would be flatter. So would our wallets:

Lower tax rates made dividend-paying stocks more attractive to high-income investors and made dividend payouts more attractive for companies that would have previously retained those earnings or bought back their stock. Capital trapped in companies with below-market rates of return was redeployed and the entire economy benefited.

All of this has had a huge impact on the measured income of the top 1% and the growth in income inequality. This impact can be estimated by examining what would have happened to the income of the top 1% if tax rates had not been lowered and these economic transformations had not occurred.

If the share of income coming from businesses, capital gains and dividends had remained at the levels before the tax rate changes of 1986, 1997 and 2003 respectively, the income of top 1% filers would have been 31% lower in 2007. The growth in income since 1979 for top 1% filers would have been only 2.5 times as large as the income growth of all taxpayers—not 3.6 times as large.

More businesses would have remained C-Corps and been taxed as corporations, fewer assets would have been sold and thus fewer capital gains would have been declared, and fewer dividends would have been paid. All of this would have lowered the income declared by the top 1%. Economic growth would have been lower and aggregate measured income of all taxpayers would have fallen, but the distribution of income would have been flatter.

That reaffirms an old Winston Churchill maxim:

Sure, we’d all be closer to being equal, but we’d all be poorer, with limited chances of increasing our economic state.

I’ll take income inequality with greater freedom any day.

26 Jan 2012

36 Obama Staffers Owe Nearly A Million Dollars in Their “Fair Share”

By |January 26th, 2012|The Blog|0 Comments|

It should not come as a surprise, considering the trouble he had when he was appointing people, that there are 36 people in the Obama executive staff that owe nearly a million dollars in taxes, also known as, their fair share:

A new report just out from the Internal Revenue Service reveals that 36 of President Obama’s executive office staff owe the country $833,970 in back taxes. These people working for Mr. Fair Share apparently haven’t paid any share, let alone their fair share.

Previous reports have shown how well-paid Obama’s White House staff is, with 457 aides pulling down more than $37 million last year. That’s up seven workers and nearly $4 million from the Bush administration’s last year.

Nearly one-third of Obama’s aides make more than $100,000 with 21 being paid the top White House salary of $172,200, each.

The IRS’ 2010 delinquent tax revelations come as part of a required annual agency report on federal employees’ tax compliance. Turns out, an awful lot of folks being paid by taxpayers are not paying their own income taxes.

When you look at his billionaire buddy Buffett’s outstanding tax bill, we approach nearly $2,000,000,000 of fair share unpaid. we pass a billion dollars in unpaid fair share.

This once again proves the statement of Andrew Wilkow true. Socialism is for the people, not the socialist.

Update:  For some reason I read this as saying they executive staff owed nearly a billion dollars.  I misread it.  They owe nearly a million.  I made changes to reflect that.

28 Nov 2011

How To Teach Your Children About Taxes in 3 Minutes (Video)

By |November 28th, 2011|The Blog|3 Comments|

This is a great example of how you can teach your children about taxes:

Wish I had seen this a month ago…

19 Sep 2011

AIM: Solyndra, the Green Energy Anti-Depressant

By |September 19th, 2011|The Blog|0 Comments|

From Accuracy in Media’s Benjamin Johnson:

Does the free market have you feeling blue? Customers not buying your brand? Don’t worry, the Obama Administration has the cure for you. We swear, it’s almost like they’re trying to sell anti-depressants for the economy…

19 Aug 2011

Koch Responds to Buffett’s Plea for Higher Taxes

By |August 19th, 2011|The Blog|0 Comments|

Charles Koch, the left’s suggestion for the title of “Most evil man in the history of evil men,” has responded to billionaire class warfare mouthpiece Warren Buffett’s plea for more of his property to be looted and redistributed.

It meets the three C’s I was taught in the Defense Information School’s Basic Journalism Course:

  1. Clear
  2. Concise
  3. Correct

 

Here it is:

Much of what the government spends money on does more harm than good; this is particularly true over the past several years with the massive uncontrolled increase in government spending. I believe my business and non-profit investments are much more beneficial to societal well-being than sending more money to Washington.

Koch is absolutely correct.  If there is any doubt the government will find a way to waste billions of dollars they claim to be using to help America, consider this:

“This will go down in history as one of the greatest failures of a government program to stimulate the economy that mankind has ever created,” Mica said. “This is a trillion-dollar lesson.”

Initially, the idea behind the stimulus was to create a $250 billion package with the most of the funding going toward infrastructure projects. The total amount of the package more than tripled, but the funds for infrastructure dwindled to just $64.1 billion. Of that amount, only $27.1 billion went to highways and bridges.

“I could not be more frustrated by the results that I see,” Mica said. “The total stimulus package was $787 billion and that’s been re-evaluated to over $800 billion, and still we have a stagnating economy…. Many of the jobs created were very temporary jobs.”

Those shovel ready infrastructure projects Obama was constantly talking about?  A fraction of what was promised.  The rest of the money?

Who knows?

A private citizen, however, could take $27.1 billion and build a company that would permanently employ hundreds, if not thousands.

Finally, it has to be said again:

I would only add, as others already have, that if Buffett and his “mega-rich” friends don’t think private philanthropy will do as much good as public spending, they are free to send as much money to the Treasury as they like.

Pay.gov.  Use it if you feel so awful about being mega-rich.

Or, you could buy an ebook.  Or donate to the blog.

Or contact Jimmie Bise and let him build you an online conservative empire of gonzo bloggers and homeschool dads.

There’s four things better than advocating force to loot your fellow mega rich, Mr. Buffett.  Choose one and give til it hurts.

11 Aug 2011

A Few More Notes on Raising Taxes on Evil Corporations

By |August 11th, 2011|The Blog|4 Comments|

I had this all written in the post regarding Romney’s clinic at the Iowa State Fair today, but I decided to cut it and put it in its own post.

Having established that corporations are indeed small businesses all grown up, comprised of people from your neighborhood, it’s important to understand why raising the taxes on business in this economy, or at most any time, is a bad idea.

When you raise taxes on the corporation, you diminish its ability to provide not only for the people employed there, but for all of the business to business outfits working with it.

Follow me for a second.

Let’s pretend for a second that we raise taxes on a specific corporation. What might they do?

They can accept the lowered bottom line and decreased profits, lowering expansion possibilities and the creation of new jobs, plus decreasing the amount of money it can spend on new equipment, which has to be manufactured somewhere, which requires raw material that has to be pulled out of the ground or ocean or air and refined and transported.

So now people who sell real estate are out of revenue because this corporation can no longer afford to expand to a new city.

People who are looking for work in that city continue to look because the jobs that could have been created went to a government program to pay for unemployment insurance. The income taxes that could have been collected from these new employees never materialize.

Equipment that new company needs didn’t get purchased, lowering the profits of multiple businesses who sell to corporations like this. Lowered receipts result in more layoffs.

And so on.

Another thing they could do id raise their prices in order to maintain their current bottom line and implement their business plan, but that limits access to their product or service to those who can afford the increase in prices.

One final avenue is to fire a enough employees to decrease payroll, absorbing the increase in taxes, but hurting the least amount of people.

One thing that for certain isn’t going to happen is government finding a way to spend that money more efficiently than the company or the people who work there. Those people will be able to make better choices regarding their lives and be able to better stimulate the economy with their spending than Obama, Pelosi or any of the heckling liberals in Des Moines.

Which brings me to Sam Walton and women’s panties.

This is from an article I wrote a few years ago for the ever awesome Katie Favazza titled “How What Sam Walton Learned Selling Panties Could Save America’s Economy.”

“If you’re interested in ‘how Wal-Mart did it,’ this is one story you’ve got to sit up and pay close attention to. Harry was selling ladies panties — two-barred, tricot satin panties with an elastic waist—for $2.00 a dozen. We’d been buying similar panties from Ben Franklin for $2.50 a dozen and selling them at three pair for $1.00. Well, at Harry’s price of $2.00, we could put them out at four for $1.00 and make a great promotion for our store.

“Here is the simple lesson we learned—which others were learning at the same time and which eventually changed the way retailers sell and customers buy all across America: say I bought an item for 80 cents. I found that by pricing it at $1.00 I could sell three times more of it than by pricing it at $1.20. I might make only half the profit per item, but because I was selling three times as many, the overall profit was much greater.”

How does this apply to business taxes?

Rather than hit a few businesses with high taxes and bring in revenue, it would be smarter to create a climate that’s like business fertilizer. Lower the taxes and make a little less revenue from a lot more businesses.

That also results in more people being employed, which means less unemployment going out and more income tax coming in.

It’s not really that hard a concept. I just explained it with panties.

I don’t know why liberals can’t grasp it.

28 Apr 2011

Chart Shows Exxon Profits Per Gallon of Gas vs. Taxes Collected Per Gallon

By |April 28th, 2011|The Blog|6 Comments|

The big news is that Exxon made an $11 billion profit in the first quarter of 2011.

Thank goodness.  My 401k, and most likely yours as well, has investments in Exxon.

But most of the professional Left is busy turning addle minded voters against “Big Oil” by demonizing the profits.

What they never mention is how much the government is sticking it to them compared to the oil companies.

Mark Perry at Daily Markets did a little digging and discovered that on average, Americans pay 48.1 cents in taxes per gallon of gas.

That’s right.  For doing absolutely nothing, the government is looting you for four bits for every gallon of gas you pump into your Family Truckster.

How much to the oil companies make in profit?

Far less:

According to this post on Exxon Mobil’s Perspective Blog , “For every gallon of gasoline, diesel or finished products we manufactured and sold in the United States in the last three months of 2010, we earned a little more than 2 cents per gallon. That’s not a typo. Two cents.”

The chart below shows the difference graphically:

Also worth mentioning, while Exxon had almost $11 billion in profits, they paid $8 billion in taxes.

$8,000,000,000.  In taxes.

But they are ripping people off, right?

What would the price of a gallon of gas be if government wasn’t so greedy?

18 Apr 2011

AIM: The Associated Press Really Likes the Progressive Income Tax for the “Rich”

By |April 18th, 2011|The Blog|0 Comments|

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From Accuracy in Media‘s Allie Duzett:

Although the Associated Press purports to be a news service, sometimes the articles it publishes read more like opinion pieces. Today, an article from the AP did just that. This “news” article was linked at the top of the Drudge Report.

The article, entitled “Super rich see federal taxes drop dramatically,” seems less dedicated to straight reporting than to the subtle promotion of progressive tax policy: taxing the “rich” more while removing tax breaks.

By the fourth paragraph of the article, the AP reporter is already asking the question: “The top income tax rate is 35 percent, so how can people who make so much pay so little in taxes?” The reporter never clarifies exactly who the “people who make so much” are (are they the top 400 income earners? Or the top 1 percent of taxpayers? Or just the “wealthy” in general?), and he never explains how much (or how “little”) any of them pay in taxes.

But despite the vagueness of the question, the article goes on to answer it. How can “people who make so much” pay “so little” in taxes? Why, the answer is tax breaks, and the article doesn’t let you forget it.

After stating that both President Obama and “Republicans” want to “do away with tax breaks to lower the rates and to reduce government borrowing,” the reporter argues that although “More than half of the nation’s tax revenue came from the top 10 percent of earners in 2007” and “More than 44 percent came from the top 5 percent,” that “the wealthy have access to much more lucrative tax breaks than people with lower incomes.”

He goes on to write, “Obama wants the wealthy to pay so ‘the amount of taxes you pay isn’t determined by what kind of accountant you can afford.’”

The next 8 paragraphs of the article deal with the claims of one Eric Schoenberg, a professor at Columbia University who “inherited money” and “has a healthy portfolio from his days as an investment banker.” The article reports that Schoenberg says to “sign him up for paying higher taxes,” because he doesn’t think it’s “fair” that he only pays “1 percent of [his] income in tax.”

Notably, the AP does include two sentences of rebuttal to Schoenberg’s argument, in the form of Orrin Hatch pointing out that no one is keeping Schoenberg from paying Uncle Sam as much as he finds “fair.” However, immediately after those two sentences, the article goes back to Schoenberg: “Schoenberg said Hatch’s suggestion misses the point.”

The next paragraph quotes Schoenberg arguing that people must essentially be forced to pay taxes, because, as he says, “Are you going to let people volunteer to build the road system? Are you going to let them volunteer to pay for education?”

Of the 8 paragraphs dedicated to anecdotal evidence of a “wealthy” professor who wishes he were forced to pay more in federal income taxes, only two sentences total offer another solution. To put it into concrete numbers, the article spends 238 words on the Schoenberg anecdote. The two sentences which mention voluntary payment of extra taxes make up 25 words, or just 10.5% of the story. Remember that the 10.5% of the anecdote were ridiculed by the story’s main character, Eric Schoenberg, in the very next two paragraphs.

Further down in the article, the AP defends those with “low and medium incomes” who “escape” federal income taxes, arguing that “most of them pay other taxes, including Social Security and Medicare taxes, property taxes and retail sales taxes.” While this statement is objectively true—those with “low and medium incomes” do pay taxes other than income taxes—another truth is that the “wealthy” also pay those taxes. The wealthy are not exempt, yet the article doesn’t point this out.

“Super rich see federal taxes drop dramatically” is an article that may be unfit for the Associated Press—if the AP has any interest in portraying itself as an objective news outlet. For an article calling itself news, it sure reads like an opinion piece.