Excerpt Of The Day: The Ridiculousness Of A Windfall Profits Tax On Oil

“Of course, the oil companies have made a lot of profit lately, but so have many other businesses and industries. Although Exxon got big headlines for earning $9.92 billion in the third quarter, few analysts bothered to note that this only came to 9.8 cents per dollar of sales — well below that of many other companies. For example, Citigroup and Microsoft each made 33.2 percent profit. Among other major companies that each made at least twice as much as Exxon in percentage terms are Bank of America, Merck, Google, Eli Lilly, Coca Cola, Intel, and Yahoo.

An Internet search turned up no evidence that Sen. Gregg or any of the other dimwits calling for windfall profits taxes on the oil industry have also called for windfall profits taxes on the banking, pharmaceutical, software, or hotel industries that have earned much more per dollar than the oil and gas industry in recent periods. Nor is there any evidence that windfall profits tax advocates have ever suggested compensation to offset oil-industry losses in years when the price of oil has fallen. It’s heads I win, tails you lose.” — Bruce Bartlett

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