Monday, October 29, 2012

ExxonMobil's Windfall Profits

From a calculation by economist Mark Perry, ExxonMobil pays $3 in taxes for every $1 in profits it earns.

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.
Think about what this means: For every dollar in profits it earns for its shareholders, ExxonMobil earns nearly three dollars for governments.
It is difficult to find disaggregated numbers for how much ExxonMobil has paid in taxes to the U.S. Treasury as opposed to all of the other tax collectors in the world, but the company routinely pays more in taxes to the United States than it earns within U.S. borders.
The government makes far more money from a pack of cigarettes than do the evil tobacco companies, as well. About 10x as much. Keep that in mind the next time you hear some pol railing against the tobacco companies.

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