“Evil” Oil Company is Tax Paying Super Hero

August 10, 2012 06:46

ExxonMobil Pays $3 In Taxes For Every $1 In Profit



By Mark J. Perry at Carpe Diem



In their July 2012 policy brief “Investment Heroes: Who’s Betting on America’s Future?” Diana Carew and Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) recognized 25 American companies as “Investment Heroes” of 2012 for their collective investment of $136 billion in U.S. capital expenditures.  Ranked as America’s third largest “investment hero” was ExxonMobil, for its $11.7 billion of investment spending in the U.S. last year building oil and natural gas pipelines and exploratory costs for new sources of oil and gas.

In a Forbes article today, “Taxation Hero: ExxonMobil Pays $3 In Taxes For Every $1 In Profit,” AEI’s Nick Schulz points out that since Exxon and Mobil merged in 1999, the energy giant has paid more than $1 trillion in taxes to various governments, see chart above.  Nick conludes:
“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.
Here’s an idea: Mandel and his team might also want to compile a list of “taxation heroes” given the enormous sums of money firms such as ExxonMobil pour into government coffers.”MP: I concur and hereby nominate ExxonMobil as a model, American “taxation hero” for its $1 trillion of tax payments over the last thirteen years.   In 2011 alone, ExxonMobil’s total tax bill was an eye-popping $104.52 billion, which works out to $286 million in taxes every day, $11.9 million in taxes every hour and a tax bill of almost $200,000 every minute.

Further, ExxonMobil paid more than $3 in taxes last year ($104.52 billion) for every one dollar it spent on “capital and exploration expenditures” ($33 billion total, of which $11.7 billion PPI says was invested in the U.S.).  If ExxonMobil deserves “Investment Hero” status for its capital expenditures last year, it certainly deserves “Taxation Hero” status for its even much greater spending on taxes.

Dr. Mark J. Perry is a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan. Perry holds two graduate degrees in economics (M.A. and Ph.D.) from George Mason University near Washington, D.C. In addition, he holds an MBA degree in finance from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.  He blogs at Carpe Diem.

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