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Now, let’s check today’s sports scores: 4, 10.7 and 21-and-a-half.
Those tallies are from the oil league, and the winner, of course, is the league’s powerhouse, ExxonMobil. Four, as you might have guessed, is the $4 that Exxon is siphoning out of your wallet these days for one gallon of its petrol. Next comes 10.7. That’s the $10.7 billion in profits that this oil giant has soaked up in just the first three months of this year – a new record, not achieved by any managerial genius, increased productivity, or improvement in consumer service, but solely by the jack-up in gasoline prices. Finally 21-and-a-half. This is the big score made by Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s CEO. The chief pulled down $21.5 million last year in personal compensation, making him the highest paid executive in the oil league and one of the most richly paid CEOs in the entire country.
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Wait… this late-breaking score is just in: 0. That’s from the special tax game that Exxon Mobil consistently wins in Washington. Last year, ExxonMobil powered through loopholes created by its slick lobbying team to pay an income tax of zero on the $19 billion it had racked up in profits the year before, making it one of America’s most flagrant tax avoiders. But wait again, here’s a surprising update on that score – Exxon’s taxes were actually less than zero! How’s that possible? Because Big Oil’s lobbyists have so skewed the tax system that Exxon got a $156 million rebate from us taxpayers last year.
So Exxon is soaking us at the gas pump and sacking our public treasury to gain record profits for itself, while bestowing a royal fortune on its CEO. Oh, one more score: 14 million. That’s the average dollar amount that Exxon spends on campaign donations and lobbyists every year.
“Exxon Profit Up 69 Percent as Gas and Oil Prices Boos Top Five Oil Companies,” www.abcnews.com, April 28, 2011.
“Sen. Bernie Sanders: The Top Ten Worst Corporate Income Tax Avoiders,” www.truth-out.org, April 1, 2011.
“The Drought Is Over (at Least for C.E.O.’s),” www.nytimes.com, April 9, 2011.