George Shill

In a histrionic fit of hatred against liberalism, George Will decries the unfair state of affairs for Exxon Mobil.

Obama thinks government is not getting a “reasonable share” of oil companies’ profits, which in 2007 were, as a percentage of revenue (8.3 percent), below those of U.S. manufacturing generally (8.9 percent). Exxon Mobil pays almost as much in corporate taxes to various governments as the bottom 50 percent of American earners pay in income taxes. Exxon Mobil does make $1,400 a second in profits — hear the sharp intakes of breath from liberals with pursed lips — but pays $4,000 a second in taxes and $15,000 a second in operating costs.

Look, I’m don’t support a “windfall” profits tax on oil companies, but trying to paint Exxon Mobil as a victim is pretty weak. Yes, it’s true Exxon Mobil pays roughly $4,000 a second in taxes, but what Will doesn’t point out is that roughly 70% of these taxes are paid outside of the United States. What’s more, these taxes are in turn paid for at the pump by consumers. As Will points out, they still do pull in $1,400 per second in profit, and it’s unlikely to see this change because again, these are factored into the cost of gas at the pump.

Will, who also apparently takes issue with paying teachers more, has this to say about the missile defense system.

Russia, a Third World nation with First World missiles, is rampant; Iran is developing a missile inventory capable of delivering nuclear weapons the development of which will not be halted by Obama’s promised “aggressive personal diplomacy.” Yet Obama has vowed to “cut investments in unproven missile defense systems.” Steamboats, railroads, airplanes and vaccines were “unproven” until farsighted people made investments. Furthermore, as Reuel Marc Gerecht of the American Enterprise Institute notes, Democrats will eventually embrace missile defense in Europe because they “will have nowhere else to go short of pre-emptive strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

Well, actually, the problem with the missile defense system isn’t so much that it’s “unproven”, it’s that it doesn’t work. And as credible a source as a think tank who receives funding from arms manufacturers is on this sort of thing, I sincerely hope AEI is wrong. Anyway, it seems Will and AEI have forgotten diplomacy, even though the Bush administration recently revived efforts along these lines which General Patraeus has himself advocated.


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