Exxon’s profits soared by 91% this past quarter. I would say that’s good news, a major corporation that is making money means more money to go toward new jobs, bigger bonuses for the managers which should make them work harder to make the profits even higher next time. Overall, everybody wins.
Well, the average person doesn’t seem to think so as I was going through comments on this story. The amount of complaining about tax loops used and the structure of ExxonMobil so that they don’t pay too much taxes reached an epic proportion. And the worst part about the complaining was that no one stopped to think of the bigger picture.
That bigger picture being our wonderful tax code that is full of loopholes and our imports and tariffs laws that are also full of loopholes. Do you want businesses to do business here in the US and pay taxes? Then make it more profitable for them to do so than to move the money externally.
For example if they are holding their money overseas and not paying taxes because of that, then make movement of corporate funds earned in the US to overseas accounts taxed very heavily. Let’s say a 60% tax on all corporate asset moves that remove assets from US tax code jurisdiction to some other jurisdiction. I think a nice fat tax like that will instantly generate a bunch of tax income and then get all that money that is flowing out to stay right here in the US of A.
Now, we have the issue of tax code and tax loopholes. Well, guess what: 95%+ of the tax code is unimportant. We could cut down on the cost of running the IRS, the amount of audits and also increase the amount of income if we just imposed a simple flat tax for everyone. If you make money, you give the federal government 10%, your state government like 7% and your local government like 5%. That’s a total of 22% and is basically at or below what most middle class Americans pay anyway.
You might complain that the poor would take a big hit if their tax rates were increased to 22%. But guess what, this would close all loopholes. Do you have kids? Doesn’t matter. Are you a billionaire? Doesn’t matter. This way, we could also predict income more easily and not have unexpected shortfalls as people get clever with the tax code.
We need to ask ourselves why in a society that stands for freedom and despises racism, sexism and most other -isms, we are so wealthist? Why should the really rich pay more than the guy flipping burgers for minimum wage? I know a lot of people say that the wealthy guy can spare more, but why should he? Why should someone who is successful have his success stifled simply because we want people to be successful, but not too successful?
So, let’s cheer on ExxonMobil for having a good fiscal quarter. If you do not like the fact that they did, don’t buy their products, pedal bikes require no fuel other than your own energy, so if you don’t know who your local gas stations buy from, then don’t use gasoline, the choice is yours.