Oil Companies Are Raking In The Profits — And Tax Subsidies

The big 3 oil companies have reported a combined profit of $44 billion for 2012. The New York Times reported that these earnings have actually dropped based on stated expectations earlier this year. They are attributing it to the lower gas prices. They also note that the top five oil companies receive a total of $2.4 billion in tax breaks each year

According to Republicans, in order to balance our budget, they want to cut tax credits and programs that benefit the middle class, i.e., education funding for Pell Grants and public universities, tax credits like the earned income tax credit and mortgage deductions, Meals on Wheels and food subsidies for low-income families, but they absolutely refuse to end these oil and gas industry subsidies.  

The Center for American Progress Action has analyzed Romney’s tax plan and it would actually lower the top five oil and gas companies yearly tax rates by another $2.3 billion. They say this would double what they already receive in tax breaks. 

Think Progress wrote on this subject and they actually listed some of the ways these oil companies are spending their money. 

ExxonMobil:  

– Exxon spent 42 percent — or $10.7 billion — of its 2012 profits buying back its stock, which enriches executives and largest shareholders. 

– Exxon has spent $17 million lobbying for the past 18 months, making it the top spender in the oil and gas industry. It has spent more than $52 million lobbying for the first three years of the Obama presidency, 50 percent more than in the Bush administration. 

– Exxon is sitting on $18 billion in cash reserves. 

– Exxon send federal candidates $1.3 million in campaign contributions so far this campaign cycle, sending 91 percent to Republicans

– Exxon paid just 13 percent in federal taxes last year, lower than the average American family. Right after Mitt Romney, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is the top recipient of Exxon federal contributions

– Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson received $24.7 million total compensation.

Royal Dutch Shell

– Shell will start drilling in the Arctic this summer, but its oil spill response plan is still behind schedule. It’s off to an inauspicious start in the Arctic, recently losing control of an Arctic drilling rig. 

– Shell has spent nearly $22 million for the past 18 months, making it the second-biggest spender of the oil and gas industry. 

– Shell has more than $17.3 billion in cash reserves. 

– Shell bought back 15 percent of its second-quarter profits, or $900 million. 

– Shell CEO Peter Voser’s compensation more than doubled in 2011 to $15.3 million. His salary increased (in euros) by 113 percent. 

– In its annual report, Shell noted that the number of oil spills increased from 195 in 2010 to 207 during 2011.

Former GOP Senator Claims Lack of Bravery Caused Mass Killings

Former Arizona Senator Russell Pearce is claiming that the cause of the Aurora massacre wasn’t the lax gun laws, it was because there wasn’t a (they misspelled courageous) “Courages/Brave man prepared mentally or otherwise to stop this.” Let me rephrase for him…..the men who were at the movie ALL lacked the guts to stop him…that’s what he meant to say, in code of course. There is a reason this guy is “former” state Senator. He was the genius (dripping with sarcasm here) who co-wrote the Arizona anti-immigration law. Here is his facebook post in its entirety.  

This, of course, has since been deleted and he has now attempted to retract his remarks and instead say it actually WAS solely the gun laws that caused this. I have a screen shot of the now revised facebook post, but I have no intention of giving this guy an outlet to try to cover his ass for the vile things he insinuated. I am livid that he would use a tragedy like this and spin it to protect lax gun laws and the reason for these unenforced laws, the firearm cartel NRA who owns our elected officials in both parties.  

Also, while Cinemark does have a no firearms policy, the chance that someone sitting in a dark theater who suddenly faces an armed to the teeth predator wearing protective gear from head to toe and using tear gas while simultaneously opening fire on a packed theater could react in a way to bring this guy down is nil. Law enforcement responded WITHIN 90 SECONDS and in that short amount of time he murdered and/or injured 70+ people ?!?!  

Just a FYI: The NRA has chosen to hold rallies in cities immediately following multiple mass killings, i.e., Columbine, CO, Flint, MI, Virginia Tech, Tuscon, AZ, just to name a few, and that is just the short list!  

Aurora, you are our heroes and you’re in our prayers!!! 

Good News Story — CEO Gives Bonus To Employees

Not all CEO’s are bad. Want proof? Yang Yuanqing, CEO of a technology company in China chose to take his $3 million bonus and distribute it to the 10,000 junior-level employees. Per a CNN report: 

The employees, such as receptionists, production-line workers and assistants, each received an average bonus of 2,000 yuan, which is $314, in the name of their CEO. 

Yang had received the additional $3 million boost in his bonus after the company had its best fiscal year ending in March.  

The $30 billion personal technology company saw a 73% bump in net profit from the previous year, which Yang had described as a “record-setting year for Lenovo,” according to a press release.  

Yang had earned $5.2 million in bonuses for the fiscal year ending in March. His total earnings, including salary, incentives and other benefits, amounted to $14 million, according to the company’s annual report. 

I hope we can one day see this kind of loyalty to the underlings that make it possible for corporations to thrive. I wonder what Romney would think about this.

Adopt A Job Creator — The 1% Needs You

Job creators are people to, and although the poor and unemployed have been the focus of conversation, we need to look at the plight of the 1% and see what we can do to help.   

Conspiracy Theory: Villain In Batman Movie Called Bane — Is This An Accident?

Yes, the crazy Republicans are getting even crazier.  You didn’t think it could happen, and frankly I am now passed the stage of surprise when they come out with these theories. 

Rush Limbaugh is now theorizing that the villain in the new Batman movie whose name is Bane may have been planned in order to hurt Mitt Romney.  Last night Rachel Maddow took on this latest conspiracy theory, and in her usual witty, mocking fashion she nails it making the far right look even more crazy. 

Also, just for fun I wanted to throw this picture in the post.  I found this at Upworthy.com.   

Ill Doctrine: Mitt Romney’s Blackest Week Ever from ANIMALNewYork.com

Republicans Newest Claim: Obama Outsourced NASA

Mitt Romney has been plagued, rightfully so, by claims that he and his colleagues have enriched themselves by taking over failing companies, bankrupting them, and then outsourcing those jobs. Their reaction to this is to flip the argument and claim President Obama is actually the “outsourcer in chief.” There newest example of this is NASA. On Monday former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu went on CNN’s Soledad O’Brien to make this point.  

“You want to talk outsourcing?” Sununu asked Ms. O’Brien. “Let’s go back to the Solyndra, Fisker, BrightSource, First Wind — all of the grants that were given to cronies, to people who bundled, to people who contributed to Obama. In fact, we had an event yesterday that wasn’t well reported. We launched a U.S. astronaut up to the space station. But you know how she was launched? She was launched on a Russian spacecraft because President Obama has outsourced a major portion of the U.S. space program to the Russians. So, let’s stop playing games with this outsourcing distortion.” 

Earlier in the day, Drudge Report, a conservative blog, broke this “ghastly story.” The headline read “OUTSOURCED IN SPACE: NASA SENDS ASTRONAUT ON RUSSIAN ROCKET.” This headline was linked to a story by Andrew Malcolm of Investors Business Daily, which called the mission “real Obama outsourcing.”

What any of these Romney surrogates failed to mention is that it was under President Bush who on January 14, 2004 at the NASA Headquarters announced the retirement of the shuttle program. He spoke about the “New Vision for Space Exploration Program.” It was scheduled to end in 2010, however, President Obama extended it until 2011 for two extra missions.  

Another example of how facts are just not that important to Republicans.