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Monday, May 15, 2006

How Much to Tip Big Oil?

If you're anything like me, tipping is a problem. If the service is good, I like to tip 20%. Less than good, 15%. Waiters, even bad waiters (or especially bad ones), don't typically make a whole lot of money, so I don't really mind. If the waiter looks like a college kid who's been up half the night studying (or whatever), it's up to 20% again.

In Europe, it's a whole different story. Tipping customs vary, but generally speaking, customers are expected to tip less than here at home. I've been to Europe several times, I doubt I ever got it right. It's very possible there are countries I should avoid.

Tipping sucks. I'm horrible at math, and usually have to figure it out by calculating 10%, multiplying by two and guessing.

Why don't they just pay these people?

My hairdresser's tip is based on how good I look when she's done with me. Last time she gave me money back. The airport guy gets a dollar a bag.

So, how much more than $3.00 a gallon should I pay Big Oil?

In 2005, the oil industry made $140 billion dollars in profit.

That's 140,000,000,000.00, right? I learned today that there is an oil company SUBSIDY that we're paying these guys of approximately $700 million dollars a year. Now, I'm no expert, but I thought a subsidy was something you paid businesses in hard times who needed help from the government because it's in the public interest, like farmers or something.

Apparently, I don't know much about subsidies. A subsidy, it seems, can also be money you give to a company beyond what they're already gouging you for. Sort of like a tip for rich folks.

So, 140,000,000,000, times 20% is...

Shit. I wonder if I can get the gas station to accept more than $3.00 a gallon?


Last year, Exxon made a record profit of $36 billion.

Retiring Exxon chairman, Lee Raymond, received a retirement package of $400 million.

He doesn't get a tip.

Today, Senator John Kerry's office uncovered information about the Republicans' $700 million a year 'tip' for Big Oil, and how he and Jim McDermott are saying "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH":
Big Oil Walking Away with $700 Million in Taxpayer Money Every Year

Senator John Kerry – Rep. Jim McDermott Release New Data

New revenue data from the independent congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, JCT, requested by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), show a gusher of subsidies- as much as $700 million every year- is flowing to oil and natural gas companies at the expense of U.S. taxpayers, because of an unearned and necessary windfall given away by the Republican majority. The price tag exceeds $5 billion over ten years – at least $1.4 billion more than previous estimates.

Rep. Jim McDermott said: “Big Oil is winning a multi-million dollar lottery every day of the week, every day of the year, because the game has been rigged by a Republican Congress and President. Big Oil does not deserve the multi-billion dollar tax subsidy, but Republicans gave it to them, anyway.”

“It’s clear every time people fill up at the pump that the Bush energy policy is not working. The fact that American taxpayers have to give away more money to oil companies as their profits increase is absurd – it’s like a kick in the stomach on top of a $60 tank of gas,” said John Kerry.

Adding insult to injury, the lawmakers pointed out that the windfall tax subsidy actually increases as oil and gas prices increase.

The fix for Big Oil came within the 2004 corporate tax bill that Republicans sold as the JOBS Act.

“Republicans did a job in that bill alright,” McDermott said, “of diverting the attention of the American people by bold facing the name and boldly rewarding Big Oil, instead.”

“It’s time we stop multi-billion dollar giveaways, financed by the American people, to the richest companies in America” added Kerry.

Rep. McDermott introduced H.R. 5218 in the House and Senator Kerry introduced S. 2672 in the Senate to stop the needless flow of U.S. taxpayer money out of the U.S. Treasury and into the profit statements of Big Oil. Action on these bills is pending in both chambers.

I agree with John Kerry: enough is enough!! No more giveaways to the big oil companies!

Thanks for posting this.
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