Karl Rove was his guest to analyze. First of all, Rove is correct in saying that government should not impose penalties. And he also stated that oil companies generally only make 8 cents on the dollar in net profit. Also fairly accurate. Rove finally agree that oil companies contributing to charity isn't a bad idea -- just don't make it mandatory. Rove wins the debate with Bill, at least by my account.
Over the last 10 years, ExxonMobil has averaged 9.7 percent. Still low compared to other industries, but higher than some. The 8 cents on the dollar may be true for all oil companies -- I didn't do the math on that yet. But I like to be precise. When we're talking billions of dollars, a few percentage points is a lot of money.
However, the Christian Science Monitor reported today:
In the first quarter of 2008, Big Oil had a profit margin of 7.4 percent. Over that same period, the pharmaceutical and medicine industry earned a 25.9 percent profit, the chemical industry earned 15.7 percent and the electronic equipment industry earned 12.1 percent.
Bill keeps bringing up the fact that Exxon made 80 billion dollars (or is that the top five; it's hard to keep it straight). He fails to mention the dividends returned to shareholders ($43 billion for the top five), and the taxes these companies already pay.
Should the oil companies contribute 2 percent of the net profits to the poor for heating and cooling? I don't want government to impose that, but donating money to the poor is always a good idea, and could be good P.R.
Bill, why don't you set up a non-profit? Put your money where your mouth is. I'll contribute. Let everyone, including getting the oil companies to make tax-deductible contributions.
Better yet. I think I'll do it myself. And Bill, you better contribute, with money and publicity. Then maybe you can quit trashing Big Oil.