Tuesday, February 05, 2008

War Money

What happened in 2003 that caused Exxon- Mobil's profits to double?

Was it Super Bowl XXXVII?
No.

Was it Great White?
No.

What else happened that year?

We invaded Iraq.

Exxon-Mobil has managed to quadruple it's profits in the five years that have passed since BushCo started the Iraq War. This trend shows no sign of change, in fact E-M just posted the highest-ever annual profit by an American company, beating the record that was set by themselves last year.

One would think that such an announcement would be celebrated, but Exxon is trying to down- play it; there are currently quite a few apologists trying to explain how this boom is actually very good for America. They point to the enormous taxes that Exxon pays on those profits ; on the surface this sounds almost reasonable:

"Millions of people benefit financially, as either individual shareholders, or through their pension, insurance and mutual funds that hold Exxon Mobil shares," [E-M public affairs VP] Mr. Cohen said. "We have over 2.5 million individual shareholders alone, and for every dollar we earn, we contribute US$2.50 in taxes the governments use to provide schools, roads, hospitals, and other essential services. In the U.S. alone, our total tax expenses over the past five years were about US$65-billion, exceeding our U.S. earnings during that period by more than US$18-billion."
The only problem with this is that it isn't exactly true. I mean, with all that moola rolling into "essential services", you'd think we'd be living in a Golden Age. Instead, the federal deficit is threatening to break BushCo's 2004 record of $413 billion dollars.
One year, Exxon breaks records, the very next year the federal deficit hits an all-time high. Interesting.
It happened in 2003-2004 and it's happening again right now.
Does this feel like a Golden Age?

The man that gave Exxon their 2003 cash cow is doing his best to make sure that as little money goes to social services and programs as possible. BushCo's recent budget proposal includes large increases for defense spending and drastic cuts in social programs:

The Pentagon would receive a $36 billion, 8 percent boost for the 2009 budget year beginning Oct. 1, even as programs aimed at the poor would be cut back or eliminated. Half of domestic Cabinet departments would see their budgets cut outright.

The tax dollars are funneled to the Pentagon, which awards contracts to corporations like Exxon, who return a portion as "taxes", which are given back to the companies in the form of more government contracts and so on, all at the expense of the average citizen. It's an amazingly efficient mechanism for the upward re-distribution of wealth but it requires an endless war in order to maintain itself.

That is why we invaded Iraq.

To BushCo, the Iraq War is not a failure, it's a huge success. That infamous "Mission Accomplished" banner was true- the Mission was to make money, which obviously has been done. Peace would break the money cycle, which is why the Bushies have been so hot to invade Iran as well...we'd be at war forever if they did. Profits would continue to rise and a new generation of impoverished, jobless Americans would make excellent fodder a volunteer army.

Desperate economic times at home would prevent the need to re-instate the military draft- if there are no jobs or opportunities, then the poor kids will have little choice but to enlist; a draft would be inevitable in prosperous times as few people would be willing to give up good jobs for a bad war, so it's unlikely that we'll see prosperity while the war profiteers are calling the shots in D.C.- BushCo knows the best way to avoid a draft is to limit the educational and career opportunities of America's youth, forcing enlistment up.

Actually, the best way too prevent a draft would be to not start wars in the first place but it's a little late for that now.

13 comments:

billy pilgrim said...

the carlyle group has done ok with bush as pres. bailing him out of his economic misadventures in the 90's was a tremendous investment.

more cowbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
more cowbell said...

When I heard this on radio, in the car, I was tempted to crash into the nearest gas pump. This is an excellent post, Allan. Gas prices have been the last thing I'll complain about in this country, as I believe that it's our historically LOW prices, in comparison with most other places in the world, that have resulted in our abysmal development/use of mass transit, and our increased dependence on solo driving. I paid over $5 a gallon for 12 years living overseas, and those places had better mass transit and also their city planning and road systems were set up in a way where people could more easily get along without so much driving. I'd rather see the damn electricity prices come down, that's what kills my family every winter (hey we have to have heat, and see our country get more responsible about our ridiculous gasoline usage.

BUT, that being said, the gas prices here have been high for this country, with the gas companies bitching and moaning about things regardless ... so to me it's outrageous that their profits are skyrocketing. Don't tell me you have no choice but to raise prices when you're hauling in bank like that.

What you said about the draft, and the Bushies limiting other opportunities purposely to encourage enlistment - bingo. They know they could never survive if the rich folks' kids had to go as well. And you know the twins would never set a manicured foot over there.

Great overview on the neverending cash circle among those who already have too much.

jp said...

I guess I kind of already suspected all of this before reading it here, but now that I have read it I am furious. I am livid. I am seething.

Thank God that jackass is down to his final 11 months...

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Yeah, I wasn't surprised when they reported their earnings.

What you say is so damn depressing because it's true.

yellowdog granny said...

im always surprised when people are surprised by the amount of money them fuckers make each year...the reason why i sold my house and moved into the retirement apts..(although I am glad I did it..as I love it here)..was that my utilities had trippled...my utilities were higher than my rent..i have hopes that some day the goddess will see to it that bush gets his...and his rich buddies..

schlep said...

Have oil companies ever not had a profitable year?

beth said...

Well, thanks to global warming, I fortunately only need my gas furnace for about 2 months altogether. However, the gas is so expensive, that it takes me all year to pay it off. I usually have it turned back on once the debt is paid.

One year, I didn't have my heat on until Christmas Eve! My only saving grace was four working fireplaces and a lot of firewood that Mother Nature provided that summer through Hurricane Isabelle (many many downed trees that were chopped up).

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Stop by my place, I have something for you.

citizen of the world said...

The idea of a draft scares the bejeebers out of me - I have two boys who will be draft age in the next several years, and both intend to register as C.O.s if it comes to that.

Sling said...

This was,quite simply,the most brilliant assesment of the State of the Union I can imagine.
We are food for wolves.

Lord Tennisanyone said...

MY WORD!
I recently examined the REAL budget for '08 and it would appear that 51% of it is designated for Military Spending!

Thanks to the price of Oil being close to $100/barrel, it now costs $4,000/hr to keep one F18 in the air.

There is something seriously wrong with your system of Government. This OILigopoly, "a market form in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of sellers" is forcing the USA to borrow $3 BILLION a day.

And now,
the End is near...

Allan said...

BP- It's a great time to be the Dutch East India Trading Co.

MC- Yep, we have been taking things for granted too long. Nature will (eventually) fix our mess.Great comment, btw.

JP- It's not true until you see it here.

Schlep- 1916...then we got
involved in WW1. Hmmm...I see a pattern.

Beth- I am relying on my internal temperature of 102F to stay warm.

Whim- Cool.

Cit- I wish there were more peace churches.

Sling- Thanks. I wish it wasn't.

ALT- The Light Brigade is comprised of SUVs.