The imams, mullahs, and everyone else in the Middle East who wish us not just ill but dead have much to be thankful for today. ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly owned oil company, just announced this morning that its second-quarter profit hit a whopping $10.36 billion. That 35 percent surge was due to -- what else? -- outrageously high oil prices.
So why should those hate-filled preachers care about ExxonMobil? Well, they don't per se, but they surely do applaud the rigged market that enables the transfer of massive amounts of our wealth into their benefactor nations' pockets while also fattening Exxon and every other oil company's purse. The money that flows to Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other OPEC member nations funds the very people who are plotting the downfall of the West, and whose accumulation of oil wealth permits them to act with impunity. See my January 26 blog, "Oil Company Profits and Our Nation's Security," for a fuller discussion of the dangers posed by high oil prices on our national security.
The Reuters piece I read this morning announcing Exxon's windfall went on to mention that these hefty profits are sure to "reignite" efforts to get Congress to tax them. But unless President Bush has had some sort of epiphany, Congress might as well save itself the trouble. President Bush has promised to veto such a tax because it would "interfere with the free market." And that's the rub, and one of the great hoaxes visited on the American public. There is, as readers of this blog know (see "Taxing Oil's Monopoly Profits," March 14, 2006), no such thing as a free market in oil. Big Oil, by which I mean the OPEC cartel and its cheer leading cronies in the oil patch (as in ExxonMobil flailing pom poms all the way) have ridden the coattails of the OPEC cartel's price manipulations to undreamed of heights. Together with the brazen doctoring of futures trading markets, ("The Enron Loophole Helps OPEC Serve Up A Hefty Helping Of Oil Price Baloney" July 20, 2006 and "Gasoline Over $3.00 Gallon. Why? BP Knows. Plus Allen Greenspan Sings in the Energy Choir" July 12, 2006), the price of oil is rigged, rigged, rigged.
It is a grievous violation of the public trust, but the ones suffering the consequences are the consumers and our nation as a whole, with the threat posed to our national security by the enormous transfer of wealth from us to those who wish us ill. With the new Energy Bill on the verge of passage by our "K Street Lobby" besotted Congress, packed with the usual tax credits for Big Oil, this is a moment worthy of being dedicated to the "Gipper", Exxon's ex CEO, Lee Raymond. So party on, ExxonMobil. It's a great week for you.