The Washington Post reports today that Exxon-Mobil broke the record for corporate profits in 2005: $36.13 billion. Profits were up 43 percent from the year before. Hurricanes Rita and Katrina helped the oil companies' bottom line by contributing to higher prices. Can you spell R-E-G-U-L-A-T-I-O-N? Surely we could tax these companies a little more without danger of the slippery slope to socialism?
I remember when "my generation" understood the evil that the oil companies represented. I remember when it was taken for granted that they were the enemy. And I say that advisedly, knowing that oil company profits paid for my piano lessons and the food I ate as a child. Still, oil is a natural resource, like air or water, and there really is no reason why it shouldn't belong to everyone. At the very least, the government (that is, the people) should not tolerate profiteering of the type that allows oil companies to benefit from natural disaster. It's just common sense.