What will it take for Americans to end the Free Ride of Wall Street Corporations? [Note:  in 2008, the Government Accountability Office found that “two out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005.”  And there are people in Congress who still have the nerve to blame “the greed” of Seniors for our staggering national debt?It will take the removal of elected officials in Congress whose personal wealth is tied to Wall Street Corporations and nothing less. We can start by removing the 261 millionaires currently in Congress.  1% of our population are millionaires and yet for the past 30 years 40 to 50% of Congress have been millionaires.

Source Wiki Commons – Lower Yellowstone Falls closeup. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. – Author: Scott Carlson – GNU Creative Commons Attribution Share

ExxonMobil does it again– the Wall Street corporation that didn’t pay a  cent of USA Federal Income tax for 2009 and 2010 in spite of earning record profits that exceeded $45.5 billion in 2009 and $19 billion in 2010. [Note:  in 2008, the Government Accountability Office found that “two out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005.”]  ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil company, and was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas. It is affiliated with Imperial Oil which operates in Canada. ExxonMobil is one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world, having been ranked either #1 or #2 for the past 5 years.

Too bad if you were planning to fish in the Yellowstone River this Holiday Weekend.

Matthew Brown from the Associated Press reported that:  ”An ExxonMobil pipeline that runs under the Yellowstone River in Montana ruptured Saturday and leaked hundreds of barrels of oil into the waterway, causing a 25-mile plume that fouled the riverbank and forced municipalities and irrigation districts downstream to close intakes.

The break near Billings led to temporary evacuations of hundreds of residents along a 20-mile stretch. Cleanup crews deployed booms and absorbent material as the plume moved downstream at an estimated 5 to 7 mph. The river has no dams on its way to its confluence with the Missouri River just across the Montana border in North Dakota. It was unclear how far the plume might travel.

“The parties responsible will restore the Yellowstone River,” Mont. Gov. Brian Schweitzer said. [Well that remains to be seen.  Perhaps but only after many years and many lawsuits.  Look to how long it took Exxon to pay for the Valdez spill and they still only paid a small portion.]

ExxonMobil spokeswoman Pam Malek said the pipe leaked an estimated 750 to 1,000 barrels of oil for about a half-hour before it was shut down. Other Exxon officials had estimated up to 42,000 gallons of crude oil escaped.”

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iflizwerequeen comments

And these are the people who want to do away with the EPA.  Their motivations, I hope will be more than obvious to most Americans–especially those who might have been planning to fish in the Yellowstone River this holiday weekend.  Perhaps the American people should join together and file a class action lawsuit against Wall Street because of their continued obstrucion to our pursuit of happiness?

[NOTE:  What many Americans may not realize is that the oil pipelines that crisscross the American landscape, like our bridges and highways, are part of an aging infrastructure that has gone unrepaired for 50 years of more.  These pipelines are rusted thin.  We can expect many more such “accidents” as this most recent one in Yellowstone Park. Because of the way corporations operate–wealthy investors first and to hell with everyone else, don’t expect any preventive measures on their part.  It serves their bottom line and their wealthy investors to wait until the pipes rupture.  As far as I’m concerned every single stock holder in ExxonMobil shares responsibility for this spill. And that especially includes members of Congress who own stock in ExxonMobil.]

If nothing else, let’s get out the Ouija Board and conjure up another Ida Tarbell to do to Exxon Mobil what Ida did to Standard Oil.  Ida was a investigative journalist (called a “muckraker” in those days) who helped to bring about the breakup of Standard Oil in 1911 in an antitrust suit.

Ida Tarbell – Library of Congress

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ExxonMobil numbers among the  10 companies that have the most untaxed foreign income.  If you want to see the information I’ve put in brackets regarding the number of Congressional members who own this stock, you can go to Open Secrets.

1. General Electric (GE)  [106 members of Congress own stock in GE – 52 Democrats and 54 Republicans]
Untaxed foreign profit: $94 billion
Tax Haven: US
Strategy: An army of 1000 former IRS accountants keeps GE’s taxes near zero

2. Pfizer (PFE) [63 members of Congress own stock in Pfizer- 31 Democrats and 32 Republicans]
Untaxed foreign profit: $48.2 billion
Tax Havens: Global
Strategy: HC Industry keeps more profits overseas than any other industry

3. Merck (MRK) [38 members of Congress own stock in Merck.
Untaxed foreign profit: $40.4 billion
Tax Havens: 140 countries
Strategy: Used more than $9 billion from abroad in 2008 tax-free to finance Schering-Plough acquisition

4. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) [ 52 members of Congress own stock in this corporation]
Untaxed foreign profit: $37 billion
Tax Havens: Choose from 60 countries
Strategy: 48 consecutive years of dividend increases.

5. Exxon Mobil (XOM) [51 members of Congress own stock in Exxon Mobil]
Untaxed foreign profit: $35 billion
Tax Havens: Does most of its business on international soil
Strategy: 80% of the company’s 2009 earnings came from outside the U.S.

Go to The Big Picture to see the other five.

Addendum on Pipeline Ownership in the USA
The Koch Pipeline Company [privately held] owns and operates approximately 4,000 miles of pipelines used to transport crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas liquids and chemicals while the Koch Alaska Pipeline Company owns an approximate 3 percent interest in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System. A Koch Industries also owns a 28% interest in the Colonial Pipeline Company which it describes as the “owner and operator of the world’s largest-volume refined products pipeline.”

You want to know why the Koch brothers want to destroy the EPA? It’s because the EPA stands in the way of their “god-given” right to pollute with impunity. Koch Industries Inc., will pay the largest civil fine ever imposed on a company under any federal environmental law to resolve claims related to more than 300 oil spills from its pipelines and oil facilities in six states, the Justice Department and the U.S. EPA announced. A settlement filed on January 13, 2000 requires Koch, the second-largest privately held company in the United States, to pay a $30 million civil penalty, improve its leak-prevention programs and spend $5 million on environmental projects.

[Source]

Liz Berry

Liz Berry

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