The PJ Tatler

Turbo Tax* Tim Gets His Tax Facts Wrong

Tim Geithner is the Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury. During his confirmation hearings he was billed as the only man smart enough to handle our nation’s economic problems. What, then, to make of this quote from Secretary Geithner?

“The effective tax rate on the energy industry in the United States today is much, much lower than the average. It’s lower because the tax code provides a substantial amount of subsidies to those private companies. We propose, for lots of reasons, mostly because we think it’s fair and more efficient, to dial some of those back.”

Is that true, or regime spin? Please allow Forbes to put some facts to Mr. Geithner.

America’s three biggest oil companies, ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, all endure income tax burdens of more than 40%–higher than the statutory U.S. rate of 35%. Exxon, with a 45% rate, tallied $21.6 billion in worldwide income taxes for 2010. Wal-Mart Stores paid $7.1 billion (at a rate of 32.4%) in income taxes.

That’s from April of last year. How could Timmy get his numbers so wrong? Is out of incompetence? Or is it out of dishonesty, to slam an industry that Democrats hate and want the rest of us to hate and blame for the gas prices that have risen about 92% since Obama’s inauguration? Or maybe Tim was just kidding around. He’s known for bringing the funny to serious debates.

Does it matter, really? The bottom line is that whichever way you go, you can’t trust anything coming from the current regime. One day they’re lying about the XL Pipeline, the next, they’re spreading untruths about how much the big oil companies pay in taxes.

*The headline is not a criticism of Turbo Tax, which is a fine product. It’s a criticism of Tim Geithner for blaming his tax troubles on a product that millions of Americans have used without encountering any tax problems at all.