My cell phone notified me this morning through Fox News (seriously, I throw up a little everytime I remember that my phone gets streaming news only from FauxNews) that Exxon Mobil reported record profits for 2008. $45.2 BILLION.
We all know where this came from: $4.50 per gallon gas.
$4.50 was the necessary price, my ass. If it $4.50 per gallon was required because the cost of oil demanded it, then Exxon Mobil shouldn't be showing $45.2 BILLION in profits.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Big 3 Automakers are struggling to make it from day to day. And the Federal Government helped them out to the tune of $14 BILLION in a bridge loan last month.
It seems to me that the Exxon Mobil can thank automakers for these windfall profits. I mean, without cars, who would Exxon Mobil sell the majority of its gas to? And if the Big 3 fail, I don't really see Exxon Mobil having another banner year.
What if, instead of the Federal Government handing the Big 3 $14 Billion with all kinds of strings attached, the Feds turned to Exxon and said, "You've got the biggest stake in a healthy auto industry of anyone in the country. In 2008, you screwed all Americans with your price gouging and as your punishment, we're going to require you to turn over your entire $45.2 BILLION to the Big 3 in order to help them get back on their feet."
That's a win-win. Good jobs would stay in America. The Big 3 would have plenty of money to bring new, more fuel efficient cars onto the market. Taxpayers wouldn't be shelling out additional money to help Detroit. And Exxon Mobil would learn that there's a new sheriff in town and grown-ups are now in charge. There's no more free rides like under W.
This idea is free, Mr. President. Consider it an inauguration gift.