We’re always (or at least so it seems) hearing about the oil companies and their “outrageous profits.” Politicians talk about the need to tax the oil company profits. “Big Oil” is the evil enemy of the people. Yada yada yada.
On the other hand, Apple is sweetness and light. Good old Steve Jobs – brought iPods to the masses, etc. etc.
Here’s an interesting article and observation by Professor Mark J. Perry over at Carpe Diem:

Apple Paid Half the Taxes of ExxonMobil in Q1 and Earned Four Times More Per Dollar of Sales

First Quarter 2012           ExxonMobil            Apple

Revenue (Billions)             $124.0                 $39.2
Income Taxes (billions)     $ 7.7                    $ 3.9
Profits (billions)                $ 9.5                    $11.6
Profit Margin (%)               7.6%                  29.6%

First quarter financial results were reported this week by ExxonMobil and Apple, and a summary of some key statistics are displayed above. Here’s what will probably not be reported by the mainstream media:

1. ExxonMobil paid $7.7 billion in taxes in the first quarter of 2012, which was about double the amount of taxes paid by Apple – $3.9 billion.

2. Apple earned $11.6 billion in profits during the first quarter, which was 22% more that ExxonMobil’s $9.5 billion in profits.

3. Apple earned $29.60 in profits for every $100 of sales in the first quarter, compared to ExxonMobil’s earnings of only $7.60 per $100 in sales revenue, making Apple’s profit margin almost four times greater than ExxonMobil’s (29.6% vs. 7.6%).

You probably also won’t hear Nancy Pelosi calling for end to Apple’s tax cuts and tax subsidies as a way to finance the $6 billion it will cost to pay for a one-year extension of student loan subsidies. And it’s also unlikely that the Democrats will propose a “Reasonable Profits Board” to regulate the profits of Apple and other computer companies. It’s only Big Oil that gets constantly singled out for that kind of targeted “special” treatment. Not to give any ideas to Pelosi and the Dems, but it looks like “Big Computer” might be a juicier target now than Big Oil.