Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's All The Unions' Fault! Part VI - Companies Spend More On CEOs, Lobbying Than Taxes

This is nauseating:
Twenty-five of the 100 highest paid U.S. CEOs earned more last year than their companies paid in federal income tax, a pay study said on Wednesday.

It also found many of the companies spent more on lobbying than they did on taxes.
And some gruesome details:
Compensation for the 25 CEOs with pay surpassing corporate taxes averaged $16.7 million, according to the study, compared to a $10.8 million average for S&P 500 CEOs. Among the companies topping the IPS list:

* eBay whose CEO John Donahoe made $12.4 million, but which reported a $131 million refund on its 2010 current U.S. taxes.
* Boeing, which paid CEO Jim McNerney $13.8 billion, sent in $13 million in federal income taxes, and spent $20.8 million on lobbying and campaign spending
* General Electric where CEO Jeff Immelt earned $15.2 million in 2010, while the company got a $3.3 billion federal refund and invested $41.8 million in its own lobbying and political campaigns.

Though the companies come from different industries, their tax breaks fall into two primary areas.

Two-thirds of the firms studied kept their taxes low by utilizing offshore subsidiaries in tax havens such as Bermuda, Singapore and Luxembourg. The remaining companies benefited from accelerated depreciation.

Shareholders have responded favorably when companies in which they invest keep a tax bill low through legal methods, thereby benefiting earnings. But Chuck Collins, an IPS senior scholar and co-author of the report, said that is a mistake.

"I think it's an exposure of weakness in a company if their profitability is dependent on their accounting department and not on making better widgets," he said.

In prior reports, Collins said, out-sized CEO pay was often a red flag of bigger problems to come. The IPS has been putting a pay report together for 18 years. Among those whose leaders have made the high pay list in years past, only to have their businesses falter: Tyco, Enron and WorldCom.
And Scott Walker and Ron Johnson want to keep giving these companies even bigger tax cuts?!



  1. My stomach turns as I read this and think of the millions of families in need of the basics. There is little of the "common good" in the US anymore.

  2. RoJo is worse, and that ain't no popcorn.

    In my opinion, his "mobile office" that is rounding the state is nothing more than a continuing campaign.

    Is it correct to say that RoJo made an extra million to buy the office, after his company paid him....?

  3. It's an easy cycle. Cut taxes for the rich and the corporate, they use the extra money to donate to your campaign, then you give them more breaks.

    Nice trick, except 98% of us are left out and punished in that game. Raise the taxes, and a lot of this goes away. Heck, they might even decide to invest in their own company and hire people!