In its annual report on executive excess, the watchdog Institute for Policy Studies recently documented 26 corporations that lavished an average of $20 million on each of their CEOs last year, including CBS, Citigroup, Discovery, Motorola Mobility, Oracle and Viacom. In every case, the compensation loophole and other special breaks meant that the corporation paid more to their top guy than they paid in federal income taxes.
In addition, thanks to the Bush tax giveaways to the uppermost upper-income takers, more than half of last year’s 100 top-paid CEOs were able to dodge at least a million dollars each in personal income taxes they otherwise owed to support the public services that benefit them. The honcho of oil & gas fracker ConocoPhillips, for example, got nearly a $7 million tax subsidy from us on his 2011 pay of more than $145 million.
It’s bad enough that top bosses have grossly inflated their pay while relentlessly slashing the wages of employees – but it’s grotesque that they’ve perverted our tax laws to underwrite their excess. To see the IPS report and recommendations for reform, go to www.ips-dc.org.