Report: US Tax Dollars Funding Exhorbitant CEO Pay "Our nation’s tax code has become a powerful enabler of bloated CEO pay."

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    Aug 16, 2012 11:26 PM GMT
    Published on Thursday, August 16, 2012 by Common Dreams



    While austerity hits everyday Americans, seemingly scarce tax dollars are being squeezed from their pockets to fund exorbitant CEO pay, according to a report released Thursday from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

    image: Institute for Policy Studies According to the thinktank's 19th consecutive Executive Excess report, The CEO Hands in Uncle Sam's Pocket, "Our nation’s tax code has become a powerful enabler of bloated CEO pay."

    For example, the report states that "26 U.S. corporations last year gave their CEO more than they paid in taxes to Uncle Sam." The CEOs at those corporations received a staggering $20.4 million in average total compensation -- a 23% increase above the previous year.

    Among the CEOs detailed in IPS's report are these five who received more in compensation than their corporations paid in federal income tax:



    Name of CEO

    Corporation

    2011 CEO Compensation

    2011 Federal Income Tax Bottom Line for Corporation



    Vikram Pandit

    Citigroup

    $14.9 million

    $144 million refund



    Miles D. White

    Abbott Laboratories

    $19.0 million

    $586 million refund



    Randall Stephenson

    AT&T

    $18.7 million

    $420 million refund



    James McNerney

    Boeing

    $18.4 million

    $605 million refund



    Robert Benmosche

    American International Group

    $13.9 million

    $208 million refund



    Aubrey McClendon

    Chesapeake Energy

    $17.9 million

    $13 million payment




    Corporations are also dodging taxes through the use of tax havens such as Cayman Islands and Bermuda through which "corporations can shift around profits, avoid accountability, and reduce tax obligations." The report found 537 tax-haven subsidiaries operating last year from the 26 corporations paying more in CEO compensation than in federal income taxes.

    In addition to gaming the system to allow excessive CEO compensation, tax loopholes and the Bush tax cuts are allowing these corporations to save millions. The report states that the Bush tax cuts allowed 57 CEOs to save more than $1 million on their personal income tax bills. And the top five 2011 beneficiaries of the loophole that allows no limit on how much “performance-based" compensation corporations can deduct from their taxes "had a combined $232 million in deductible 'performance-based' pay. Absent this loophole, the tax bills for these companies would have jumped $81 million, or an average of more than $16 million per CEO." With the loophole, however, corporations are essentially incentivized to give CEOs high "performance-based" pay.

    The four most direct tax subsidies for excessive executive pay is costing taxpayers $14.4 billion per year, the report states -- an amount that could be used to reinvigorate the public sector by providing services such as health care for 7,370,673 low-income children for one year, or VA medical care for 1,843,510 veterans for one year or 241,593 clean-energy jobs for one year.

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    Aug 16, 2012 11:42 PM GMT
    This is exactly the kind of tax avoidance that the ultra wealthy are able to take advantage of while the rest of us schmucks pay a far higher tax rate than the wealthiest Americans.

    Mitt Romney stated today that he's paid "at least" a 13% tax rate every year.
    As if that's something to brag about.
    I've certainly never paid a tax rate that low - and most working middle class Americans pay a much higher rate.

    And both the Romney and the Ryan budget plans would result in the rich paying even lower tax rates - while forcing middle and lower income Americans to pay higher tax rates.

    In fact - under the Ryan budget plan - Mitt Romney would pay less than 1% in taxes.


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    Aug 16, 2012 11:51 PM GMT
    It's happening in many countries.
    It's almost enough to make me go all Bolshevik.
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    Aug 17, 2012 12:13 AM GMT
    Aress saidIt's happening in many countries.
    It's almost enough to make me go all Bolshevik.





    LOL !!! Maybe better yet you could 'go all' robinhood on the rich
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    Aug 17, 2012 12:58 AM GMT
    realifedad said
    Aress saidIt's happening in many countries.
    It's almost enough to make me go all Bolshevik.





    LOL !!! Maybe better yet you could 'go all' robinhood on the rich


    Yes, actually that would be a better idea.