At many large American corporations, more money is paid to a single executive than to the U.S. Treasury:
Twenty-five of the best-paid chief executive officers in the U.S. earned more in salary and other compensation in 2010 than their companies’ federal income tax expenses as disclosed in public filings, according to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies.
The Washington-based nonprofit group’s report, released today, examined 100 publicly traded U.S. corporations with the highest-paid CEOs. It found that companies whose CEOs’ compensation exceeded reported tax expense in 2010 had average global profits of $1.9 billion.
Companies in this group, according to the report, included Cablevision Systems Corp., EBay Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Boeing Co. In fact, some companies that rewarded their CEOs with seven-figure compensation were getting money back from the government.
The majority of these companies use tax havens to dodge federal payments:
The institute said its findings underscore the need for an overhaul of the U.S. tax code that would reduce the number of tax strategies available to companies, especially their ability to lower tax payments by parking profits overseas.
“Tax reform has to close up some of these loopholes and the offshore system,” Chuck Collins, one of the report’s authors, said in an interview. “We might be able to lower the overall corporate rate by broadening the base.”
Eighteen of the 25 companies mentioned in the report operated subsidiaries in countries known as offshore tax havens, Collins said.
Saudi princes have no less accountability than corporate boards, which nominate their own members. Even investors are not allowed to put nominees on the board's ballot. The SEC rolled over and played dead when challenged on a shareholder access rule by the Business Roundtable, a CEO lobbying arm.
The United States itself is the biggest tax haven in the world, with executives extracting bonuses at the expense of a population working at record productivity. CEO's are making 400 times the salary of the average worker, while squabbling over slave-level wages: