Friday, August 17, 2012

Why We Can't Have Nice Things

(Editorial cartoon by Kevin Siers / The Charlotte Observer (August 14, 2012) and featured at McClatchy DC. Click on image to enlarge and then be kind enough to return.)

Yesterday I commented on the Romney-Ryan campaign as being more suitable for 1912 than 2012 because it seemed to be geared to the new breed of Robber Barons. I'm more convinced than ever that Horsey's analysis was apt after reading this AP article:

Twenty-six big U.S. companies paid their CEOs more last year than they paid the federal government in tax, according to a study released Thursday by a liberal-leaning think tank.

The study, by the Institute for Policy Studies, said the companies, including AT&T, Boeing and Citigroup, paid their CEOs an average of $20.4 million last year while paying little or no federal tax on ample profits, according to regulatory filings.

Some companies cited in the study said it was misleading. They also said they took advantage of tax deductions and credits designed to free up money for companies to spend in ways that stimulate the economy. ...

Among the "kingpins" it criticized was CEO James McNerney Jr. of Boeing. It said he got $18.4 million in pay last year while his company received a tax refund of $605 million.

The study also laid into Citigroup for paying CEO Vikram Pandit $14.9 million while the bank received a net $144 million in tax benefits.

Eighteen of the 26 companies received cash back or credits to apply against tax in the future, according to the report.

The study, a 45-page attack on the corporate tax code, said deductions and credits are allowing companies to lavish big pay packages on executives so they can cut their tax bills while Washington gets less money in a time of trillion-plus deficits.

"Our nation's tax code has become a powerful enabler of bloated CEO pay," the study said.
[Emphasis added]

Of course, AP felt compelled to note that the study was done by "liberal-leaning think tank" and to offer the excuses of the companies as "balance." Those excuses are laughable, yet are offered with great seriousness.

AT&T is so busy trying to screw its union employees that those employees have had to go on strike to get some reasonable negotiations started. And other employers are still laying off workers: yesterday's new unemployment figures show an increase over last week's figures.

Meanwhile, the CEOs are making out like bandits, or like Mitt Romney, who yesterday announced that he has in fact been paying taxes the last ten years, at the frighteningly high rate of 13%.

Yeah, that's impressive. The rest of us (at least those of us lucky enough to have a job and an income) are paying at 35%.

But that's not good enough for Romney and Ryan: they want to cut taxes even further for our elite.

To which I say, "Fukkem. With a rusty chain saw. Sideways."

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