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  • ebayalphamale ebayalphamale Aug 21, 2012 3:13 PM Flag

    New Report: CEOs Massive Salaries Subsidized By Your Taxes

    We always hear about "welfare queens" and poor people gaming the system but don't forget the Mothers Of All Tax Payer Bottle Babies: The Rich. Hey American Sheeple, you're being fleeced. Royally fleeced.

    The New Robber Barons: How Taxpayers Subsidise CEOs' Multimillion Salaries

    A new report finds many top executives are taking home more than their corporations pay in taxes – at our expense

    by Pratap Chatterjee

    "...Dozens of US CEOs have cashed in on this major tax incentive at an estimated cost to US taxpayers of $9.7bn last year. Statistics provided by National Priorities Project suggest that the same amount of money could have paid for 142,625 elementary school teachers, or healthcare for 4.96 million low-income children.

    "At a time of austerity, it's beyond absurd that billions of our tax dollars are pouring into executive pockets," says Sarah Anderson, a report co-author.

    In 1980, the average US CEO was paid 42 times as much as the average worker when tax rates for the richest stood at 70%. Today, that ratio has widened to 380 times – exacerbated in part, no doubt, by the fact that CEOs are able to dramatically reduce their tax burdens by a reduction in top tax rates, as well as several new loopholes introduced in recent years.

    In fact, some companies paid their CEOs more money than they paid in taxes. Take Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy, who was paid $17.9m in 2011, while his company gave Uncle Sam just $13m on sales of $11.64bn..."

    "The Institute for Policy Studies found that 26 of the 100 highest-paid US CEOs took home more in pay than their companies paid in federal income taxes. On average, each of these company bosses was paid $20.4m last year.

    Another scam that CEOs pull on the taxpayer is called "deferred compensation". The way that works is simple – most taxpayers are expected to pay 35% of their income in taxes the year they earn it. But a CEO does not have to pay the tax until they claim the cash which can be earning interest in the mean time. Depending on how the money is invested, CEOs can engineer a substantial profit.

    This allowed Michael Duke, CEO of Walmart, to sock away $17,028,615 tax free in 2011, roughly 774 times more than one of his employees would have been allowed to do under normal tax rules.

    Yet the money these CEOs makes shrinks into insignificance compared to the money that hedge fund managers make. Take Raymond Dalio, who was paid an astronomical $3bn in 2011. This titan of Wall Street had to pay just 15% in taxes because the money was considered "capital gains", as opposed to the average citizen who would be required to pay 25% (in income tax). Cost to the taxpayer in 2011: $450m."

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