If you put together the annual pay packages of the 500 Chief Executive Officers at S&P companies, you might say they are earning their fair share. After all, the average salary is only about $1,000,000 a year, certainly not exorbitant for the amount they work.
But then you have bonuses.
Plus, don’t forget a myriad of other compensation types not included above.
In the end, according to research provided by the AFL-CIO, the total compensation for the CEO’s averaged out to just over $11,000,000 per year for each one of them, with a majority of it being in compensation taxed at a lower rate than that of the average middle class American.
According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. corporations held a record $1.93 trillion in cash on their balance sheets in 2010. But they are not investing to expand their companies, grow the real economy or create good middle-class jobs. Corporate CEOs are literally hoarding their company’s cash — except when it comes to their own paychecks.
In 2010, Standard & Poor’s 500 Index company CEOs received, on average, $11.4 million in total compensation. Based on 299 companies’ most recent pay data for 2010, their combined total CEO pay of $3.4 billion could support 102,325 median workers’ jobs
Mother Jones takes a look at a few of these top CEOs, and the most frustrating part is how little the pay packages they received reflect company performance. Most egregious? Wells Fargo’s John Stumpf, who literally profitted from other people’s failures.
In 2009, when Wells Fargo still owed the federal government $25 billion in bailout funds, CEO John Stumpf got a $5 million raise. The resulting hurricane of bad publicity may be why Wells Fargo cut Stumpf’s base pay in 2010. But it still gave him a $3.3 million cash bonus, leaving his total earnings almost unchanged. He remains one of the country’s highest-paid bank CEOs. A few secrets to his success: Profiting from foreclosing on homeowners and hoarding liquid assets to shore up the bank’s bottom line.
When Republicans state that taxes need to stay down to protect the people who “create jobs” is this really who they are talking about?
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