32 Corporations Spent More On Top Executives In 2010 Than They Paid In Income Taxes
By Pat Garofalo on Jun 21, 2011
Over the last few decades, executive pay at large corporations has skyrocketed. Today, American CEOs make 263 times the average compensation for American workers, up from the 30 to 1 ratio in the 1970s. In 2010 alone, CEO pay went up 27 percent while average worker pay went up just 2 percent.
At the same time, corporate tax revenue has plunged to historic lows. During the 1960s, for instance, the United States consistently raised nearly 4 percent of GDP in corporate revenue. During the 1970s, the total was still above 2.5 percent of GDP. But the U.S. now raises less than 1.5 percent of GDP from the corporate income tax.
According to a new report called “S.& P. 500 Executive Pay: Bigger Than …Whatever You Think It Is,” put together by the independent research firm R. G. Associates, there are currently 32 companies that actually spent more on compensation for their top executives in 2010 than they paid in corporate income taxes:
This isn’t really surprising when you consider that several of the largest U.S. corporations simply paid no taxes at all last year. General Electric, for instance, made more than $5 billion last year, but had a tax rate of -64 percent, meaning it received billions in tax benefits. Boeing hasn’t paid any federal income tax in three years, while CEO Jim McNerny made $19 million last year.