20% of CEOs don't pay taxes
You may think I'm just making stuff up, but this info is from a new study (via USA Today):
You're damn right, Paul. How fucking sweet would that be?
A new study from The Corporate Library finds that the most common form of perk being granted to CEOs these days is something called a tax "gross-up." In plain English, it means that a company pays the taxes owed by the CEO on benefits granted by the company.
The Corporate Library, a shareholder watchdog group, found that 20% of major American companies, or 657 of nearly 3,300 examined, picked up the tab on at least one tax owed by the CEO.
"We are sure that many U.S. workers would be grateful if their employers also paid their income tax obligations," writes Paul Hodgson of The Corporate Library in the report.
Those poor, hard-working billionaire CEOs! We can't just hand them a billion dollars and expect them to pay their own taxes can we? Heck, no, we need a welfare program for CEOs.
What utter fascism.
What's that you say? This has nothing to do with fascism? I disagree; here's why:
The guiding fascist principle is "might makes right". Fascism is all about making things orderly, especially for those who rule. Far from being the goal, social equality is looked at as something undesirable, perhaps even unnatural. Fascists love the pyramid structure. They want a firm, unyielding power structure that's easy to understand; they need a strong leader who is completely above everyone else, like a Pharoah or a Emperor. That's why Bush is so popular with so many people who are actually adversely affected by his policies. They love being ruled with an iron fist. The opposite makes them feel afraid, whereas the pyramid structue makes them feel safe. Democracy is chaos. Fascism is order.
So it shouldn't be surprising that our business leaders organize things in a pyramidal, hierarchical fashion as well. It's not necessary to pay CEOs and other execs huge sums of money; they don't really need it, but they do want it. It's a status symbol. Their obscene paycheck makes them a god, a pharoah. It places them way beyond the reach of the rest of us. They represent the ultimate promise of capitalism: to become godlike without being born into it. And of course, if you want to emphasize your godliness, you must also emphasize the weakness of the puny, pathetic mortals who work under you. That's why perfectly rational companies gladly pay obscenely wasteful amounts of money to CEOs while simultaneously pinching pennies when it comes to regular workers.
It's no fun being a god if there's no one to worship you. But it gets funny. Search around and you'll find plenty of people defending CEO salaries and this gross-up technique. They've slurped the Kool-Aid and they think they can become CEOs one day too. It's the American Dream after all.... but what percentage of us actually becomes a CEO?
The article above focuses on 3000 major companies. There are 300 million Americans. You have a 0.001% chance of being one of their CEOs. Good luck.