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Some major U.S. companies pay high CEO salaries, few taxes

A business executive waiting for his pay

Steve Chiotakis: A new study shows dozens of major U.S. companies pay more in salaries to their CEOs than they pay in total corporate taxes.

Marketplace's Eve Troeh reports.


Eve Troeh: The Institute for Policy Studies is a liberal leaning think tank that looked at the hundred most profitable companies in the U.S. It found 25 of them pay CEO salaries that total more than their tax bill. Study author Scott Klinger says the government invests in corporations through things like educating the workforce, maintaining highways.

Scott Klinger: And we think companies should pay their fair share. They certainly have the money to pay their CEOs quite a bit.

The report targets big names like Boeing, Verizon and Dow Chemical and how much their CEOs make, versus what they pay in taxes.

Klinger says one big problem is that when companies make money overseas, they keep it there to avoid taxes.

Right now corporations are pushing for a repatriation holiday.

Chris Molineaux represents biotech and pharmaceutical firms for Pennsylvania Bio. He says that's a grace period when companies can transfer money back into the U.S. without tax penalty.

Chris Molineaux: What that allows us to do is to continue to put money into the research and development.

Drug companies might invest more overseas sales money into U.S. labs, for example. The last time the U.S. had such a holiday, though, companies mostly used the money to pay stockholders, not make jobs.

I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

About the author

Eve Troeh is News Director at WWNO-FM in New Orleans, La., helping build the first public radio news department in the station’s 40-year history. She reported for the Marketplace Sustainability Desk from 2010 to 2013.
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After each of these discussions, I am reminded of the most poignant speech I’ve ever heard on the subject of REVOLUTION.

The speech was at an Eris Society meeting in Aspen in 1994 or 95… the speaker was the president of “Jews for Firearms Ownership”.

He said we will entertain polite discourse on these subjects until our ox is gored. As the educated middle class loses more and more of it’s wealth and power – it will align with the fringe …goading the fringe to violence.

AGAIN – I was reminded of the alliance between the sans culottes and the professional class in 1788 France… an unlikely alliance, but a powerful force against the ‘elitists’ of the day.

You and me don’t want to risk jail – so we won’t be gassing billionaires in their sleep in Corsica… but we will be CHEERING the story.

You and me won’t be putting a necklace bomb on the daughter of a hedgie from Malaysia… now retired to his mansion in Sydney…. but we will BE CHEERING that enterprising scheme to further torture the super rich.

The tipping point is when the educated middle class understands that the game has been rigged. That we may aspire to enormous wealth, but those who achieve it are not worthy of our praise, but our enmity.

Behind these great fortunes are GREAT CRIMES.

When I read that Steve Jobs purchased a million robots to replace his suicidal Chinese workers… I thought to myself… THAT is the solution to intolerable working conditions?!?

I’m glad Jobs is dying a slow painful death from pancreatic cancer…. it gives him time to reflect, if that’s possible in that kind of monster.

I hope he lingers another DECADE. He looks positively ghostly. But he deserves it. Sorry… I used to be a believer… a life long conservative, and entrepreneur.

But I know too much now. It won’t be polite conversation that changes the way things are done… it’s the FRINGE PLAYERS with nothing left to lose, egged on, if you will, by the class they aspire to - and they aspire to be you and me.

These are the stories I awoke to yesterday. Each made me smile. The least we can do to the gangsters… is make them live in TERROR.

Steve Jobs – who purchased a million robots to replace his SUICIDAL Chinese workers is still dying a painful death from pancreatic cancer. CHECK!

Bank of America faces new lawsuits! CHECK!

Billionaires in Corsica gassed in their sleep by house thieves. CHECK!

Billionaire Hedgie can’t unload 32 billion $$ home in Seattle… must sell at auction! CHECK!

This is going to make GREAT reality TV… imagine Lloyd Blankfein, or Jamie Dimon pleading for their youngest … who is wearing a necklace bomb… due to explode if X amount is not paid.

You think the middle class will be outraged? — they’ll be laughing their asses off.

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