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Thread: This Doesn't Piss Me Off - The Poor Not Paying Income Tax Does.

  1. #1
    Atypical is offline

    This Doesn't Piss Me Off - The Poor Not Paying Income Tax Does.

    Outrageous CEO Perks: This Year's Top Picks
    Posted 10:15 AM 11/10/10 Company News, People, Taxes

    Thanks to gross excesses in executive compensation exposed during the financial crisis, CEO pay has come under increased scrutiny in recent years.

    At the prodding of the SEC, compensation boards at public companies have cleaned up their acts somewhat, but CEOs still typically make far more than shareholders consider reasonable. Plus they often negotiate lavish perks that increase their pay by millions more.

    To see the latest trends in perks and pay, 24/7 Wall St. examined the most recent proxies of dozens of large public companies where CEOs have outsized overall compensation. Not surprisingly, we found buried in the fine print, some very generous benefits. This is the 24/7 Wall St. list of outrageous CEO perks:

    $391,000 in Tax Prep
    Occidental Petroleum (OXY) shareholders have enjoyed returns of more than 35% this past year under CEO Ray Irani's reign. As a result, Irani's current compensation is $31.4 million. Included in that figure is personal tax preparation and financial planning at a cost of $391,000. The average person pays about $500 for financial planning. At Occidental's 2010 annual meeting, however, over half of shares voted were against the company's say-on-pay proposal (which means half the shareholders who voted were not happy with his compensation).

    $772,000 to Cover Underwater Mortgage on Home Sale
    Richard Anderson of Delta Air Lines (DAL) may not make as much as the other CEOs listed, but he certainly has his share of corporate perks. Although he earns $2.25 million a year, Anderson relies on the company to cover a number of what could be considered personal costs. For instance, Delta paid Anderson $772,000 in relocation costs because his home in Minneapolis, which he needed too sell to move to Atlanta, was worth less than his mortgage. No doubt, a lot of Delta employees and shareholders are desperate to get out from under their underwater mortgages too.

    $110,000 for an Attorney to Negotiate Compensation
    Carol Bartz, who joined Yahoo (YHOO) as CEO in January 2009, received about $39 million in compensation for that year. That included equity she otherwise would have made at her last job. However, according to estimates made by Glass Lewis, a leading governance consulting firm, Yahoo paid her more than she should have received, putting her in the top of its overpaid CEO list. Bartz, however, did not want to pay her attorney fees to negotiate compensation from Yahoo. Later, Yahoo paid the $110,000 bill.

    $1.3 million to Relocate for New Job
    Having just been hired on July 13, 2009, Boston Scientific (BSX) CEO Ray Elliot is quite fortunate to be receiving compensation totaling $33.4 million. Included in this is $1.3 million for relocation costs and a cost-of-living allowance, apparently needed for Elliot's new position.

    $1.4 million in Security Services
    Those holding executive positions at Oracle (ORCL) are known for receiving immense compensation without being held to any specific performance requirements. CEO Larry Ellison, for instance, received $84.5 million in 2009 -- the highest amount paid to any U.S. CEO that year. As though this were not enough, Oracle provides Ellison with $1.4 million in security-related costs.

    $216,000 in Club Memberships
    Randall L. Stephenson of AT&T (T) is the country's 12th-highest paid CEO, with yearly compensation of $20.3 million. Part of this pay includes $216,000, which is used specifically for Stephenson's club memberships. Additionally, Stephenson receives compensation in the form of automobile benefits and aircraft usage, including catering and crew travel costs.

    $724,000 for Car and Driver
    Another of the country's top-paid CEOs is Travelers' (TRV) Jay S. Fishman. He receives yearly compensation of $20.1 million. Of that, $724,000 goes toward car and driver services, as well as aircraft services, helping Fishman live up to his company's name. Many employees would say it's difficult to get their employers to just cover gas.

    $639,000 in Aircraft Use
    The CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) made a massive $38.5 million in 2009. This salary earned him the second-highest ranking on Glass Lewis's overpaid CEO list. In fact, Michael Jeffries's 2009 compensation exceeded that given to the company's four other top executives combined by more than 360%. It's difficult to see any logical reasoning behind Jeffries's excessive compensation, especially when considering that $639,000 goes toward his personal use of a company-owned aircraft.

    $2.5 Million in Tax Reimbursement
    Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS (CBS), is paid $44.1 million. CBS, however, is headquartered in New York, while Moonves lives in California. So, CBS pays $2.5 million in tax reimbursement to cover the difference between what Moonves would have paid if he lived only in California.

    Surveys show that shareholders of many public firms believe a chief executive should make $2 million or $3 million and have bonuses that are tied to stock options. Yet, companies are still clearly willing to pay top dollar to recruit a new CEO or keep an existing one happy.

    The position that most boards take when they defend CEO pay is that top talent is scarce. It's the same argument sports teams use when they offer players exorbitant salaries: Pay the going rate, or let the player go elsewhere.

    That may be true. But one thing is clear from our list: Average Americans aren't likely to have high regard for executives who get larded with such outrageously lavish perks.

    See full article from DailyFinance:

  2. #2
    Havakasha is offline
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    Joined: Sep 2009 Posts: 5,358
    You are entirely right. Its just unbelieveable how easily manipulated some people are. Thomas Frank wrote a book (What's the matter with Kansas) which exquisitely demonstrates how people vote against their own economic interests. Thanks for posting this Atypical.

  3. #3
    Atypical is offline

    WE Are NOT A Highly-Taxed Country. It's Conservative BS!

    New from Citizens for Tax Justice

    The Report the Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Need to Read: U.S. Is One of the Least Taxed Countries

    The co-chairs of the President's fiscal commission have released a series of options to reduce the long-term federal budget deficit by $3.8 trillion over ten years. Three fourths of the savings would come from cuts in public services while only one fourth would come from closing tax loopholes and reforming the tax system.

    This makes little sense, given that the United States is one of the least taxed countries in the developed world. A new report from Citizens for Tax Justice explains that the most recent data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show that the U.S. is the third least taxed country of the 27 OECD countries for which data are available.

    The vicious conservative propaganda in this country is now neck-deep. It's all to protect the wealthy, government and corporate power. Read more from different sources. Think for yourself.

    Check this out.
    Last edited by Atypical; 11-11-2010 at 04:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Atypical is offline
    Quote Originally Posted by Havakasha View Post
    You are entirely right. Its just unbelieveable how easily manipulated some people are. Thomas Frank wrote a book (What's the matter with Kansas) which exquisitely demonstrates how people vote against their own economic interests. Thanks for posting this Atypical.
    I read it Havakasha. Good book. But I wish you wouldn't mention books that people can read. I have never been asked by anyone here to suggest a title that can provide evidence for my comments. I don't see that anyone cares to learn more about these complicated subjects.

    The ignorant have a slogan - Only opinions count - and they better be the RIGHT ones! From the RIGHT person!

    Otherwise, it doesn't matter.
    Last edited by Atypical; 11-11-2010 at 05:33 PM.

  5. #5
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    Joined: Jan 2009 Location: Ann Arbor, MI Posts: 3,560
    "The ignorant have a slogan - Only opinions count - and they better be the RIGHT ones! From the RIGHT person!"

    I'm glad you had time to reflect on yourself lol.

  6. #6
    Havakasha is offline
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    Joined: Sep 2009 Posts: 5,358
    Yeah but do all those things Atypical listed piss you off S&L?

  7. #7
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havakasha View Post
    Yeah but do all those things Atypical listed piss you off S&L?
    No. Not at all. CEO's have put in a lot of work and effort to get where they are. Is the compensation excessive. Yes it is. Do I begrudge it, no. You or I can be a well paid (and effective lol) CEO if we applied ourselves.

    It's not all about money as the statist's would like you to believe. It is naive to believe that either government or corporations don't have waste, excess, fraud....... You said so yourself when you pointed out that "there's always going to be waste in such a large stimulus package".

  8. #8
    Havakasha is offline
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    Im truly sorry your not concerned about the widening gulf between the wealthy and everyone else.

    Record Gap between Rich and Poor in U.S.

    And somehow S&L has no idea why this might be bad for the U.S.

    Income Gap Widens: Census Finds Record Gap Between Rich And Poor

    WASHINGTON — The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record as young adults and children in particular struggled to stay afloat in the recession.

    The top-earning 20 percent of Americans – those making more than $100,000 each year – received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.

    A different measure, the international Gini index, found U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations.

    At the top, the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, who earn more than $180,000, added slightly to their annual incomes last year, census data show. Families at the $50,000 median level slipped lower.

    "Income inequality is rising, and if we took into account tax data, it would be even more," said Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who specializes in poverty. "More than other countries, we have a very unequal income distribution where compensation goes to the top in a winner-takes-all economy."

    Lower-skilled adults ages 18 to 34 had the largest jumps in poverty last year as employers kept or hired older workers for the dwindling jobs available, Smeeding said. The declining economic fortunes have caused many unemployed young Americans to double-up in housing with parents, friends and loved ones, with potential problems for the labor market if they don't get needed training for future jobs, he said.

    Rea Hederman Jr., a senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, agreed that census data show families of all income levels had tepid earnings in 2009, with poorer Americans taking a larger hit. "It's certainly going to take a while for people to recover," he said.

    The findings are part of a broad array of U.S. census data being released this month that highlight the far-reaching impact of the recent economic meltdown. The effects have ranged from near-historic declines in U.S. mobility and birth rates to delayed marriage and the first drop in the number of illegal immigrants in two decades.

    The census figures also come amid heated political debate in the run-up to the Nov. 2 elections over whether Congress should extend expiring Bush-era tax cuts. President Barack Obama wants to extend the tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 and joint filers making less than $250,000; Republicans are pushing for tax cuts for everyone, including wealthy Americans.

    The 2009 census tabulations, which are based on pre-tax income and exclude capital gains, are adjusted for household size where data are available. Prior analyses of after-tax income made by the wealthiest 1 percent compared to middle- and low-income Americans have also pointed to a widening inequality gap, but only reflect U.S. data as of 2007.

    Among the 2009 findings:

    _The poorest poor are at record highs. The share of Americans below half the poverty line – $10,977 for a family of four – rose from 5.7 percent in 2008 to 6.3 percent. It was the highest level since the government began tracking that group in 1975.

    _The poverty gap between young and old has doubled since 2000, due partly to the strength of Social Security in helping buoy Americans 65 and over. Child poverty is now 21 percent compared with 9 percent for older Americans. In 2000, when child poverty was at 16 percent, elderly poverty stood at 10 percent.

    _Safety nets are helping fill health gaps. The percentage of children covered by government-sponsored health insurance such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program jumped to 37 percent, or 27.6 million, from 24 percent in 2000. That helped offset steady losses in employer-sponsored insurance.

    The 2009 poverty level was set at $21,954 for a family of four, based on an official government calculation that includes only cash income. It excludes noncash aid such as food stamps.

    Arloc Sherman, a senior researcher at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, noted the effects of expanded government programs in cushioning the impact of skyrocketing unemployment. For example, the Census Bureau estimates that 3.6 million people would have been lifted above the poverty line if food stamps were counted – a number that would have reduced the 2009 poverty rate from the official 14.3 percent to 13.2 percent.

    Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor, said while the U.S. has developed policies to combat poverty, it has trouble addressing ever-widening income inequality – even with a growing federal deficit and previous warnings by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan about soaring executive pay.

    An Associated Press-GfK Poll this month found that by 54 percent to 44 percent, most Americans support raising taxes on the highest U.S. earners. Still, many congressional Democrats have expressed wariness about provoking the 44 percent minority so close to Election Day.

    "We're pretty good about not talking about income inequality," Danziger said.


  9. #9
    Havakasha is offline
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    WANT to give affluent households a present worth $700 billion over the next decade? In a period of high unemployment and fiscal austerity, this idea may seem laughable. Amazingly, though, it is getting traction in Washington.
    I am referring, of course, to the current debate about whether to extend all, or just some, of the tax cuts of President George W. Bush — cuts that are due to expire at year-end. They’re expiring because the only way they could be enacted initially was by pretending that they were temporary.

    In this situation, it’s not clear what should be called a tax “cut.” If the temporary law is allowed to expire as planned, does that represent a return to normal, or a tax increase? Conversely, if some parts of the current rates are extended, should those count as a tax cut?

    Psychologists call these descriptive choices “framing.” No one is proposing that tax rates be lower than they are now, so the question is whether some people should pay more, and, if so, who.

    President Obama has proposed retaining the current rates on incomes up to $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. Under this plan, everyone would receive a tax “cut” relative to the rates in effect in the Clinton era. For a family with a $250,000 income or more, the cut would be about $6,000, because its first $250,000 of income would be subject to the current, lower rate. But such families would have a higher bill than they do now.

    With the exception of the House minority leader, John Boehner, the Republican leadership has drawn a line in the sand, saying it will oppose Mr. Obama’s bill unless all taxpayers remain at current rates. Although it wouldn’t put it this way, the Republican position is, in effect, that if the rich can’t share in the bounty, rates should rise for everyone.

    They offer three arguments to support their view.

    The first is that it is folly to raise taxes in a weak economy. There is some merit to this argument, of course, but economic policy is always about trade-offs.

    Tax cuts are one of many ways to stimulate the economy. Building infrastructure, for example, is another. We have to choose. And if the primary goal is stimulating the economy, tax breaks to the rich are simply not cost-effective. Numerous studies have shown that the poor spend nearly all of their income, while the rich save a significant amount of theirs.

    The second argument is that not extending the tax cuts to high-income earners would impose an excessive burden on small businesses. Here, however, we fall into a statistical morass. The administration points out that only 3 percent of all businesses earn enough to have to pay any additional tax. But Republicans reply that those 3 percent of businesses earn 47 percent of the income from this entire sector, meaning that the higher taxes would apply to the bulk of small-business income.

    Which is the most relevant number?

    To understand these statistics, we need to know how small business is defined. The data come from tax returns, and the definition of a “small” business is one that is organized so that all the profits pass through to the owners, who then report these profits as income on their personal tax returns.

    Partnerships and firms structured as S corporations are examples. This category can include businesses as diverse as barbershops, car washes, hedge funds and law firms. Goldman Sachs was in this category before it became a public company. And the fact that 3 percent of the businesses earn nearly half of the money is precisely what many people are concerned about: growing income inequality.

    Which brings us to the third argument. Conservatives say that to do anything other than extending tax cuts to everyone would amount to “class warfare.”

    The best response to that notion comes from Warren E. Buffett: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

    Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, two academic economists, provide data to back up Mr. Buffett’s view. They show that the proportion of income earned by the top 1 percent of American families was about 10 percent of the national total from 1945 to 1979. Since 1980, that share has doubled, reaching about 20 percent in 2008 — or more, if capital gains are included.

    The growth rate has been even faster for the ultrarich — those in the top one-hundredth of 1 percent in income.

    Other segments of society, meanwhile, are losing out, with their share of the total declining, and their real incomes remaining stagnant.

    And what about incentives? Will the owners of the profitable small businesses work less hard, or hire fewer people, if their own after-tax income falls? This is a much-researched question, and the weight of current evidence suggests that we shouldn’t expect significant real reductions in economic activity if rates change in the range under discussion.

    There is another possible argument for including the rich in these tax cuts, one based on “fairness.” By this reasoning, the wealthy are entitled to low tax rates because they have temporarily had them, and it would now be unfair to take them back.

    But by that same argument, unemployment insurance should never expire, and every day should be your birthday. “Temporary” has no meaning if it bestows a permanent right.

    The question comes down to whether we want a society in which the rich take an ever-increasing share of the pie, or prefer to return to conditions that allow all classes to anticipate an increasing standard of living. Demanding that the rich get a tax cut as a condition for tax relief for others is simply elitist. Tea Partiers, take note.

  10. #10
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    Why is this income inequality so important? In your words, not an article.

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