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Institute for Policy Studies
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  • June 18, 2013

    Daily Kos features report “New Report: Corporate Pirates of the Caribbean”

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    The report, authored by Sarah Anderson, Scott Klinger and Javier Rojo at the leftist Institute for Policy Studies, is appropriately titled Corporate Pirates of the Caribbean. The pirates' objective: Bigger safety nets for corporations-are-people built on the shreds of the safety net for real people.

  • June 18, 2013

    The Huffington Post features report “New Report: Corporate Pirates of the Caribbean”

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    Co-founders of the "Fix the Debt" campaign, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, want the U.S. to move toward a territorial tax system that could save 59 companies involved with the campaign up to $173 billion in taxes, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank.

  • June 18, 2013

    Politico features report “New Report: Corporate Pirates of the Caribbean”

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    The Institute for Policy Studies will publish a report today detailing how members of Fix the Debt stand to benefit if Congress moves toward a territorial system as part of comprehensive tax reform. Dubbing the CEOs behind Fix the Debt as the “modern day pirates,” the think tank found that two-thirds of the 93 publicly held corporations backing the advocacy group held profits in offshore subsidiaries in 2012.

  • June 12, 2013

    Marketwatch features report “New Report: Corporate Pirates of the Caribbean”

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    Big companies aligned with the Campaign to Fix the Debt stand to reap as much as $173 billion in windfalls if the U.S. shifts to a so-called “territorial” tax system, a report from a left-leaning think tank said on Wednesday.

  • May 8, 2013

    The Bemidji (MN) Pioneer

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    Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff don’t make smash records. They write learned economic papers that make champions of austerity happy — and help smash the life prospects of average working families.

    . . . These politicians . . . need "evidence" they can use . . . to show the general public that "austerity serves the general good and not just the rich."

    Three years ago, Harvard’s Reinhart and Rogoff supplied that "evidence," via an academic paper that purported to show a grave danger whenever government debt hits 90 percent of Gross Domestic Product.

    . . . We have still another indication that inequality corrupts every corner of contemporary societies, even our ivory towers.

  • May 8, 2013

    Between The Lines

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    SARAH ANDERSON: It creates this perverse incentive. What it means is, the more these corporations pay their CEOs, the lower their tax burden, and that just contributes to our national debt.

    Under the U.S. tax code, you're only supposed to be able to deduct from corporate income taxes $1 million per executive, for executive pay. Beyond that, it's considered not a reasonable business expense. The problem is, there's this huge loophole, and that is, you can deduct unlimited amounts, as long as the pay is performance-based, and when they made that tax reform, it opened the door for massive payouts of stock options and performance bonuses, anything they could call "performance-based", then was fully deductibe.

    And it's really part of the reason why we've seen this explosion of CEO pay in the past couple of decades . . . And so, it is outrageous and . . . these guys are out there telling the rest of us that we need to tighten our belts, we really need to cut back on earned benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare . . . and yet they haven't taken a lot at the many ways that these corporations that they're running have been contributing to the deficit by taking advantage of these outrageous loopholes.

    SCOTT HARRIS: What kinds of Congressional action would be necessary to prevent these companies from having taxpayers subsidize what many would label as obscene CEO pay by some of these major corporations?

    SARAH ANDERSON: It's a very simple fix. As I mentioned, there is a cap on the deductability of payments that companies make for executive compensation: it's set at a million dollars -- except there's this huge loophole for performance pay. And so if we got rid of that loophole, that would at least be one step towards ensuring that ordinary taxpayers are not subsdizing this runaway CEO pay.

  • May 3, 2013

    Business Insider features report “"Fix the Debt" CEOs Enjoy Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay”

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    One of the things brought up was a new study by the Institute for Policy Studies and Campaign for America's Future showing that the CEOs behind "Fix the Debt" have benefited from tax breaks for executive compensation to the tune of about $1 billion in 2009-11, for just those companies. This tax break lets companies count pay using stock options -- which doesn't cost the companies anything -- as if it were cash pay and thus deduct it against corporate income.

  • May 3, 2013

    Marketwatch features report “"Fix the Debt" CEOs Enjoy Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay”

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    “Before they start calling for cuts that will have a huge impact on ordinary Americans, they should look at the ways they’ve been contributing to the deficit,” said Sarah Anderson of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington.

  • May 3, 2013

    Fox Business News features report “"Fix the Debt" CEOs Enjoy Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay”

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    Ms. Anderson's study calculates that 90 corporate members of Fix The Debt paid their CEOs and their next three-highest paid executives more than $6.3 billion between 2009 and 2011. For shelling out this largesse, these companies received tax breaks worth as much as $1.6 billion over that same period, the study estimates.

    However one crunches these numbers, one thing is certain: These guys won't be needing Medicare or Social Security. What is not certain is whether their performance-based pay is truly taxpayer subsidized as the study claims.

  • May 2, 2013

    Salon.com features report “"Fix the Debt" CEOs Enjoy Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay”

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    The report, from the liberal Institute for Policy Studies, finds that between 2009 and 2011, top executives at the 90 publicly held corporate members of the Fix the Debt coalition raked in at least $953 million — and as much as $1.6 billion — through the “performance pay” loophole, which counts some executive compensation as a tax-deductible business expense, instead of a salary.

    . . . “The very taxpayers who pay into and depend on these programs and benefits are subsidizing excessive compensation for the top executives of Fix the Debt member corporations and other large firms,” the report’s authors wrote.

    . . . “If Fix the Debt CEOs were serious about addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges, they would push for greater fairness in the tax code, including the elimination of entitlement programs benefiting CEOs like the ‘performance pay’ loophole,” the authors wrote.

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