- May 2, 2013
Common Dreams features report “"Fix the Debt" CEOs Enjoy Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay”Visit the publisher's website • See the report
"The performance pay loophole serves as a critical subsidy for excessive compensation," says the report. "The larger the executive payout, the less the corporation pays in taxes. And average taxpayers wind up footing the bill."
According to the study:
During the three-year period 2009-2011, the 90 publicly held corporate members of the austerity-focused “Fix the Debt” lobby group shoveled out $6.3 billion in pay to their CEOs and next three highest-paid executives.
These 90 Fix the Debt member firms raked in at least $953 million — and as much as $1.6 billion — from the “performance pay” loophole between 2009-2011. The exact full value of corporate windfalls from this loophole will remain impossible to compute until we have more complete mandated disclosure for executive compensation.
- January 9, 2013
StuffVisit the publisher's website
The hypocrisy over deficits and calls for shared sacrifice can be illustrated with one simple statistic.
According to the Institute for Policy Studies, 25 of the most-well-paid US chief executives got higher compensation than their companies paid in federal taxes. There's a class war on, as Warren Buffett has noted, and his class is winning it.
- January 9, 2013
VOA NewsVisit the publisher's website
Sarah Anderson at the Institute for Policy Studies hopes for a new approach at the Treasury Department.
"Three things to look for in the next Treasury Secretary: Are they going to be more aggressive in reining in Wall Street? Are they going to do more to help homeowners facing foreclosure? And are they going to be a deficit hawk or are they going to try to get our economy back on its feet before they address the deficit?," Anderson said.
- January 2, 2013
Albany Times Union features report “A Pension Deficit Disorder: The Massive CEO Retirement Funds and Underfunded Worker Pensions at Firms Pushing Social Security Cuts”Visit the publisher's website • See the report
While America's CEOs have been fretting about the fiscal cliff, millions of American workers face a financial disaster that gets much less media attention. There's a half-trillion-dollar deficit in the nation's worker retirement benefits.
. . . Fifty-four of the CEOs leading Fix the Debt benefit from lavish executive retirement programs. Their collective pension assets total $649 million, which comes to more than $12 million per CEO. That's enough to garner a $65,000 retirement check each month starting at age 65, according to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies, which I co-authored. In contrast, the average retiree receives just $1,237 from Social Security each month.
Yet, the firms headed by Fix the Debt CEOs owe their U.S. pension funds more than $100 billion, according to the IPS study. U.S. law requires businesses to keep their pension debts manageable.
. . . Beware of CEOs who are lecturing us about tightening our belts. Workers would better off if CEOs worried about fixing their companies' pension debts.
- January 2, 2013
The Huffington PostVisit the publisher's website
Did all their high-priced subterfuge pay off? The New Year's deal was a huge disappointment for those hoping that President Obama would use his bargaining position to strike a strong blow against the extreme inequality that is undermining our economy and democracy. But the Fix the Debt campaign also suffered a loss. After one of the most ambitious corporate lobby campaigns in history, they failed to win any of their three major objectives:
- Cutting earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare
- Cutting corporate tax rates ("pro-growth tax reform" in Fix the Debt speak)
- Shifting to a territorial corporate tax system, which would grant a permanent corporate tax holiday on offshore income, including the hundreds of billions stashed in the world's tax havens. Fix the Debt companies alone stood to gain an immediate 134 billion windfall from this reform, according to an Institute for Policy Studies report.
As in the tale of the Trojan Horse, however, we cannot assume that the Fix the Debt army is going to just sail away. Corporate tax reform is expected to be a major focus of Congress in 2013, starting as early as the debt ceiling fight, which is likely to come to a head in March. . . .
Congress's New Year's Eve capitulation to their wealthiest benefactors heightens the stakes for the corporate tax fight. Because Congress and the White House lavished so much on high-income individual taxpayers, they may well find themselves with fewer goodies to pass out to corporations. These will have to be paid for with either higher deficits or even more draconian cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other programs ordinary Americans depend upon.
- December 26, 2012
The Baltimore Sun features article “A Pension Deficit Disorder”Visit the publisher's website • See the article
- December 19, 2012
Minneapolis Star TribuneVisit the publisher's website
Former Minnesota U.S. Reps. Bill Frenzel and Tim Penny are co-chairs of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the umbrella organization for the Campaign to Fix the Debt. That has given them an insider's view as the powerful new group has amassed more than $40 million and field offices in 18 states since July, all in an attempt to influence the budget talks.
. . . The approach has some critics. The organization gets nearly all its money from corporate donations, giving rise to questions from groups like the Institute for Policy Studies, which claims that Fix the Debt's plans to seek cuts to Social Security and Medicare are a veiled effort to secure corporate tax breaks at the expense of the poor and elderly.
- December 19, 2012
The Hill BlogVisit the publisher's website
Tax hikes for millionaires and Social Security cuts for grannies. Those two divisive issues have dominated media coverage of the “fiscal cliff” debate. But now President Obama is hinting that corporate tax breaks might be in the mix.
[FedEx CEO] Smith later explained his idea for a compromise: accept tax increases for the rich in exchange for an offer to “lower corporate tax rates to a territorial tax system.”
Why would a wealthy guy like Smith be willing to barter away his personal tax breaks for this corporate perk? His argument is a patriotic one – that this reform would encourage corporations to bring their money back to America to invest and create jobs.
The trouble is, similar tax breaks on overseas earnings haven’t led to job creation in the past. . . .
What is certain is that a shift to a territorial system would be a boost to the bottom line of global companies like Fedex . . . In public, the administration has not supported a territorial reform. But we saw two years ago how President Obama eventually backed down on his campaign commitment to repeal the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.
If one of his chief negotiators [Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner] favors a territorial tax system, it’s not hard to imagine that this dubious corporate tax break wind up on the table in the mad rush to reach a deal.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-a-budget/273573-corporate-tax-breaks-in-the-mix#ixzz2HJyHTRKA
- December 14, 2012
Salon.com features blog “AlterNet: Five Job-Destroying CEOs Trying to "Fix" the Debt ”Visit the publisher's website • See the blog
- December 13, 2012
HispanicBusiness.comVisit the publisher's website
Florida's former senator and a one-time head of the national Republican Party, Mel Martinez, said Thursday that members of his own party need to get ready to go along with higher taxes.
"Republicans are going to have to swallow the pill they don't want to swallow," Martinez said on a conference call with reporters about the effects of the so-called "fiscal cliff" debt talks in Washington.
. . . The Campaign to Fix the Debt has come under fire from a liberal group, Institute for Policy Studies, which produced a study showing that many of the campaign's businessmen calling for entitlement reforms have huge nest eggs but lead companies that have retirement-fund pension problems.
"The corporations leading this campaign are contributing to Americans' retirement insecurity by funneling enormous sums into their CEO retirement accounts while underfunding their employee pension funds," the report said.