THANK YOU SIRS MAY WE HAVE ANOTHER  10:00 am August 17, 2012

Study: CEOs and Incorporated Americans Sure Benefiting From Tax Code They Wrote

by Kris E. Benson

A CEO, enjoying his cigar after trickling down on usLook, you guys, the Romneys WANT to release more tax returns to you people, but if they do, guess what will happen? We can tell you EXACTLY what will happen: a think tank — maybe even a progressive one — will look at the tax returns and then they’ll be all “blah blah, the Romneys paid a lower tax rate than people who make around $40,000 per year” or “blah blah, here is what is up with ‘Mitt’s Magical IRA’” etc etc, and this would be unacceptable, because it is Mitt’s Time. We know this because a “liberal-leaning think tank” released a study claiming that 26 big Incorporated Americans didn’t pay federal taxes and (maybe) used the money to pay CEOs and then sent the rest of the massive sums of money on lavish vacations to the Cayman Islands. See? Transparency just gave them all kinds of ammunition, and we wouldn’t want that, would we? No. We wouldn’t.

NEW YORK (AP) — Twenty-six big U.S. companies paid their CEOs more last year than they paid the federal government in tax, according to a study released Thursday by a liberal-leaning think tank.

The study, by the Institute for Policy Studies, said the companies, including AT&T, Boeing and Citigroup, paid their CEOs an average of $20.4 million last year while paying little or no federal tax on ample profits, according to regulatory filings.

Some companies cited in the study said it was misleading. They also said they took advantage of tax deductions and credits designed to free up money for companies to spend in ways that stimulate the economy.

Oh yes. Stimulate the economy. Like, for example, AT&T, who stimulated the economy through eliminating the jobs of 100 wireless operators right before Christmas. Or Kraft, who laid off 1600 employees earlier this year so it could turn into two companies making corn-syrup filled snacks and groceries. Two is always better than one, DUH. See what happens when you let liberals look at your taxes?

Among the “kingpins” [the study] criticized was CEO James McNerney Jr. of Boeing. It said he got $18.4 million in pay last year while his company received a tax refund of $605 million.

The study also laid into Citigroup for paying CEO Vikram Pandit $14.9 million while the bank received a net $144 million in tax benefits.

Eighteen of the 26 companies received cash back or credits to apply against tax in the future, according to the report.

In addition to performance-pay deductions and R&D credits, the report criticized the use of tax havens that allow technology companies, for instance, to assign intellectual-property rights to shell companies in the Cayman Islands, so they can run profits through them and avoid taxes. It noted that 26 companies have a combined 537 subsidiaries in tax-haven countries.

This report can only mean one thing: that we have not sufficiently pleased our corporate overlords until they trickle down on us. When will we ever learn.

[Associated Press]

 
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{ 107 comments }

Oblios_Cap August 17, 2012 at 10:04 am

Some companies cited in the study said it was misleading. They also said they took advantage of tax deductions and credits designed to free up money for companies to spend in ways that stimulate the economy.

It sure didn't work too well. Better try something else.

Come here a minute August 17, 2012 at 11:27 am

And those companies know all about misleading the public about taxes.

sbj1964 August 17, 2012 at 10:05 am

The odds are stacked against the middle class worse than a crooked Casino.

eggsacklywright August 17, 2012 at 10:35 am

We truly have the best gummint money can buy.

GeorgiaBurning August 17, 2012 at 10:49 am

Not even that good, Paul Ryan wants to cut back on the free drinks and comp'd buffet coupons.

mormos August 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm

and no purchased drinks over 16oz.

Oblios_Cap August 17, 2012 at 10:07 am

CEO James McNerney Jr. of Boeing… got $18.4 million in pay last year

In addition to making these boobs pay taxes, let's do something about CEO pay, too. Nobody is worth a salary that size unless they piss oil and shit gold ingots. And really, not even then.

AbandonHope_ August 17, 2012 at 11:01 am

No snark here, the conserv-o-tarian argument there is that they must be worth that much, or else they wouldn't be paid that much, duh. As though, once again, everything in the entire world is a perfect meritocracy, and there's no such thing as a "good ol' boys club" or "corruption" or "collusion" or anything like that.

ChillBill August 17, 2012 at 10:07 am

Those soulless sociopaths can keep their millions, I'll keep my sanity.

freakishlywrong August 17, 2012 at 10:07 am

Today, we are all "you people".

ManchuCandidate August 17, 2012 at 10:12 am

We plebes have always been "you people."

It explains why I've always felt like 3/5ths of a person compared to a rich guy.

freakishlywrong August 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

My sister always wanted to marry a rich guy. I used to tell her that smart, funny and more importantly, NICE was a much better option. Rich assholes don't get to be rich assholes without being assholes.

thatsitfortheother1 August 17, 2012 at 10:28 am

I dated two very wealthy women in my single days.

And neither one of them ever picked up a tab.

Callyson August 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

My grandmother always said "if you marry for money, you earn it."

She was not suggesting such unpleasant work as a career option, either…

mormos August 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm

with 1/3000th the speech!

FlownOver August 17, 2012 at 10:07 am

Gee, I never would have suspected anything like this was going on.

SoBeach August 17, 2012 at 10:08 am

If we would just eliminate corporate taxes these corporations wouldn't have to pay all those accountants and lawyers to figure out how to not pay any taxes. The money they would save on accountants and lawyers could be used to create jobs. Perhaps even as many jobs as they would eliminate when they fire the accountants and lawyers.

You libtards just don't understand how business works.

elviouslyqueer August 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

Some companies cited in the study said it was misleading.

Maybe I've missed the memo, but when exactly did whining become the newest American pastime?

thatsitfortheother1 August 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

You're a youn-un, ain't ya?

johnnymeatworth August 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

Yeah, and here I though "Pussy Riot" meant something else entirely….

Callyson August 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Right around the same time it became the oeuvre of the GOP party platform.

Mumbletypeg August 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

Reversal of Fortune was one of the more intriguing movies during the 90s. I'm tired of waiting for the winds of fortune to change. Who would star in the ongoing saga of 1%ers, 'Immersed In Fortune"?

Mumbletypeg August 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

Reversal of Fortune was one of the more intriguing movies of the 90s. I'm tired of waiting for the winds of fortune to change. Who would star in the ongoing saga of 1%ers, 'Immersed In Fortune"?

freakishlywrong August 17, 2012 at 10:20 am

Why, Matt Damon of course.

C_R_Eature August 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Hey! How did you get away with typing in the Forbidden Word?!

calliecallie August 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy? And Jamie Leigh Curtis as a hooker.

jakegittes August 17, 2012 at 10:10 am

They've still got a way to go with tweaking that tax code. Hookers and blow have yet to be made an overtly deductible expense.

thatsitfortheother1 August 17, 2012 at 10:15 am

I dunno. We haven't seen Mitt's 2000-2008 returns yet…

calliecallie August 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Hookers would be consultants, with a contract for as-needed services.
Blow could be cleaning supplies? Or the consultants could just bring it with them and build that charge into the as-needed services contract.

ManchuCandidate August 17, 2012 at 10:10 am

The guy who said that history is written by the winners was wrong. The "winners" write the Tax Code.

Puffperney August 17, 2012 at 10:28 am

AMEN!

BeefHardcake August 17, 2012 at 11:36 am

Then they go home and fk the Prom Queen.

/end Sean Connery

Exhausted66 August 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm

You misspelled whiners.

Baconzgood August 17, 2012 at 10:12 am

There is only one thing to do, cut taxes and get rid of NPR. That will create jobs.

Jus_Wonderin August 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

As much as I love NPR, I guess you are right. And then the guvmint could buy more bombs. Well, maybe two or three.

elviouslyqueer August 17, 2012 at 11:21 am

And Sesame Street.

BeefHardcake August 17, 2012 at 11:37 am

Then Ira Glass can turn his hobby of being a freelance assassin-for-hire into a career.

C'mon, we all know dude's a ninja.

strawmanchronicles August 17, 2012 at 10:12 am

Biggest problem I had with the study is it neglects to point out the pay is taxable to the CEOs at the same rate the corporation would pay (35%). So, in theory, the government's not shortchanged any revenue — why does the government care whether it gets the taxes from the company itself or the exec? Of course, this assumes the exec actually pays the tax.

sbj1964 August 17, 2012 at 10:13 am

Makes you wonder when the Revolution is going to begin.Torches pitchforks anyone?

Puffperney August 17, 2012 at 10:29 am

Seriously, I am beginning to think that I will finally see the revolution we talked about in the 60's.

Aux armes!

prommie August 17, 2012 at 10:40 am

Aux les barricades!

AbandonHope_ August 17, 2012 at 10:59 am

I'm sorry, we no longer have the money to buy torches and pitchforks.

Dudleydidwrong August 17, 2012 at 11:27 am

Yeah. We're about at the point where fifteen people gathering with Bics and toothpicks will be maced, jailed, or shot. Gotta keep these people under control…

sbj1964 August 17, 2012 at 11:33 am

VIVA THE REVOLUTION!!!!

gogogodzilla August 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

Tequila o muerte!

NorthStarSpanx August 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

Some companies cited in the study said it was misleading. They also said they took advantage of tax deductions and credits designed to free up money for companies to spend in ways that stimulate the economy.

How about the IRS? Is the IRS and the Fed liberal leaning?

The Fed's latest Flow of Funds report showed that U.S. nonfinancial companies held $1.7 trillion in liquid assets at the end of March. But newly released IRS figures show that in 2009 these companies held $4.8 trillion in liquid assets, which equals $5.1 trillion in today's dollars, triple the Fed figure.

That is nearly $1 trillion of increased profits over two years, while actual taxes paid rose less than a tenth as much, BEA reports show. Dividends, wages and capital expenditures all grew less than profits, while undistributed profits rose. The result: more cash.

Looked at yet another way, these companies had 11.3 percent of their assets in cash, or enough to pay their 2009 corporate income tax bills, which amounted to $148 billion, more than 34 times over.

In short, U.S. companies hold vastly more cash than is needed to finance their operations.

After reviewing decades of literature on these code sections, I cannot fathom any rational basis for giving multinational companies an exception to the cash hoarding rules, which discriminates against purely domestic firms.

Some of the multinational corporations say they will bring home what could be more than a trillion dollars if Congress will give them an 85 percent tax discount. The companies frame this as creating jobs. But as I showed in an earlier column, unless there are strict rules, the money can be used to buy back company stock while destroying jobs.

Want to motivate companies to put some of those trillions of dollars of idle cash to work creating jobs, paying dividends or sharing the burden of taxes?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/16/us-colu

NorthStarSpanx August 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

Some companies cited in the study said it was misleading. They also said they took advantage of tax deductions and credits designed to free up money for companies to spend in ways that stimulate the economy.

How about the IRS? Is the IRS and the Fed liberal leaning?

The Fed's latest Flow of Funds report showed that U.S. nonfinancial companies held $1.7 trillion in liquid assets at the end of March. But newly released IRS figures show that in 2009 these companies held $4.8 trillion in liquid assets, which equals $5.1 trillion in today's dollars, triple the Fed figure.

That is nearly $1 trillion of increased profits over two years, while actual taxes paid rose less than a tenth as much, BEA reports show. Dividends, wages and capital expenditures all grew less than profits, while undistributed profits rose. The result: more cash.

Looked at yet another way, these companies had 11.3 percent of their assets in cash, or enough to pay their 2009 corporate income tax bills, which amounted to $148 billion, more than 34 times over.

In short, U.S. companies hold vastly more cash than is needed to finance their operations.

After reviewing decades of literature on these code sections, I cannot fathom any rational basis for giving multinational companies an exception to the cash hoarding rules, which discriminates against purely domestic firms.

Some of the multinational corporations say they will bring home what could be more than a trillion dollars if Congress will give them an 85 percent tax discount. The companies frame this as creating jobs. But as I showed in an earlier column, unless there are strict rules, the money can be used to buy back company stock while destroying jobs.

Want to motivate companies to put some of those trillions of dollars of idle cash to work creating jobs, paying dividends or sharing the burden of taxes?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/16/us-colu

CapnFatback August 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

They also said they took advantage of tax deductions and credits designed to free up money for companies to spend in ways that stimulate the economy.

What the report doesn't tell you is that every CEO names his rent boy "The Economy."

thatsitfortheother1 August 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

Yeah, Republicans create jerbs everytime they've got a spare 50 bucks.

Jus_Wonderin August 17, 2012 at 10:15 am

But, they deserve it.

comrad_darkness August 17, 2012 at 10:35 am

They don't want to sully their beautiful minds with the thought of paying taxes?

ChernobylSoup August 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

This is, quite literally, why we can't have nice things.

Beowoof August 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

Ah yes, don't mind the Golden Shower trickling down on you, it is your benefit from the tax system..

kittensdontlie August 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Oh, warm Coors light, I love it!

James Michael Curley August 17, 2012 at 10:18 am

For those who haven't had your breakfast here is the definition of a
'Double Irish With A Dutch Sandwich'

A tax avoidance technique employed by certain large corporations, involving the use of a combination of Irish and Dutch subsidiary companies to shift profits to low or no tax jurisdictions. The double Irish with a Dutch sandwich technique involves sending profits first through one Irish company, then to a Dutch company and finally to a second Irish company headquartered in a tax haven. This technique has allowed certain corporations to dramatically reduce their overall corporate tax rates.

comrad_darkness August 17, 2012 at 10:34 am

Hey, they don't get any benefits from the American government, right? Or national security. Screw payin' for that.

Biel_ze_Bubba August 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I'm guessing the Ryan plan doesn't plan on stopping this. Except, maybe, to eliminate the need for the Dutch company. You know … "simplifying" the tax code.

RadioBowels August 17, 2012 at 10:18 am

Let's be clear, they are not tax cuts to the rich, they are incentives to the job creators.

freakishlywrong August 17, 2012 at 10:24 am

I can't believe this is ok, even for the 27% of the stupids. How hard and what do we have to hit these 'tards over the head with to get them to see they're being played?

Puffperney August 17, 2012 at 10:33 am

They'll never get it man. That 27% will always think that that golden shower they are getting is rain!

comrad_darkness August 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

Or the kind of beer that comes in a 30 pack.

Which, in all fairness, is easily confused.

BigSkullF*ckingDog August 17, 2012 at 10:49 am

That's just urine that hasn't passed through your kidneys yet.

comrad_darkness August 17, 2012 at 10:33 am

I think they've been calloused up on the side of the head over the last three decades because: Queers! and They're Gunna Take Ur Gunz!!

bobbert August 18, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Duh, Obama is still black.

eggsacklywright August 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

Here's my favorite headline of the day so far:

Kenny the Clown had Steve Jobs' stolen iPad

I do not kid.

SorosBot August 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

But according to the Romney ads that keep playing during The Daily Show on Hulu for some reason, the real scandal is that Obama is making it slightly easier for people to get welfare payments, which is apparently somehow a bad thing.

comrad_darkness August 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

Better yet, Obama is doing exactly what Mittens insisted governors be allowed to do, decide themselves how to distribute the money.

SorosBot August 17, 2012 at 10:38 am

But that was the old moderate Governor Romney, who also supported a woman's right to choose and gay rights; not the current far-right dog-whistling model.

comrad_darkness August 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

I hate it when the software upgrade includes hidden features.

AbandonHope_ August 17, 2012 at 11:06 am

Romney ads during the Daily Show. Once again, Romney and the SuperPACs he "doesn't coordinate with" demonstrate the dazzling understanding they have of their public.

Biel_ze_Bubba August 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Must be nice to see Mitt Mormoney ads in the context of a show that's constantly debunking them. Too bad the GOPtards aren't watching — we need some way to expose the idjits to Stewart.

comrad_darkness August 17, 2012 at 10:29 am

There's some lovely filth down here!

Joshua Norton August 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

the Romneys WANT to release more tax returns to you people

I'm sure the Mormon church has more than a passing interest in seeing them as well. Especially since 10% of it all is pledged to them.

I love it when Ann claims they "donate a lot of money to charity". Suuuure you do. And how much of it would go to "charity" if you weren't required to do so?

BigSkullF*ckingDog August 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

My company made us all do an "employee engagement" survey this year. Guess which group of employees is by far the least satisfied with their compensation? Executive management, of course. Greedy assholes are greedy.

AbandonHope_ August 17, 2012 at 11:04 am

Ours actually skipped our employee engagement survey this year, as they were still analyzing the results from the previous year and figuring out how to act upon them. This was disappointing to me, as I wanted to tell them that I really like it here, but my boss only seems to talk to me when there's bad news, and as a result I'm developing a bit of an avoidance phobia of him.

Guppy August 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

Maybe they can go off and "shrug" and you can get some scab execs in the meantime.

C_R_Eature August 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

I think that "Americans for Prosperity" is the most aptly-named Political Advocacy Group in American history.
Of course, the Untermensch have been led to believe it's all about Their prosperity. The Koch Brothers have had magnums of Cristal opened due to that little misconception.

Also, this post clearly needs moar Cuddlefish.

James Michael Curley August 17, 2012 at 10:45 am

You failed to advise that the picture is NSFW.

C_R_Eature August 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

Sorry! NFSW Cephalo-Plooking!!1!

eggsacklywright August 17, 2012 at 11:18 am

Cuddlefish for the budgie!

Biel_ze_Bubba August 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm

"Oh, that's not right…"

C_R_Eature August 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Her translator's broken!

I love that movie.

Billmatic August 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

Cayman vacations stimulate the American economy. I don't expect liberals to understand so I won't even bother explaining it.

Jus_Wonderin August 17, 2012 at 10:45 am

What exactly is a vacation?

Billmatic August 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

You get one if you earn it through decades of thankless hard work, maybe. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to Augusta.

Guppy August 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

If I wanted to go full LaRouche, I'd mention who still reigns over the Caymans.

widestanceromance August 17, 2012 at 10:35 am

RE: the photo. He is getting WAY too much oral pleasure from that cigar.

[It's still early, so I'm just stretching my snark with a dick joke.]

Guppy August 17, 2012 at 11:32 am

As opposed to stretching your…?

Nevermind.

widestanceromance August 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm

So, you did see what I did there.

Billmatic August 17, 2012 at 10:36 am

Kraft is in the process of creating a $31 billion global snacking company that will include brands such as Oscar Mayer and Planters as well as a $17 billion North American grocery arm focusing on brands such as Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolates and Trident gum.

Uh so the company that makes processed meat slices is a "global snacking" concern, whereas Oreos and Trident are "groceries." Great job!

GunToting[Redacted] August 17, 2012 at 11:19 am

I'm tangentially involved in this process (through a vendor) and most people think that this plan is a clever revenge plot concocted by the current CEO who was passed over for the position at Kraft, left to work for another company, and was then acquired and elevated to the top spot. Many people think that she is dismantling and destroying the company for her own satisfaction.

TootsStansbury August 17, 2012 at 10:37 am

But Rmoney says be will lower the corporate tax rape. How do you lower from zero or negative? Math is so hard.

eggsacklywright August 17, 2012 at 10:47 am

It's easy, just carry the naught and cipher the aught. Bingo.

EmileZoloft August 17, 2012 at 10:59 am

"Corporate tax rape" is Grover Norquist's next catchphrase. Or band name.

T3rbo August 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

you just don't get it, liberal. It's the oppressive tax code that is ruining our economy and driving away jobs, because freedom!

T3rbo August 17, 2012 at 10:49 am

In other news: sky blue, grass green

pinkocommi August 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

If corporations are people, I fucking hate people.

GunToting[Redacted] August 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

You people just don't understand how the system works. As long as these corporate tax breaks are in place, we ALL can somehow (through magic, I suspect) rise to the level of CEO at Boeing and thus benefit from the system that is currently pissing on our heads. It's basic economic theory.

fawkedifiknow August 17, 2012 at 11:11 am

This "argument" – if it can be dignified as such – that release of the tax returns will only give Obama ammunition against His Mittness seems to me to be adequately analogized to the Penn State administration/Joe Paterno rationale for keeping a serial predator on campus a secret: Telling the law about him would only give people ammunition against him. And, we can't be expected to do that.

Blunderthing August 17, 2012 at 11:27 am

The CEOs looked up from sucking each others' dicks to deplore everyone else attempting to at least get a back-alley blow job and then went back to sucking each others' dicks. The end.

mavenmaven August 17, 2012 at 11:28 am

Just wait till Romney and friends go Marcos on what's left of our economy…

DahBoner August 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Maybe Brittany Spears could tweet our Robot OverLords of Destruction and find out what's up with this?

barto August 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Of course the real victims here are the corporations, some of which are, for whatever reason, still having to pay some sort of tax – occasionally. This simply cannot be in the land of the free.

HistoriCat August 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm

We could hold a bake sale to help out those poor corporations.

MinAgain August 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm

The only things certain in life are death and shell companies.

BZ1 August 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Now don't get after the job creators, they're just starting small by looking after their own jobs.

ttommyunger August 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm

One has to wonder: just how many steaks can a man eat every day?

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