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

  Thank You Sirs May We Have Another

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.

 
Related video

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]

Related

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.

107 comments

  1. Oblios_Cap

    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.

    1. GeorgiaBurning

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

  2. Oblios_Cap

    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.

    1. AbandonHope_

      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.

      1. freakishlywrong

        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.

        1. thatsitfortheother1

          I dated two very wealthy women in my single days.

          And neither one of them ever picked up a tab.

        2. Callyson

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

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

  3. SoBeach

    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.

  4. elviouslyqueer

    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?

  5. Mumbletypeg

    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"?

  6. Mumbletypeg

    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"?

  7. jakegittes

    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.

    1. calliecallie

      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.

    1. Jus_Wonderin

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

    2. BeefHardcake

      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.

  8. strawmanchronicles

    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.

    1. Puffperney

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

      Aux armes!

      1. Dudleydidwrong

        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…

  9. NorthStarSpanx

    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

  10. NorthStarSpanx

    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

  11. CapnFatback

    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."

  12. Beowoof

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

  13. James Michael Curley

    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.

    1. comrad_darkness

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

    2. Biel_ze_Bubba

      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.

  14. freakishlywrong

    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?

    1. Puffperney

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

    2. comrad_darkness

      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!!

  15. eggsacklywright

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

    Kenny the Clown had Steve Jobs' stolen iPad

    I do not kid.

  16. SorosBot

    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.

    1. comrad_darkness

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

      1. SorosBot

        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.

    2. AbandonHope_

      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.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        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.

  17. Joshua Norton

    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?

  18. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    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.

    1. AbandonHope_

      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.

  19. C_R_Eature

    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.

  20. Billmatic

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

      1. Billmatic

        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.

  21. widestanceromance

    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.]

  22. Billmatic

    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!

    1. GunToting[Redacted]

      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.

  23. TootsStansbury

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

    1. T3rbo

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

  24. GunToting[Redacted]

    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.

  25. fawkedifiknow

    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.

  26. Blunderthing

    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.

  27. DahBoner

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

  28. barto

    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.

Comments are closed.