26 CEOs paid more than Uncle Sam

A new report flags 26 companies that paid less in taxes last year than they paid their CEOs, ending up with little or no tax bill on an average $1 billion in revenue. Here's how they pulled it off.

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VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

211Comments
Aug 22, 2012 12:54PM
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Our government has gotten so large and political that it is destined to fail... There is no way either the voters or a political party can turn it around. Same can be said of some of the states and large cities, some of it is corruption some of it is caused by bad management all of it is cause by voting officials into office that are not qualified for the job....many of them are idiots or worse. Most qualified people already have jobs that pay them more than can be made in the Government jobs market. So how do we get out of this mess? How the hell do I know and if I did it would take more effort than I would be willing to give. It seems hopeless to me but I do know it will not occur with more taxes and a HOPE AND CHANGE President! God Bless America.
Aug 22, 2012 12:53PM
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Any blame for problems laid out here do not fall on the corporations - it falls on our government entirely,  As long as our dumsh#$s in DC continue to create laws and tax code that are full of exemptions, loopholes, and general convolution that enables corporations room to wriggle - cases like these will continue to exist,  There are numerous ways to levy taxes that are much simpler and uniform than what they've come up with. You could also make a case that corporate profits that are returned to shareholders should not be taxed other than as personal income. If you eliminate the low maximum rate (15% now, 20% next year if not extended) that enables the super wealthy to pay a rate similar to those making 100K - then things would be more equal. Regardless, we do have a spending problem, more than a tax problem, but the taxes we all pay should be balanced and not reflect reductions based on choices we as citizens have made.
Aug 22, 2012 12:40PM
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To all of you idiots here who keeps arguing that 50% of Americans pay no taxes, and that the rich actually pay 90% of all taxes collected by Uncle Sam. I got some new for you, you are dead wrong. Here are the percentages of federal taxes collected, as estimated by NTU, a non-partisan think tank that uses IRS statistics:

Top 1%: income level $350,000/yr or higher, 36.73%
Top 5%: income level $150,000/yr or higher, 58.66%
Top 10%: income level $110,000/yr or higher, 70.47%
Top 25%: income level $65,000/yr or higher, 87.30%
Top 50%: income level $32,000/yr or higher, 97.75%
Bottom 50%: income level less than $32,000/yr, 2.25%

Do the math, and you can see that the American middle class, those outside the top 1% range, but above the 50% range, pay 61.02% of all federal taxes (97.75 - 36.73, for those of you bad with math). Whereas the top 1% pays only a bit more than half of that. However, it is also estimated that the top 1% own about 80% of all taxable assets in America (including wages & salaries, equities & mutual funds, as well as property). So in other words, the top 1% owns 80% of all taxable assets, but pays only 36.73% of all taxes. If we are talking about "fair share" based on the amount of taxable assets, then the wealthiest 1% should be paying more than twice their current tax rate. Obama only want to increase the tax of the wealthy by 15%, rather than 100%, I'd say that's pretty generous of him, consider what the wealthy should actually be paying.
Aug 22, 2012 12:30PM
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Don't forget ol' Mitt- he's probably got more in Swiss accounts than all those CEO's combined.  He doesn't even have tax returns for the 2000-2009.
Aug 22, 2012 12:25PM
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But...Rick V - you are not looking at the whole picture.  In the last 10-15 years or more, income for the vast majority of Americans has barely kept up with inflation, or not even kept up - while the incomes for the high "earners" has sky rocketed.  As this artilel tries to point out, the issue is the bad combination of things.  Taxes for the wealthy are in fact at the lowest in 100 plus years - maybe lowest ever; their tax loop holes just continue to grow; their effective tax RATE is the lowest of all income earners except for those below the pverty line; as CEO's and other top execs continue to find ways to add to their income, this escalated income deducts from the bottom line income - which also reduces corporate taxes - so pay the CEO's more so they get taxed less (putting the burden elsewhere).  Maybe CEO and high exec pay should not deduct from the income tax is based on?

And, many of these companies who effectively paid little or no income taxes by sheltering money offshore??  Wow - true Americans - eh?  Bums in my book. Or, scum bags. I want to see a complete list of those companies sheltering offshore or exploiting loop holes to the max and start a campaign to boycott their products as much as possible until they WAKE UP and start really being Americans!

Aug 22, 2012 12:23PM
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If the Amercian People believed that the Government would use our tax dollars efficiently and effectively, no one would have a problem with taxes being raised across the board. 

 

BUT... since our "leadership" (both the Right & Left) has shown that they do not have that ability, maybe we need to allow the taxes to go up and cuts in spending take place so that enough of us will get fed up with both the "entitled" and "corporate greed" to the point that we throw them all out and start over with a group that will truly represent the middle class.

 

Congress panders only to those "without" and to those "with", NOT those that are willing and able!

Aug 22, 2012 12:12PM
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Huh? Somehow the wealth of companies belongs to the 'country'? The country's wealth is being 'diverted' into the pockets of top executives? I guess the wealth is also being 'diverted' into the pockets of its other employees, its vendors and its shareholders as well. The comment also fails to take into account the taxes paid on those earnings by all of the employees.

 

A ridiculous comment and a nutty analysis.

Aug 22, 2012 11:55AM
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After all of the wall street crap, now they want Bernanke to give them more and they have and are making a mint off of the suckers in the markets. I say write to your congressmen and women and senators and stop Bernanke from giving wall street a dime!!!!!!!!!!! I am!!!

It s all a bunch of made up crap that wall street wants to make everyone pay out the wazoo for gas and oil and food and then wants the taxpayers to pay them more for doing it.

Make Bernanke pay it all back out of his pocket and he won't be so free with the taxpayers money!!!!!!!!!

Aug 22, 2012 11:27AM
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I hate to break it to you "LovethePO", but poor people pay ZERO in federal income taxes and they get back checks from the government instead.  The middle class pays very little in federal income taxes.  The rich pay the vast majority of all federal income taxes.  The reality is that the rich, people like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and even comparitively FAR less rich people like Mitt Romney, get the vast majority of their income as capital gains.  Because of this, they generally pay 15% or a bit less after deductions in income taxes --- though after deductions the typical middle class guy who owns a home pays about 10-18% of his income in federal income taxes also.  BUT, because they make millions or even billions every year, these rich people, even at a 13 to 15% tax rate, typically pay more in 1 year than you, me, or the VAST majority of American's pay in a lifetime.  I get SO tired of idiots telling us how the rich should pay their "fair share"... what does that mean?   (IF life were fair, I would look like a young George Clooney!)  In reality Mitt Romney is paying about $3,000,000 a year more in federal income taxes than the typical middle class American... so it seems to me that he is paying his "fair share" as well as the "fair share" of about  299 others.  And if he, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and others did not do this... then you would not be able to cash your welfare check and your crack baby would go unfed!
Aug 22, 2012 11:06AM
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Lies of the GOP & Paul Ryan TeaWackers, Mitt R. Bain, Citizens United and all the Alec corps ( WALMART ): that pay off the Politician. Its all about the Wealthy getting richer and the middle class getting poorer.....They don't want to help the poor...Who are the one's that leach off the taxpayer. The Wealthy: they get welfare both for themselves an for the Corps. ...But it seems that the Wealthy get away with it ..They steal billions and the few poor steals a few thousands. So what does the GOP want, is Screw the MIddle Class to get even with the few. As I say its the me me me and F everyone else.... The failures of the Republicans party trying to take away SS & Medicare & Health care for Woman so they can give their wealthy Blackmailers more money...To hell with the Poor and Needy. Let them freeze in the winter and stave the Old and Babies,let them die from bad water, do away with the EPA and thats what you'll have, just like all you Tea baggers want...You make me sick with your Me Me Me altitude. Greedy and you all call yourself a REAL Christians, Mormans. What a laugh: Wake up...Sounds like Mitt!!!!!!Fuss up your tax Return
Aug 22, 2012 10:27AM
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The problem with over paying CEOs is that they are only concerned about short term gains to boost their salary and then let the company crash and burn as they float away on their golden parachutes. Any CEO can boost the bottom line of a company merely by slashing workers without regard to the long term health of the company. So a CEO can cut jobs to "gain efficiency" pocket the money as a "performance bonus" bail out or sell the company as it flounders and still have enough money for the rest of their lives since their salary will be in the millions.  This is not good for business or the American workers. The CEO gets the money and the workers get the shaft.

Aug 22, 2012 10:26AM
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Some corps. pay no taxes while most do, and they are the one's usually struggling to survive.  In the first place corps. DO NOT PAY TAXES, its the consumers that those tax dollars are passed onto. They the corp. treat it as any other expense, such as electricity cost.  The losers are us the consumers. Companies in this country pay the highest tax in the world.  Sending jobs overseas  or making our products costlier.  Remember its the consume that pays those taxes in the products. that we buy.

If corporations were free of taxes, they could expand, hire more people, pay their employees more.which in turn would generate more tax dollars for the gov.

Aug 22, 2012 10:21AM
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Eisenhower and JFK warned of this day you tube killuminati well put together and detailed. Worth the watch the power behind the figure heads.
Aug 22, 2012 9:55AM
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Here's the problem.  Business and government are in bed together.  It started with Regan when he "downsized" government by outsourcing what had been government functions to private entities.  These private entities make campaign contributions to ensure that the government gravy keeps coming.  And the average taxpayer is generally forgotten.

 

A good example are college student loans.  The banks make over $1 billion a year to "administer"  the program.  Guess what?  The banks are against making any changes to the way student loans are administered. Certainly they have no incentive to make it run more efficiently.   And they can use the money they make off the program to contribute to both parties to make sure whoever is elected is sympathetic to their demands.

 

At one time it was only military industrial complex that was growing out of control.  Now it's corporate America.  These are the same people who say they are part of the "I did it myself" club.

There is no discussion of this of course.  Stupid taxpayers fight about which party is better when they are all part of the same corrupt system.

Aug 22, 2012 9:23AM
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whats the big deal ,companies and people are not going to pay more taxes than they legally owe. However ceo's in publicly traded companies should not be allowed to make these huge salaries and benefits' that are not in line with earnings and are thousands of times more than they pay their lowest full time employees. The SEC should investigate the boards of companies to make sure that these guys who are usually on each others boards are not just lining thier own pockets without much regard for the people or the companies they serve. 
Aug 22, 2012 9:18AM
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The American people need to clean house in Washington everybody is Fired!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Why is it that libs always try this crap?  When they cry the blues about how when you add in payroll taxes like SS and such the rate paid by the middle class skyrockets past the rates paid by the wealthy.  Yet this article,( using the term loosely since it's just partisan crap),fails to mention that these same corporations pay the employer's share of with-holding and real estate and sales taxes.  Odd how these partisan a-holes twist or simply leave out facts that they don't like.  Is executive pay overboard?  Of course, but if it was easy to do why don't more people do it?
Aug 22, 2012 8:17AM
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oh and thanks MSN for todays "fan the flames of class warfare" piece.  Bet you've got at least one lined up for every day next week.   Your slip continues to show, comrade!
Aug 22, 2012 8:16AM
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We do need tax reform, but putting a companies tax refund at the top as if it means anything is a shameful ploy to get people excited.  A corporate tax refund works the same way as yours or mine, if they pay too much in over the course of the year, they get a refund.  If they pay to little, they owe.  They really should be showing the company's effective tax rate v. how much income the earn in the U.S., which are both normally disclosed in a company's filings.  But for someone who at least pretends to know what they are talking about to act as if a company isn't paying its "fair share" because it got a refund is pathetic Micheal Brush, whoever you are. 

Aug 22, 2012 8:10AM
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When it comes to taxes IMHO Less is more ....... and the tax system (corporate and individual) needs to be  streamlined and simplified.  The more complex the tax code, the more likely smart (read: not government fantasylanders but real world business) people will find a way to beat it.  Providing the opportunity to do so then whining when they find a way to exploit is simply a losing proposition.  Tighten up the rules and we'll begin to bridge the gap. 

 

And yes, there are many CEOs that are paid way in excess of the value that they bring to the Company.  Conversly, there are many politicans that bring zero value and they should be afforded the opportunity to exist in the real world.   

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