Astonishing assembly of data, from AP via the Daily Mail:

“Twenty-six big US 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.

Astonishingly, nearly all of the the companies received a net tax refunds of up to $1billion. Others had a tax bill of $0.

On average, the 26 companies generated net income of more than $1 billion in the US, the study said.”

Taxes, why would we pay any stinking taxes . . . ?

The Institute for Policy Studies lists these 26 companies that paid their CEOs more than they paid the federal government in taxes:

Company CEO CEO pay Taxes Profits
Abbott Laboratories Miles D White $19million $586million refund $4.73billion
AMD Rory P Read $15.6million $3million refund $491million
Altera John P Daane $29.6million $22million $771million
AIG Robert Benmosche $14million $208million refund $17.8billion
Anadarko Petroleum James T Hackett $19.5million $381million refund $2.65billion
AT&T Randall Stephenson $18.7million $420million refund $3.94billion
Boeing James McNerney Jr $18.4million $605 refund $4.02billion
Broadcom Scott A McGregor $16.1million $0 $927million
Chesapeake Energy Aubrey McClendon $17.9million $13million $1.74billion
Citigroup Vikram S Pandit $14.9million $144million refund $11.02billion
Cooper Industries Kirk S Hachigian $21.1million $29million refund $828million
Danaher H Lawrence Culp Jr $21.7million $6million refund $2.17billion
Devon Energy John Richels $13.9million $143million refund $4.7billion
FirstEnergy Anthony J Alexander $14.4million $243million refund $885million
Ford Motors Alan Mulally $29.5million $4million refund $20.21billion
Halliburton David J Lesar $15.8million $1.03billion refund $2.84billion
International Paper John V Faraci $13.9million $78million refund $1.34billion
Leucadia National Ian Cumming $28.2million $0 $68million
Marathon Oil Clarence P Cazalot $29.9million $210million refund $2.95billion
Marsh & McLennan Brian Duperreault $14.3million $7million $993million
Motorola Mobility Sanjay K Jha $47.2million $0 $249million loss
Motorola Solutions Gregory Q Brown $29.3million $2million $1.16billion
Newell Rubbermaid Michael B Polk $18.9million $37million refund $125million Marc R Benioff $17.7million $9million $11million loss
Travelers Companies Jay S Fishman $15.8million $176million refund $1.43billion
Tyco International Edward D Breen $16.5million $4million refund $17.36billion


Revealed: The 26 ‘kingpin’ corporations that paid their CEOs more than they paid in taxes… and for most the public paid THEM a refund
Associated Press, 10:05 EST, 16 August 2012

Category: Corporate Management, Taxes and Policy, Wages & Income

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

27 Responses to “26 Companies Paid CEOs > They Paid in Taxes”

  1. willid3 says:

    well you know if they had to income taxes there would be less money to pay the executives right? and they would loose their talent if they couldn’t pay them huge compensation they would loose them. or is that they are job creators that wouldn’t if they had to pay taxes. oh wait. they didn’t create many in the way of jobs. in the US any way. hm.i now the dastardly government made them do it. hm… must be what the stockholders want. wait they don’t get a choice. i know its the free market. must be that.

  2. mathman says:

    Wow, that looks an awful lot like the comment i sent you yesterday.


    BR: You (and 2 emailers) are who directed me to that page. Its awfully nice having intelligent readers!

  3. Conan says:

    Phase 1 Revenues:

    We need a Flat Tax with NO DEDUCTIONS period. Corporations want to be treated like individuals to make campaign contributions. Tax them the same as Individuals…..The tax can be progressive: Bottom fifth 6%, the 4th 12%, the 3rd 18% the 2nd 24% and the top Fifth 30%……If that’s no enough the top 1% can pay 36%. Everyone one Rich or Poor has skin in the game. No favouritism or lack a participation…..Everyone contributes to pay the bills.

    No CPAs or Tax Lawyers needed…you make it you pay…All the IRS has to do is Audit for cheats….Any time something is convoluted and written by lobbyists and special interest groups….the average man looses…. I say no more BS…make it simple and transparent…NO MORE GAMES, thus NO MORE GAMING THE SYSTEM!

    Phase 2: Spending:

    Once everyone participates…then the Government has to do it’s part and control spending. 80% of Government spending is as follows: 20% Defence, 54% Social Programs, 6% Interest on the Debt the remaining 20% for everything else. We have to decide what are the priorities to be spent on, the percentage of the total we want to spend and unless it is a full blown World War or a Great Depression or in other words a disaster of historical proportions…. DON”T SPEND MORE THAN YOU TAKE IN REVENUES!

    A drunk can’t drink himself sober. We can not endlessly barrow to balance the difference between Revenues and Spending. Balance has to either be restored by us or the proverbial BANG moment will happen and balance will be restored by external forces…….

  4. mathman says:

    Here’s an interesting (to me) result or “workaround” to you office guys of the on-going drought, resulting high corn prices and cattle farmers:

    Cows eating candy during the drought

    Updated: Thursday, 16 Aug 2012, 7:53 AM EDT
    Published : Thursday, 16 Aug 2012, 7:53 AM EDT

    MAYFIELD, Ky. (CNN/WPSD) – Ranchers have struggled with skyrocketing corn prices, because the drought has made feeding their livestock very expensive. But one rancher has turned to a very sweet solution.

    At Mayfield’s United Livestock Commodities, owner Joseph Watson is tweaking the recipe for success.

    “Just to be able to survive, we have to look for other sources of nutrition,” he said.

    His 1,400 cattle are no longer feeding off corn. The prices, Watson says, are too high to keep corn in stock. So earlier this year, he began to buy second-hand candy.

    “It has a higher ratio of fat than actually feeding straight corn,” Watson explained. “It’s hard to believe it will work but we’ve already seen the results of it now.”

    Watson mixes the candy with an ethanol by-product and a mineral nutrient. He says the cows have not shown any health problems from eating the candy, and they are gaining weight as they should.

    “This ration is balanced to have not too much fat in it,” he said.

    The packaged candy comes from various companies at a discounted rate because it is not fit for store shelves.

    “Salvage is a problem for a lot of these companies and they’re proud to have a place to go with it,” said Watson.

  5. Tim says:

    Wasn’t AIG involved in/contributed to the ’08 financial crisis?


    BR: Just a teeny tiny bit: see the chapter 17 in Bailout Nation titled The Notorious AIG

  6. postpartisandepression says:

    You’ve really got to be kidding AIG made $17.7 billion in PROFITS last year and got a $208 milion rebate!?? Have they even remotely paid back what they were given in the bailout?

    So we tax payers supply these multibillion dollar companies with infrastucture, an educated populace, a court system for them to sue their competitors , a military to defend them and they pay us nothing? How did that that ever happen?

    As the biggest economy in the world I would like to see a new game in town. We should tell em you want to sell here? locate here ? how much is it worth to ya buddy- and go with the highest bidder. As individuals we may not even have to pay any income taxes.

  7. tom says:

    Isn’t this misleading? I looked up Boeing’s income statement and they paid $1.4B in income taxes.

    Just because a company gets a refund doesn’t mean they aren’t paying taxes, it means they paid too much.

    Altera had to pay $22M according to the chart, but in reality they already paid $78M.

    If I’m right, this is pathetic excuse for journalism.

  8. SecondLook says:

    This more references that archived Forbes article from 1955, but does relate to this topic

    The article uses the 50,000 and above income level as a definer of CEO pay in 1955. The article covers CEO’s from the presidents of very large companies, to fairly small ones.

    I went ahead and factored in inflation and the general rise of GDP per capita to get an approximate modern day equivalent: Just under $1.2 million in current dollars.

    Interestingly, according to numbers, that would be the starting point for the top 10% of CEO salaries. The median income is about $730,000.

    Of course, the CEO’s of the top 500 companies (the S&P 500 crowd) earn in salaries about 10 times that threshold amount.
    However, if you look below that level, the numbers suggest that the bulk of CEO’s aren’t earning as near as much as their 1950′s counterparts. On the other hand, salary figures don’t include what is widespread now, and fairly rare back then – non salary compensation; performance bonuses and stock options, and a much lower marginal tax rate.

    All in all, however, there is an argument, that once you get past the chiefs of the very largest companies in the US, incomes for CEO’s have followed the general growth of the economy and inflation since 1955.
    Again, it’s that 1% thing – the top echelon of executives have gained an enormous advantage over the rest…

  9. philipat says:

    Sometimes the data used in MSM refers to taxes paid ONLY in the US. US MNC’s then get tax credits in the US for taxes paid overseas BUT only pay US taxes when the cash overseasb gets repatriated, which it usually isn’t because overseas profits are transfer priced into and accrued in tax havens, rather than paying US taxes at a rate of 35%.

    On the one hand, this is one of the manifestations of a crony capitalist Corporatocracy with part time employees in Congress to maintain the status quo.. On the other hand, at 35%, US Corporate taxes are the highest in the developed world and just encourage creative accounting. Lowering Corporate tax rates and granting tax credits for overseas taxes paid ONLY when the overseas profits are repatriated would be a good start.

  10. farmera1 says:

    Taxes are for the little people. Although Corporations are people with all the rights granted in the Bill of Rights, paying taxes isn’t one of those rights held equally by all. I don’t see the problem.

  11. victor says:

    The compensation some CEO’s get has been an ongoing scandal, an expression of corrupted, perverted capitalism much has been written on this subject, I hope somehow this disgrace will be resolved. No human being can be worth THAT much. As for corporations paying or not paying taxes I have long been of the opinion that a) when they show a loss they cannot be expected to pay a tax on that loss and b) when they show a profit the tax they pay would ultimately be passed on to the recipient of the goods/services i.e. us.

  12. louis says:

    But we had to save AIG, they had insurance on everything. If they had blown up we all would of had to take a pay cut and unemployment would of been at 8.2%.

  13. boogabooga1114 says:

    I hate to defend The Man, but what are studies like this supposed to prove, exactly?

    AP credits — so to speak — R&D credits and accelerated depreciation for investments.

    So they’re doing research and investing in capital … that’s good, right? And in the long run that will pay off in profits that the gubmint will tax, right?

    (On the other hand, don’t get me started on the Double Irish and the Dutch Sandwich and all those schemes to launder intellectual property.)

  14. willid3 says:

    why in the would we care if they paid taxes in other countries? and if they paid some but got refunded almost all of it? after all its how much they end up paying that actually matters? now i can see some real advantage to the idea of lowering the tax rate some and only granting some tax credits. but only if the money came back to the US and only if there were more jobs in the US at that company than the previous tax year. for at least 6 months. because it seems that while the states rate maybe pretty high (but not the highest Japan’s is higher, as is a few other countries). but actual rate paid is pretty low thanks to their subsidiary Congress. i can see the R&D credit as being a good thing, but maybe we should restrict it to US R&D. they can do it elsewhere , but no US tax credit. the idea behind accelerated depreciation was to encourage companies to make more capital investments. but thats really not working any more as companies dont invest much in the US any more. and the reason has nothing to do with taxes. it has to with growth rate. they look at the ‘mature’ US and see a growth rate of 1-2%. they look at others and see growth rates of 10-20%. so they go there. never mind that US rate in dollars is in billions while they other might be in millions. and because we are ‘mature’ they might have to compete, unlike the other

  15. willid3 says:

    not really sure why we think a flat tax will help. those at the bottom 50% have 1-2% of all income earned. not going to get much money even if they paid a flat rate. until you get to the top 10%, you wont get any money to speak of. and its not like those at the bottom aren’t paying taxes. they are. just not income. they pay ‘employment’ taxes,i,e. medicare and social security taxes.

  16. Orange14 says:

    As Tom notes, this study and others of its ilk are highly misleading. It also conveniently ignores how much money corporations pay in state and local taxes AND how much their employees pay in local, state and federal taxes as well. A lot of years ago I did a paper for my trade association on this this and found that when you factor in the employees tax payments it ends up being a lot of revenue flowing to various governments here in the old US of A. While I’m the first to agree that executive compensation has gotten out of hand (and I have voted against pay proposals from about 1/3 of the companies that I have equity holdings in) it’s not the only side of the story.

    We need across the board tax reform to get rid of all the preferences. I don’t mind a debate about whether interest and capital gains should be taxed at a slightly lower level (current level as well as some of the screwball definitions such as ‘carried interest’ for hedge funds are too low).

    Bottom line, there are a lot of garbage surveys out there and unfortunately this is one of them.

  17. Defining Quality says:

    If we taxed all Net Worth above $10,000,000 at 100% this kind of corruption would cease to exist!
    Bit let’s not talk about eliminating the corruption Greed causes in America, and the incentive the UHNW individuals have to buy politicians!

  18. Jack says:

    @Tom: I had the same reaction to the refund thing. I got a refund this year but I sure as s–t paid taxes.

  19. Alex says:

    Does anyone know of a site where we can make our own index, and chart it? I would like to make an index out of these stocks, and see how it does against the SPX.

  20. danimal says:

    Defining Quality Says:
    August 19th, 2012 at 6:52 pm
    If we taxed all Net Worth above $10,000,000 at 100% this kind of corruption would cease to exist

    But then they would tax it at $1,000,000. When that’s gone , they would hit $100,000, and so on. Just look at the history of the income tax, sales taxes, property taxes, etc. When have they actually gone down?

  21. mpappa says:

    A refund is a return of you excess with holding and does not constitute a person or entity not paying taxes. All a refund means is they sent in enough money and then some to cover their tax liabilities. I wonder if taxes are ( ) in their annual reports?

  22. number2son says:

    I don’t know what’s more nauseating, seeing AIG on that list, or the numerous carbon-based energy companies. My favorite, of course, is former President Cheney’s Halliburton. It’s like a roll-call of douchebagery.

    Regarding Cheney … no, that wasn’t a typo.

  23. Braden says:

    I was suspicious of the refunds, because I figured a tax refund meant that taxes had been over-paid resulting in a balance due back to the taxpaying corporation.
    All ready to call BS on the AP, I looked up AMD’s annual report and – lo and behold – Zero tax implication on $491 mil net income, with at $3M refund.
    In my native Canada, Mining-market darling Silver Wheaton routinely runs their metals streams through Caribbean subsidiaries and pays no tax on hundreds of millions of net income.
    Anarchy’s looking pretty good…

    AMD’s 2011 Annual Report. Financial statement is on pdf page 75:

  24. Derektheunder says:

    Shouldn’t GE be on that list?

  25. Frilton Miedman says:

    To the guys who state these rates don’t include previous payment, read the article,, those are net, final taxes paid.

  26. Defining Quality says:

    danimal says:

    But then they would tax it at $1,000,000. When that’s gone , they would hit $100,000, and so on. Just look at the history of the income tax, sales taxes, property taxes, etc. When have they actually gone down?

    …. and danimal is a shill for HNWI who don’t pay taxes and this kind of comment stops any serious discussion on what if and exactly why anyone can make that kind of money!

    Greed represented by the daninals of the world think all Ultra High net Worth Individuals got that way because they of their “HARD” work or their superiority. Eliminate the 7,125,000 others who buy their shit and pay them Rents and not a single of them would exist. Ignorance and ignorance alone allows UHNW individuals to exist and shills like danimal perpetrate that stupidity!

  27. bear_in_mind says:

    Despite reading TBP, David Kay Johnston and Joe Nocera for years now, to see the bloated incomes of all of these chieftains in contrast with the dearth of taxes paid by their corporations laid out in one table is jaw-dropping.

    I can’t think of a more stark and stunning presentment illustrating how the 1 percent are the biggest Welfare Queens this country has ever seen.