CEO hands in taxpayers’ pockets

Corporate CEOs who earn more than their companies pay in taxes

At a time when budget cuts have axed 627,000 public-service jobs—in schools, health clinics, fire stations, recreational facilities—since June 2009, hundreds of corporate CEOs are taking advantage of a tax code skewed to their benefit and earning more annually than their companies pay in tax. In fact, they’re diverting money they should be paying in taxes into their own pocketbooks, while the rest of us live with the consequences. Here are some figures:

• Number of last year’s 100 highest-paid U.S. corporate executives who took home more in pay than their companies paid in taxes: 25

• Average compensation of these 25 CEOs: $20.6 million.

Estimated amount the four most direct tax subsidies for excessive executive pay cost taxpayers last year: $14.4 billion.

• Number of elementary-school teachers that money could hire: 211,732.

• Number of CEOs who saved more than $1 million on the income-tax bills because of the Bush-era tax cuts: 57.

Source: Institute for Policy Studies,