CEO’s earning more than their company tax bill. That reads a bit strange to me but it appears to be the American way. The nonprofit Institute for Policy Studies has just released its report “The Massive CEO Rewards for Tax Dodging” that claims that corporate tax dodging has gone so out of control that 25 major U.S. corporations last year paid their chief executives more than they paid Uncle Sam in federal income taxes.
The Institute researched the 100 U.S. corporations that shelled out the most last year in CEO compensation and found that corporate outlays for CEO compensation — despite the lingering Great Recession — are rising.
Employment levels have barely rebounded from their recessionary lows. Top executive pay levels, by contrast, have rebounded nearly all the way back from their pre-recession levels.
This contrast shows up starkly in the 2010 ratio between average worker and average CEO compensation. In 2009, we calculate, major corporate CEOs took home 263 times the pay of America’s average workers. Last year, this gap leaped to 325-to-1.
Among the nation’s top firms, the S&P 500, CEO pay last year averaged $10,762,304, up 27.8 percent over 2009. Average worker pay in 2010? That finished up at $33,121, up just 3.3 percent over the year before.
The report says that no tax-dodging strategy over recent years has filled U.S. corporate coffers more rapidly than the “offshoring” of corporate activity to tax havens in low-or-no-tax jurisdictions. Eighteen of the 25 firms highlighted in this study operate subsidiaries in offshore tax haven jurisdictions. The firms, all combined, had 556 tax haven subsidiaries last year.
Tax havens are costing the federal treasury, by one estimate, $100 billion a year. These havens are speeding the transfer of wealth out of local communities and the global south into the bank accounts of the planet’s wealthiest and most powerful. Tax havens, or more accurately “secrecy jurisdictions,” can also facilitate criminal activity, from drug money laundering to the financing of terrorist networks.
The American way after death. The BBC reports that a Glasgow-based company has installed its first commercial “alkaline hydrolysis” unit at a Florida funeral home.
Watch as Resomation founder Sandy Sullivan explains how the machine works
The unit by Resomation Ltd is billed as a green alternative to cremation and works by dissolving the body in heated alkaline water. Apparently it is all very environmentally friendly, producing a third less greenhouse gas than cremation, uses a seventh of the energy, and allows for the complete separation of dental amalgam for safe disposal.
After body tissue is dissolved and the liquid poured into the municipal water system, bones are removed from the unit and processed in a “cremulator”, the same machine that is used to crush bone fragments following cremation into ash.
The facility has been installed at the Anderson-McQueen funeral home in St Petersburg, and will be used for the first time in the coming weeks.