According to a report released earlier today, 25 of the biggest, best-known corporations in the U.S. paid more money to their CEOs last year than they paid to Uncle Sam in taxes. The list includes Boeing, eBay, General Electric, International Paper, Verizon. The same report, issued by the Institute of Policy Studies, a liberal think-tank, said the 25 companies enjoyed average global profits of $1.9 billion.
Chuck Collins, one of the study’s co-authors, told the Washington Post, “These individual CEOs are being rewarded for presiding over companies that dodge taxes.” 18 of the 25 firms operate subsidiaries in countries characterized as tax havens by the U.S. Government Accountability Office or by other tax-monitoring groups.
Some of the 25 took issue with the Institute’s approach, which focused only on what firms paid as a tax expense within calendar year 2010. A spokesman for Verizon, for example, told the Post that Verizon, “fully complies with all tax laws and pays its fair share of taxes.” Verizon said it had deferred paying the bulk of its 2010 taxes to future years.
Elsewhere, the same report found that the gap between pay for the average U.S. worker and pay for CEOs rose to a ratio of 325-to-1 last year, up from 263-to-1 in 2009.