The Bush tax cuts, again, are set to expire at the end of the year, and President Obama has promised to veto any extension of the cuts on income in excess of $250,000. Of course, Republicans are opposed to anything but a complete extension.
In a new report, the Institute for Policy Studies shows just how unnecessary the tax breaks on high income are, noting that last year, 57 of the top 100 CEOs in the country saved more than $1 million due to the Bush tax cuts alone:
— CEOs have benefited enormously from the Bush tax cuts for upper-income taxpayers. Last year, 57 CEOs saved more than $1 million on their personal income tax bills, thanks to these Bush-era cuts.
— The top CEO beneficiary of the Bush tax cuts in 2011, James Mulva of ConocoPhillips, saved $6.7 million. Mulva cashed in more than $140 million in stock options in his last year at the energy company’s helm.
IPS added, “All the CEOs on this list certainly saved significantly more from the Bush tax cuts than the sums listed here, since they had additional income from other sources, including their investments.”
In recent decades, CEO pay has absolutely skyrocketed, leaving worker pay far behind. It would take the typical American worker 244 years to earn what the average CEO now makes in one year. Over the last 30 years, CEO pay has increased 127 times faster than worker pay. And at the same time, taxes on the rich have gone down further and further, further exacerbating already high income inequality.