Thursday, February 5, 2009

Livin' Large on the Public Dole: Obama Caps Bailout Salaries

Rightly noting rising public anger, President Barack Obama this week announced a $500,000 salary cap for executives at companies that take federal bailout funds. 

"This is America," Obama said. "We don't disparage wealth." But Americans do resent "executives being rewarded  for failure," Obama continued, especially when the failures are being supported by the taxpayers. 

Good point, Barack. 

It is worth pointing out, too, that C.E.O. salaries are way over the top. According to figures we found, compensation for C.E.O.s of the largest companies in 2006 was—brace yourself—364 times the pay of the average worker. In 30 years, the gap between top and average salaries grew nearly tenfold.

In the case of the bailout funds, it doesn't seem too much to ask for top executives to scale back their pay to a measly half million until such time as they can, say, turn the company around, pay back the taxpayers and, yes, make a profit. 

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