It’s on the front page of today’s Strib

Executive perks are piling up
There’s chauffeuring, country club memberships and more.

By CHRIS SERRES and PATRICK KENNEDY, Star Tribune staff writers
Last update: April 2, 2011 – 11:23 PM

At Hormel Foods Corp., top executives looking for a scenic getaway can relax at a company-owned condo in Vail, Colo. On the way, they can grab a cocktail at an airport lounge where the Austin-based food maker takes care of the membership dues.

At Ameriprise Financial Corp., Chief Executive Jim Cracchiolo receives free chauffeur service, a home security system, personal use of a corporate aircraft and a $35,000 “executive perquisites allowance” — on top of his $18 million in salary and stock options.

And at 3M Co., CEO George Buckley last year received $632,673 in total perks, nearly double his previous year’s take. That included $167,574 in security services.

Executive perks have not just survived the worst economic downturn in five decades. They are flourishing.

Let’s look at that last line again: “Executive perks have not just survived the worst economic downturn in five decades. They are flourishing.

And those perks are going to guys in the Boardroom who really aren’t suffering financially during this economic downturn, such as Best Buy’s Brian Dunn, who’s compensation has gone up the last three years.

In the Strib’s Opinion section is “commentary” from Jason Lewis, “Minnesota’s Mr. RightWingNut” – a proud defender of the GOP’s Boardroom Base :

The rich pay the taxes — that’s a fact
The data is right there in the state’s biennial Tax Incidence Study.

By JASON LEWIS
Last update: April 2, 2011 – 7:21 PM

Every two years the department releases its study, ostensibly designed to show the state’s overall tax burden. And every two years, the tax-and-spend crowd proclaims that the rich are getting off easy.

Gov. Mark Dayton and his fellow “progressives” have been busy pointing to the study in support of their $3 billion tax hike on the state’s top 5 percent of income earners.
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The left cites the study’s findings on taxes as a percent of income as a measure of tax fairness.

Thus, should your household income go up, why, so should your taxes, lest the burden of government fall disproportionately on those left behind. Since sales and property taxes don’t rise with earnings, income taxes must be raised to offset this windfall for the “fortunate few.”

Lewis is full of BS – that’s “B” as in “bull” and “S” as in (stuff) – that Tax Incidence study he’s referring to shows that as income for the very well compensated (i.e., the GOP’s Boardroom Base) goes way up, the percentage of income taxed for all taxes goes down.

Then, in that front page story is this:

Executives worried about the tax bite of these corporate goodies can often rest easy. The reason: Corporate boards often reimburse senior managers for taxes owed on fringe benefits — essentially a “perk on a perk.”

Now THAT is a “windfall” – a Boardroom Perk where the corporation not on only tosses some extra dough at the executive – it picks up the tax tab, too!

That’s the kind of BS that’s just swell in Kochzellerstan, where today’s GOP protects the Boardroom at the expense of everybody else.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

In their continuing quest to protect their Boardroom Base at the expense of everyone else in the entire state, GOPer State Senator Paul Gazelka from Brainerd introduced what was handed to him Senate File 812, which seeks to cut the pay of everybody – and I mean EVERYBODY that receives a state paycheck. Here’s how the bill starts; full photo below:

The salaries of all employees in the executive branch, the judicial branch, and the legislative branch are decreased by six percent. The salaries of the governor and all constitutional officers, legislators, and judges, except as prohibited by the Minnesota Constitution, article section 5, are decreased by six percent.

And GOPers WOULD whack every State Employee’s pay, including employees of the University of Minnesota – except apparently, they can’t. Presumably, if they could, they would – otherwise, why would they just “encourage” #UMN to do so? Here’s the last line in Section 1:

The University of Minnesota is strongly encouraged to comply with this section as if it were subject to it.

Today, GOPers are “encouraging” all #UMN employees take a hit; down the road, if they can figure out a way, it’s safe to assume they’ll enforce the hit.

Why are Government Employees on the GOPer’s hit list? IMNSHO, it’s this: today’s GOP refuses to raise income taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans – their Boardroom Base. The GOP’s Boardroom Base does NOT pay the same effective tax rate as the rest of us do – and to the GOP, that’s just swell.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: today’s GOP is protecting their Boardroom Base at the expense of everyone. Well, at the expense of everyone they can…

And if they figure out how, #UMN employees are next on the GOP hit parade.


S.F. No. 812, as introduced – 87th Legislative Session (2011-2012) Posted on Mar 14, 2011

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)