Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Brother, Can You Spare $1,000,000?
Rather then delve into the silliness of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force "hoax" that has seemingly turned Boston into Nazi-era Paris, I'll share President 31 percent's warnings to the American people about CEOs and corporate board members to crush the spirits of us little people a bit more slowly. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:
NEW YORK - President Bush challenged corporate America on Wednesday on the lavish salaries and bonuses paid to chief executives, saying their pay should be tied to how much they help their companies' shareholders.
"America's corporate boardrooms must step up to their responsibilities," Bush said in a speech on Wall Street addressing the state of the U.S. economy. A few executives' extravagant pay packages, recently in the news, have disgusted millions of U.S. workers who will never come near such deals.
"You need to pay attention to the executive compensation packages that you approve," he said. "You need to show the world that American businesses are a model of transparency and good corporate governance."
Bush's comments came during a White House push to get people focused (distract us into thinking we are in great fiscal shape) on the economy at a time when other issues command attention — including the Iraq war and all the candidates running for his job. He spoke at Federal Hall, a venerable site just blocks from where terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center. Bush caused a frenzy with an unannounced stop on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, joining Ronald Reagan as the only presidents to do so during trading hours.
Too bad the dumb brute didn't wait until October. That way he'd have given this talk on the 20th anniversary of Saint Reagan's stock market crash.
Attention to corporate pay has been fueled by some notable cases. Recently, Home Depot chief executive Bob Nardelli was earning an average of $25.7 million a year — excluding stock options — before he was forced out in a furor over his compensation. He left with a severance package worth about $210 million.
The New York Stock Exchange faced an uproar over former CEO Richard Grasso's $187.5 million severance package. Former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, now governor, sued NYSE board members over the package Grasso got when he quit as chairman in 2003.
Beyond targeting golden pay packages, Bush reiterated the themes of his economic message these days — trade, health care, energy and education. All require help from a Democratic Congress, which is fashioning its own plans for a mainstream domestic agenda.
"Criticizing CEO pay won't do anything to raise the wages of average Americans," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., the new chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. "Middle-class families would be best served if the president joined us in crafting bold policy solutions that address the real insecurity they feel in our changing economy."
Jesus, Chuck, are you, like, stupid or something? You couldn't just do the simple thing and be quiet so Preznit Brian Dead could hang himself with his ignorance. No, you had to make him the second dumbest guy in the room with that thoughtless, callous remark. Are you trying to out-Lieberman Lieberman?
Sure, criticizing CEO pay in and of itself isn't going to do a thing, but here's why criticizing CEO pay is important. My company's CEO has seen his compensation rise from a little over a million Greenspans a year since 2001 to over 58 million in 2006. In the meantime, I, who have been at my company longer than he has (I've been there since 1995) have gone from an average raise of 6-10 percent a year from 1995-2000, to this: 2001, no raise. 2002, no raise. 2003, no raise, but a shitload of useless stock options. By the way, since this officer took over, our stock has plummeted to 1/8 what it commanded before he started driving the bus. 2004, 3 percent, 2005, 3 percent, 2006, 3 percent. Now, I'm pretty good with figures, and I can tell you with complete and utter confidence that my CEO wasn't going no three goddamn years with no fucking raises.
Oh yes, and if that wasn't amusing enough, our most recent set of layoffs threw 1,300 people into the ranks of the unemployed between Thanksgiving and lunch time today. These holiday surprises have been an annual event, courtesy of the ascent of this man to CEO in 2000. I, and most of my colleagues, feel as if we are living in a real-life version of the classic cult film Office Space.
Trying to work with this idiot of a President is not going to work. This is the same ass-clown who wants to kill hikes in the minimum wage. So, in closing, Chuck, please, wake the fuck up, remember that you are a Democrat, and get your ass back to working for us drones.