Forbes released its annual survey of CEO compensation yesterday. It covers the CEOs at the 500 biggest companies in the country. Steve Jobs came out on top, with $647 million in compensation. Which is uncanny, because that's about what I made last year. Yeah, right. Forbes summarized the data this way:
The chief executives of America's 500 biggest companies got a collective 38% pay raise last year, to $7.5 billion. That's an average $15.2 million apiece. Exercised stock options again account for the main component of pay, 48%. The average stock gain was $7.3 million.
That's a lot of money. And I bet most of these CEOs, with clever accountants, managed to pay less than their fair share in taxes. And thanks to the Bush Administration, they're paying less in taxes than at anytime in post World War II America. And also thanks to the Bush Administration, this country is running the highest budget deficits in our 230 year history.
Let's hope the Democrats have the political will to roll back the Bush tax cuts before we sink ourselves further into debt.