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Hartmann: Corporate CEOs have a secret they don't want you to know about...

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Published on Jun 28, 2011

Corporate CEOs have a secret they don't want you to know about...and that's how much money they're stealing from their workers. And Republicans are accomplices in the thievery. Last year - as part of the Wall Street reform bill passed by Congressional Democrats and signed by President Obama - there was a provision forcing corporations to disclose just how large the pay gap is between their CEOs and their average workers. As in how much more money the bigwig in the corporate office makes SITTING on his butt all year versus how much money the factory floor worker makes BUSTING his butt all year. The provision was included in hopes that if people knew just how gross the pay gap is between CEOs and workers - then maybe there would be more pressure to shrink it...as they say - sunlight is the best disinfectant. And today - outrageous corporate pay is infecting our economy.

Consider that back in the 1970s - CEOs made about 30 times more than their average worker - as in what they did was 30 times more valuable to the company than what other workers did. But since then - the numbers have exploded - and today - CEOs make as much as 400 times their average worker and in some cases on Wall Street - as much as 2,000 times the average worker. Can today's CEOs really justify that they are 2,000 times more valuable to the company than their workers? They can't - and that's why they don't want you to know how much money they're taking from their corporate treasure chest to pad their Armani pockets. And that's why - as soon as Republican took control of the House of Representatives at the beginning of this year - CEOs from 81 of the biggest corporations in America - including McDonalds - General Dynamics - and IBM started a massive lobbying effort to repeal the new CEO-pay disclosure requirement.

And when corporate CEOs talk - Republicans listen. Last week - Republicans did as they were told - and repealed the CEO pay disclosure provision in a party line vote in a House Committee.
--Republicans don't think you should know that while unemployment is hovering around 9% and average employee wages are sinking lower and lower - people like Phillipe Dauman made more than $84 million last year as the CEO of Viacom.
--Or that while nearly 50 million Americans languish in poverty - while Ray Irani of Occidental Petroleum made $76 million last year.
--Or that while more than 40 million Americans need food stamps just to eat - while Lawrence Ellison of Oracle made $70 million last year.
--Republicans don't want you to know that every $15 million dollars a CEO is paid for with a $1000 pay-cut to 15,000 workers.
--Or that every $30 million check cut to a CEO - could have instead hired 600 new workers - each making $50,000 dollars a year.

And these are the guys that Republicans call the "job creators" in America - the guys who'd rather stash $30 million in a Swiss bank account - where it will sit untouched collecting interest - rather than spend a dime employing one of the 25 million unemployed people around the nation. This is nothing more than stealing. These CEOs aren't job creators - they're stealing from the people who are the ACTUAL job creators - people like you and me who buy stuff. When the middle class in America has money - they buy stuff - and the more stuff they buy - then the more stuff needs to be made - and the more stuff that needs to be made - then more workers need to be hired. That's how an economy works. But giving a guy who's already worth a hundred million dollars - another hundred million dollars - won't create one damn job - and won't stimulate the economy at all. We need to start calling out the Republican Party for what they are - the wholly-owned Party of the rich CEOs - and not the Party for the other 99% of us.

Harry Truman knew this more than 60 years ago, when he said, "We have been working together for victory in a great cause. Victory has become a habit of our Party. It's been elected four times in succession, and I'm convinced it will be elected a fifth time next November. The reason is that the people know that the Democratic Party is the people's party, and the Republican Party is the Party of special interest, and it always has been and always will be."
Nothing's changed. It's time to shed some light on the wealth inequality in America - and expose greedy corporate CEOs for their blatant robbery of the American dream - and expose the Republican Party as their accomplices

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