Transcript: Thom Hartmann: The Big Picture: Corporate CEOs have a secret they don't want you to know about... 27 June '11

Transcript: Thom Hartmann: The Big Picture: Corporate CEOs have a secret they don't want you to know about... 27 June '11

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 this 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 was 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, for example - 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?

Well, 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 the 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Last week - Republicans did as they were told - and repealed the CEO pay disclosure provision in a party line vote in a House Committee, House of Representatives.

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 - Ray Irani of Occidental Petroleum made $76 million last year.

Or that while more than 40 million Americans need food stamps just to eat - Lawrence Ellison of Oracle made $70 million last year.

Republicans don’t want you to know that every $15 million dollars a CEO gets - is paid for with a $1000 pay-cut to 15,000 workers.

Or that every $30 million check cut to a CEO - they could have instead hired 600 new workers at $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 in the United States right now.

This is nothing more than stealing.

These CEOs are not 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 the 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 isn't going to create one damn job. It 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 of the other 99% of us.

Harry Truman knew this more than 60 years ago...

I'd like to say a word or two now about what I think the Republican philosophy is...

The Republican Party, as I said a while ago, favors the privileged few and not the common everyday man. Ever since its inception, that Party has been under the control of special privilege, and they concretely proved it in the 80th Congress...

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 has 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.

That's The Big Picture.

The other way we're subsidizing Walmart...

Most of us know how taxpayers subsidize Walmart's low wages with billions of dollars in Medicaid, food stamps, and other financial assistance for workers. But, did you know that we're also subsidizing the retail giant by paying the cost of their environmental destruction.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Right through the worst of the Bush years and into the present, Thom Hartmann has been one of the very few voices constantly willing to tell the truth. Rank him up there with Jon Stewart, Bill Moyers, and Paul Krugman for having the sheer persistent courage of his convictions."
Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films