US Rep. Rosa DeLauro Explains the Proposed CEO Act

Excerpts from Rep. DeLauro’s Response to a PAR Reader

Since 1978, economic productivity has outpaced workers’ wages by more than four times while executive pay has increased by … 18 times as much as productivity growth. In 2022, the average CEO had an income of $25.2 million in salary, bonuses, stock awards, and stock options while in the fourth quarter of 2022, the average full-time worker made about $56,420 in wages. The average CEO would only need to work one day to make what the average worker makes in ten months.

Large corporations and the wealthy continue to increase their profits while working families and middle-class Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. From 1979 to 2020, annual wages for the bottom 90 percent of households increased just 26 percent, while average incomes for the wealthiest one percent increased more than 160 percent. The Curtailing Executive Overcompensation (CEO) Act would
apply an excise tax on publicly traded and private companies with over $100 million in gross receipts … and $10 million in payroll – for companies which have at least a 50 to one CEO-to-median-worker pay disparity. In 2022, it is estimated that the CEO Act would have raised an estimated $10.1 billion in revenue from Fortune 100 top U.S. companies.

Should this legislation come to the House floor for a vote, you can be sure I will keep your thoughts in mind. In Congress, I will continue fighting to prioritize the middle and working class over big corporations by taking a more equitable approach to the challenges we face as a nation and make sure billionaires and tax cheats can no longer escape paying taxes. It is crucial we reform our broken tax system to cut taxes for the middle class and encourage job creation here at home. That is why I remain a strong supporter of the Billionaire Minimum Income Tax Act which would require households worth over $100 million to pay at least a 20 percent tax rate on their full income, including unrealized gains. Simply put, it will ensure billionaires do not pay a lower tax rate than working families by preventing tax avoidance. …

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