FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sandi Curriero Luckey, Communications Director (406) 202-3165
Average Montana CEO Made Over $1.7 Million
While Average Montanans Made $35,736
New AFL-CIO PayWatch Website: www.paywatch.org
Helena, MT April 15, 2013 – In a sign that the gap between the wealthiest Americans and working people is growing ever wider, the AFL-CIO’s Executive PayWatch website shows the average Montana CEO made over $1.7 million a year. In contrast, the average Montanan makes $35,736.48 a year. Among the wealthiest in the state were the CEOs in the mining and banking industries.
The PayWatch report, launched today, also looks at “Fix the Debt” CEOs who are pushing for more tax cuts for corporations and the super wealthy while calling for benefit cuts to middle class programs.
Thirty years ago, the pay of CEOs of large companies in the United States was 42 times the average blue-collar worker’s pay, In 2012, CEOs of S&P 500 Index companies made 354 times what the average rank-and-file worker makes, by far the widest gap in the world.
“Working families are struggling against efforts to cut jobs, reduce wages and pensions, and take away healthcare while the growing wealth inequality and an unfair tax system threatens to turn back the clock to a time when child labor was common, work hours were endless, and families suffered abject poverty,” said Al Ekblad, executive secretary of the Montana State AFL-CIO.
Closing the corporate tax loophole that allows U.S. multinational companies to avoid taxation on overseas profits will raise $42 billion in new revenue in 2013 alone. CEO groups like the Campaign to Fix the Debt have called for a territorial tax system that will permanently shelter these overseas profits from taxation.
“Our system is rigged so no matter what happens, the super-rich keep getting richer and working families bear the burden in the form of lower pay, fewer quality jobs, and the loss of health benefits and retirement. Working behind closed doors are corporate front groups like Fix the Debt, which drums up debt hysteria to mask their efforts to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid which would allow them to achieve even more tax breaks for millionaires who want to be billionaires,” explained Ekblad.
“Fair wages, world class education and training, quality accessible health care, and retirement with dignity – these are the things that ALL Montanans are entitled to, not just the very rich. We need an economy that builds our Montana families up and creates some reasonable degree of prosperity for all.”