Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Meet the 0.01 Percent: The War Profiteers, the Super-Elite Kind

Via the Brave New Foundation:

There’s the top 1% of wealthy Americans (bankers, oil tycoons, hedge fund managers) and there’s the top 0.01% of wealthy Americans: the military contractor CEOs.

If you’ve been following the War Costs campaign, you already know that these corporations are bad bosses, bad job creators and bad stewards of taxpayer dollars. What you may not know is that the huge amount of money these companies’ CEOs make off of war and your tax dollars places them squarely at the top of the gang of corrupt superrich choking our democracy. These CEOs want you to believe the massive war budget is about security — it’s not. The lobbying they’re doing to keep the war budget intact at the expense of the social safety net is purely about their greed.

In many areas, including yearly CEO salary and in dollars spent corrupting Congress, these companies are far greater offenders than even the big banks like JP Morgan Chase or Bank of America.

Egregious Military Contractor CEO pay

The top 0.01% of earners make at least $9.14 million per year, a rarefied strata of income that includes defense company CEOs and Wall Street bank chieftains alike. But a deeper dive demonstrates how defense companies outpace the big banks’ knack for enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else.

Military Contractor CEO Pay in 2010

Just to put that in context, consider how these annual payoffs compare to the people we’re used to thinking of as poster children for the top 1 percent:

Financial Sector CEO Pay in 2010

Considering how they stack up to financial sector heads, war industry CEOs aren’t just members of the 1%; they’re the super-elite among them, the one-hundredth of a percent.

Want to know how much they're spending for lobbyists?  Read in full here.

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