According to a new report, CEOs at the forefront of the drive to "fix the debt" by slashing Social Security and Medicare, possess personal retirement funds worth an average of $14.5 million, and three have retirement nest eggs worth more than $100 million. The average Social Security check is $1,308 per month.
"The loudest calls for cutting Grandma's benefits are coming from CEOs who will never have to worry about their own retirement security," said Sarah Anderson, one of the authors of the report and the Institute for Policy Studies Global Economy Director.
While CMD has spent a lot of time reporting on the spin coming from the Pete Peterson's Fix the Debt gang, Fix the Debt has worked hard at keeping its policy recommendation relatively vague allowing them to deny specific cuts and proposals to change Social Security.
Not so for the Business Roundtable, which has been upfront with "reform" proposals like their initiative to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70. That's not such a bad deal if you have a dozen secretaries and $100 million tucked away, but what if you work on your feet 10 hours a day?
"If leading CEOs really wanted to help American seniors, they'd stop calling for cuts and start leading the charge to lift the cap on Social Security taxes, so that they and other prosperous Americans could help ensure the program's ongoing success," said Scott Klinger of the Center for Effective Government, another author of the report.
One of the most simple and popular reform proposals to extend the long term solvency of Social Security is simply to lift the $100,000 cap on taxable income to $250,000. But that idea is not embraced by the CEOs of Fix the Debt or the Business Roundtable, who want average Americans to bear the brunt of their debt reduction strategy.
Key findings from the report "Platinum-Plated Pensions":
* Business Roundtable CEOs' corporate retirement accounts average $14.5 million -- more than 1,200 times as much as the median retirement savings of U.S. workers near retirement age.
* A retirement fund of $14.5 million, combined with Social Security, would generate a monthly retirement check for these CEOs of $88,576. That's 68 times what a typical U.S. retiree can expect to receive.
* Ten Roundtable CEOs (including four who are also Fix the Debt members) have retirement plans valued at more than $50 million.
* Three of these CEOs have retirement assets of more than $100 million: John Hammergren of McKesson, David Cote of Honeywell, and Mike Duke of Walmart.
* Duke's $113.2 million retirement fund is more than 7,500 times as large as his employees' average 401(k) account balance of $15,000.
* While gilding their own pensions, many Roundtable CEOs have underfunded their worker pension funds. Ten of their companies have deficits in these funds of between $4.9 billion and $22.6 billion.
* The Roundtable CEO with the largest deficit in his company's worker pension fund is Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric, with a shortfall of $22 billion.
Read more about the CEO effort to balance the budget on the backs of working Americans at our SourceWatch page on Fix the Debt.