It was recently announced that the CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, received $31.4 million in compensation last year, including stock options, bonuses, perks, and benefits. That’s a 12 percent increase over his 2010 compensation, even though Disney’s stock slid 12.5 percent during the fiscal year. (It has recovered since then.)
So, is that too much money, class warriors? Where’s the outrage? Are we supposed to hate this guy for his titanic compensation package, or does he get a complete and total pass because he works in the entertainment industry, where large salaries and lavish lifestyles are not only acceptable, but worshipped? After all, plenty of people tune in for those reality shows that offer a glimpse inside the mansions, vacation homes, and yachts of the stars. I don’t have the impression those viewers are clenching their teeth in rage and dreaming of the day when The People can seize those yachts and mansions, after lining fat-cat celebrities up against the wall. Is Bob Iger entitled to fly around in his corporate jet without getting hassled by Barack Obama?
Iger’s base salary is “only” $2 million, and he didn’t see an increase this year. The other $29.4 million comes from bonuses and benefits. I doubt anyone would argue those benefits should be ignored, and only his base salary considered. It would be silly to say he only makes $2 million a year, right?
And yet, when shrill class-warfare pieces are churned out about “income inequality,” that is exactly what happens. The cost of benefits, including all the money our employers hand over to the government on our behalf, is never considered. When it is, the infamous “rise in income inequality” becomes a great deal less significant, because an increasing portion of our compensation is being diverted into benefits instead of paid to us in cash.
A lot of that is due to the rising cost of health insurance… which, remember, ObamaCare is making worse. A lot worse. As the true, but hidden, objective of ObamaCare is realized, and private insurance companies are driven out of business, those deficit-blasting “public exchanges” will grow larger. Liberals will try to claim this is somehow reducing health care costs, but in fact it will be increasing them, at the same time as it hides them behind the smoke of deficit spending, and the mirrors of our complex tax system. Accurately comparing the rate of growth between income groups will become even harder than it already is. To the class warriors of the Left, this will be a feature, not a bug.
While we’re on the subject of class warfare, let us note that some of Bob Iger’s employees make a lot more money than he does. Take actor Johnny Depp, for example. Depp made an astonishing $59.2 million for one movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” Granted, this film went on to make over a billion dollars worldwide… but those lusty class warfare attacks on corporate CEOs, and even small businessmen who earn $200,000 per year and become “millionaires” under Democrat Party dogma, never pause to ask whether individual rich people produce value commensurate with their compensations. It would take the combined annual incomes of nearly 300 of those low-end, $200k “millionaires” Obama can’t wait to soak with higher taxes in order to pay Johnny Depp’s fee for one “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, but you’ll never hear Obama bleating that big Hollywood celebrities need to “pay their fair share,” or criticize the insane accounting tricks movie studios routinely use to protect their vast incomes from taxation.
And Johnny Depp isn’t even spending a lot of that fat paycheck to “create jobs” in the United States! Although he recently topped a survey as America’s favorite actor, he lives in France and hates America. As he explained in an interview:
“I will never raise my daughter in America,” he says firmly. “I will never raise any child I have there, never. I just turned on the TV to watch CNN and there was another shooting at a high school.
“It’s pure selfishness and ignorance and greed. There are no proper values in America, it’s gonna explode, it should explode,” he adds, his voice full of anger.
Incidentally, Depp has never married the mother of his two children, French actress Vanessa Paradis, and has reportedly “consulted lawyers to discuss how to get out of the relationship” after the couple began turning up at award shows and movie premieres without each other. Those laywers will find their task much simpler because there are no divorce proceedings to contend with.
But at least those kids will never have to suffer the horror of being raised as Americans, and neither Depp nor the fabulously wealthy movie studios and highly-compensated CEOs he works for will ever have to worry about getting targeted by a desperate liberal President and his class warfare legions. Instead, Depp gets invited to stage secret Halloween parties at the White House, and the press dutifully complies with Obama’s command not to report on them, because it would confuse the people he’s trying to subdue with that class warfare flapdoodle.