Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Posted by taxguru on September 17, 2002

Cushy Retirement

Just as with the hypocrisy of our rulers in DC condemning the creative accounting done by some big corporations, while they themselves preside over the most corrupt accounting systems known to mankind, comes this similar contrast with expensive retirement perks. There has been a lot of press in the past few weeks over the former Chairman of General Electric, Jack Welch’s very lucrative retirement package as recently revealed in a nasty publicized divorce battle.

I’m not about to defend such a lucrative corporate retirement plan for the top dogs. What has always frosted me is the misapplication of the concept of proper compensation for performance. A corporate executive who runs the company into the ground shouldn’t be rewarded for that. He should be fired and never paid a dime more. The golden parachutes taken by the top guys from such failed companies as Enron and WorldCom are indefensible.

Likewise, it should be the same with our elected rulers. If they make things worse for their subjects, they shouldn’t be rewarded with very expensive retirement benefits, paid for by the same subjects who were already screwed over when they were in office. However, life isn’t fair, especially when the crooks themselves control the purse-strings of the treasury. Their retirement benefits are much more bountiful than most corporate executives can even dream of, including a much more generous payment plan than the Social Security Ponzi Scheme that the rest of us mere mortals are forced to participate in. This brings up the long running peeve of our rulers always exempting themselves from the laws they force the rest of us to abide by. Remember this when our rulers hold hearings in their efforts to dictate how private corporations should structure retirement plans for their executives.


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