The jobs report was bad, and the Republicans will be out with their usual mantra: We need more tax cuts, we need less regulation, President Obama and those mean Democrats are suffocating corporations, and if we want more jobs we need to set corporations free from taxes and regulations and let them have their way. Of course, that mantra will remain the same whether the economy is growing or shrinking, whether jobs are being created or being lost, and whether the sky is blue or the sky is gray. Because to Republicans, ideology trumps reality.
The Fortune 500 generated a total of $ 824.5 billion in earnings last year, up 16.4% over 2010. That beats the previous record of $ 785 billion, set in 2006 during a roaring economy. The 2011 profits are outsized based on two key historical metrics. They represent 7% of total sales, vs. an average of 5.14% over the 58-year history of the Fortune 500. Companies are also garnering exceptional returns on their capital. The 500 achieved a return-on-equity of 14.3%, far above the historical norm of 12%.
Profits at big U.S. companies broke records last year, and so did pay for CEOs.
The head of a typical public company made $ 9.6 million in 2011, according to an analysis by The Associated Press using data from Equilar, an executive pay research firm.
That was up more than 6 percent from the previous year and is the second year in a row of increases. The figure is also the highest since the AP began tracking executive compensation in 2006.
In other words, corporations are doing just fine. Really really fine. They’re making record piles of cash, their CEOs are making record piles of cash, and yet somehow they’re not creating jobs. In others words, the line that high taxes and tough regulations are hurting corporations, thus preventing job creation, is a lie. A good old-fashioned completely full of it lie. The Republican way.
Remember when the economy was doing well? Like under President Clinton? Maybe we should return to the Clinton tax rates. Maybe we should have another shot of government stimulus. Which is exactly the opposite of the austerity agenda the Republicans are proposing. And anyone paying attention to the European economic collapse knows just how well austerity works out.