Public Citizen Joins Call for Executive Pay Reforms in Reconciliation Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen joined nine other progressive, labor, and public interest organizations in a letter today calling on lawmakers to include important executive compensation-related reforms in the reconciliation package now before Congress.

“For decades, corporations have stifled pay raises for average workers and used the profits from improved productivity to bloat senior executives’ and CEO compensation,” said Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate for Public Citizen. “Our groups enthusiastically support using the budget reconciliation package to take important steps toward correcting this injustice.”

The letter follows media reports that U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chair of the tax-writing U.S. Senate Finance Committee, and other key senators are considering long-promised reforms to curb excessive pay. For example, Wyden reportedly is considering an excise tax at corporations with wide gaps between CEO and median worker pay.

The Wyden package also reportedly includes a tax on stock buybacks and greater restrictions on the deductions corporations can take for executive pay over $1 million. Because corporations spent recklessly on stock buybacks before the pandemic, many were given taxpayer help to weather the economic downturn.

Public Citizen is also calling on Congress to equalize the tax obligations of hedge funds, private equity managers, and others that now pay lower rates on profits through the so-called carried interest loophole.