15 Democrat Senators penned a letter to SEC Commissioner Mary Jo White demanding her “assurance that the SEC is still planning to finalize the rule” requiring publicly traded companies to track and publish “the ratio of what they pay their CEO to the compensation of their median worker.”
The Democrats claim this information is vital so that if a CEO requests a pay raise, investors will be able to evaluate “whether this is value creation or simply value capture by insiders.” In a previous letter to the SEC during the public comment period for the proposed rule, Democrats complained that CEO pay is too often driven “upward without clear links to additional value created.”
Value capture by insiders without clear links to additional value created: that sounds like the definition of congressional pay which has ballooned from $72,600 in 1984 to $174,000 today.
In fact, despite the newly-elected Obama’s promise to end “business as usual” and the Democrats’ stranglehold on Congress in his first term, Congress graciously accepted raises from itself in 2008 and 2009 despite a tanked economy and, in 2009, a falling median household income.
I’d like to know what value these Democrats complaining about CEO pay think they added to the US economy to justify a pay hike funded by Americans whose own incomes were shrinking. Will Elizabeth Warren rail against this value capture by insiders whose salaries the rest of us paid for with the same zeal she exhibits when bashing the private sector, or do the rules she wants forced on us not apply to government?
I got the idea for YouPromised.org back in the fall of 2013. Political candidates and conservatives were talking about the President’s false promise to voters, the 2013 PolitiFact® lie of the year, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”
That lie had been repeated by numerous politicians, but no centralized, publicly accessible list of offenses existed. After a few weeks of asking when the Republican party would create one, I gave up hope that they would and built it myself. Each politician’s page includes a record of each instance I was able to find where they promised those who liked their healthcare plans would be able to keep them. Each promise entry is either linked to its source or accompanied by video. Two years later, YouPromised.org has served as a valuable reference for activists, politicians, media, and other political entities. The site was referenced by the NRSC, Washington Free Beacon, Hot Air, Breitbart, Raleigh News & Observer, Women Speak Out PAC, Freedomworks, and the campaign teams of Thom Tillis and John Cornyn, among others.
More importantly, less than two years later, half of those politicians featured on YouPromised.org have been removed from office. While it would be ridiculous to claim my small site was responsible for their ouster, I do think it’s important to make sure voters remember politicians’ lies. It’s a lot harder to do that if you have to re-invent the wheel and track down the original sources every time you make an ad or pen an editorial.
My focus when I created this site was the 2014 elections. Over the next year, I intend to add more members of Congress to the site and maintain the pages of those who were evicted. Kay Hagan’s supporters have already started grumbling about a 2016 Senate run. If she decides to run, YouPromised.org will be there to remind voters how she lied to them at least 24 different times while forcing through a disastrous health care takeover.