President Obama recently pulled a gigantic bonehead move by naming the CEO of General Electric, one Jeffrey Immelt, to head the President's Council on Jobs and Effectiveness.
General Electric managed to turn a profit of over five billion dollars in the US alone last year - and more than fourteen billion internationally, yet did not pay one damned dime in federal taxes. This year General Electric is seeking major concessions from unions in its shrinking American workforce.
That in itself represents corporate balls the size of Neptune, but it gets worse.
Immelt's total compensation package - what he takes home in salary, bonuses, stock options, and office supplies - was somewhere north of fifteen million dollars last year. Today, being a very, very, very minor stockholder in GE, I received an email plea from the corporate monster to resist a minority stockholder group's efforts to rein in Immelt's pay. It looks like, the way I read the intentionally confusing document, that GE claims to be offering Mr. Immelt a total compensation package that they believe is worth only $21 million dollars, but the evil minority stockholder group thinks it is in excess of $27 million.
Maybe if Jeffrey Immelt would accept a decent wage, he could free up enough General Electric revenue to pay union wages and maybe even throw the government a few tax dollars. Maybe then he would become a role model for other CEOs, and together they could plow some of their corporations' profits back into activities that actually would create jobs - or at least help to pay down the national debt.
President Obama, you have apparently cast a vote of confidence for Jeffrey Immelt. I will not be following your lead.