If you want to know the meaning of hypocrisy, take a minute to observe those much-touted millionaire CEOs from Michigan aka Business Leaders for Michigan in action.
With their usual flair for faulty, bended statistics and green eyeshade vision, Business Leaders for Michigan wrote state lawmakers urging them to take back a 3% raise slated for state employees who have been hammered already with benefit cuts and furlough days. In fact, the 3% raise was in exchange for a 4.5% cut in benefits so it’s not really a raise. The governor has declined to support the pay cut and the Senate today failed to muster the two-thirds vote needed to cut workers’ pay. This was a disappointment for Senate Republican Leader Mike Bishop who is so totally into sacrifice for everyone but himself.
But in this case,at least, Bishop is not alone among the hypocrites who want everyone but themselves to suffer for the good of the people. No, Bishop has really good company here–the Supreme Leader of Business Leaders for Michigan, Mr. David Joos.
Joos is the Chair of the Board of Business Leaders for Michigan and CEO of CMS Energy, parent company of Consumers Energy, that bastion of free enterprise that in 2007 got the state to agree to give Consumers a near-monopoly on providing energy to more than 6 million Michigan families. Rate hikes, of course, will soon follow because the state is recommending ratepayers should pick up the tab on a $3 billion coal plant near Bay City that the state’s top regulators have said isn’t needed.
So on a day when Joos was reporting to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission that 4th quarter profits for CMS were down 86%, he was also letting regulators know he and other top executives at CMS will receive 145% bonuses for 2009. For Joos and other top officers at CMS, that means more than $4 million in bonuses. This doesn’t even include stock options and other perks that in 2008 totaled $5.8 millon for Joos alone.
You would think these multimilliondollar bonus babies would be somewhat humble about your average $50,000-a-year worker keeping their salary. Nope. On the very same day Joos was reporting his lousy company profits and juicy bonus to the feds, his Business Leaders for Michigan was telling state lawmakers that state workers had to sacrifice for the public good and lose 3% of their salary. Because, they said, we need everyone to sacrifice equally.
Yep, that would be ALMOST everyone.