DeSaulnier Targets CEO Pay by Introducing Legislation to combat Income Inequality and Greed

Press Release


Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) announced the introduction of the CEO Accountability and Responsibility Act (H.R. 8377) to invest in working Americans and reduce income inequality.

“Since 1978, CEO compensation grew by over 1,000% while the typical U.S. worker saw their pay increase by only 12%. In the U.S., the trend for large corporations has been to pay CEOs extravagant salaries, bonuses, and perks, concentrating the power at the top of the company and perpetuating our country’s record-breaking income inequality,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “We need bold proposals like this one to restore the balance of power back to workers and put an end to runaway corporate greed.”

The CEO Accountability and Responsibility Act would increase corporate taxes on companies that have extreme disparities between CEO and worker pay. It would also offer preferential treatment in federal contracts to companies with pay ratios below 50:1. With the passage of Dodd-Frank, we now have data on the pay ratios for publicly traded companies. The CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch makes 4,293 times what her average worker makes. If the CEO Accountability and Responsibility Act were to become law, Walmart, with a pay ratio of 1,076:1, would have owed approximately $794 million in additional federal taxes based on their 2018 levels, which is enough to extend SNAP benefits to almost 521,000 people for one year.

Congressman DeSaulnier first introduced a version of this bill during his time in the California State Senate. A similar policy has since been adopted by Portland, Oregon, where it generated $3.5 million in the first year. A tax on CEOs that are paid at more than 100:1 ratio is on the ballot in San Francisco this November.

This bill is supported by: AFL-CIO; Americans for Democratic Action; Center for Popular Democracy; Communications Workers of America; Economic Policy Institute; Institute for Policy Studies, Global Economy Project; International Brotherhood of Teamsters; International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers; Jobs with Justice; National Federation of Federal Employees; People’s Action; Public Citizen; Restaurant Opportunities Centers United; SEIU; and Social Security Works.


  1. Let’s start looking at politicians with their greed and inequality! I don’t know of many CEOs who soak the taxpayers for the bloated pensions and healthcare for life as do our politicians. Mr. DeSaulnier, this project must begin at “home”, your office, and the offices of many, many politicians.
    Do that, then I’ll be impressed

  2. This idea may by popular with the unions, but it’s bad policy. The government should keep it’s nose out of where it doesn’t belong. It’s especially humorous (?) that many of the stated unions supporting it are PUBLIC EMPLOYEE unions – who have no stake in this “fight.”

  3. Freedom + guns + the constitution + bill of rights + liberty – dems – illegal immigrants = a great America. Vote Trump 2020 for U.S. CEO

  4. how much of his salary is he willing to sacrifice? oops he is above us and we are his servants we work for him…
    maybe we should demand him to work for free, after all he is suppose to be a public servant and not a multi millionaire…

  5. Go Go dummy. He does work for free. He gives his entire salary to non profits. That’s patriotic.

    Typical uninformed

    No left turns, vote smart

  6. Since when does Markie have the right to tell a private corporation how much they can pay their CEO? Is he stark raving insane? This is laughable! Is the guy THIS dumb?


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