Americans paid $1.46 billion for dreams of wining the Mega Lotto on March 30. Three lucky individuals did have the winning numbers, and will divide the $656 million. The dollar amount drew the nation’s attention.
However, few of us noticed that Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, received a total compensation of $378 million last year (he can’t sell some of the stock that he received till 2016 and 2021). Philippe Dauman, Viacom CEO, received $42 million, but that was nearly half of what he received the year before.
The top 10 hedge fund managers each averaged $1.87 billion in 2009. John Alfred Paulson, a hedge-fund manager, made $4.7 billion. Yes, billion—nearly 22 times the amount each of the March 30 Mega Lotto winners will receive before taxes.
Mr. Paulson only has to pay a 15 percent tax rate on the money. Hedge fund managers are able to classify their earnings as capital gains rather than normal income. With the support of conservative politicians, hedge-fund managers avoid the 35 percent they should be paying.
Mr. Paulson has donated $1 million to Romney-affiliated super PAC Restore Our Future. Harold Simmons plans $36 million for conservative super funds. Wonder what they expect in return?