Even Before #GOPTaxScam, Analysis Shows CEOs Made 300 Times More Than Average Workers in 2017

As progressives have worked to win the fight for a $15 federal minimum wage, CEO pay has skyrocketed even further in the past year—while business leaders and Republicans have claimed that raising wages for workers would be prohibitively expensive.

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) released a new report Thursday showing how executive compensation surged during President Donald Trump’s first year in office —as Republicans were pitching their tax plan with promises that the proposal would offer benefits and savings to middle-class and working Americans across the country.

Looking at CEO pay based on stock options, salary, bonuses, and other forms of payment, EPI found that the average top executive at the 350 largest U.S. firms walked away with between $13.3 and $18.9 million last year. The previous year, those same CEOs made between $13 and $17.6 million.

This means that CEO compensation rose by more than 1,000 percent between 1978 and 2017, while the typical American worker’s wages have gone up by just 11.2 percent over the same period.

“It is difficult to believe that Congress passed a tax cut weighted so heavily towards the wealthy when the nation’s top CEOs are clearly doing fine.” —Lawrence Mishel, EPIEven the very highest earners who are not CEO’s—those in the top 0.1 percent—didn’t see as much wage growth as CEOs, noted EPI president Lawrence Mishel and economic analyst Jessica Schieder, with their pay rising 308 percent since 1978.