On Fox, Cavuto and Levin falsely claimed Obama administration wants to limit executive pay for all companies

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

Neil Cavuto and Mark Levin falsely claimed the Obama administration "want[s] to control executive pay" for companies that haven't received bailouts. Earlier that day, Robert Gibbs said of such a proposal, "[T]here are not plans to do something broad like that."

On the March 24 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto and nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin falsely claimed that the Obama administration "want[s] to control executive pay," even for companies that have not received federal bailout assistance. After Levin stated that the administration "want to control executive pay, and they're not going to limit it to bailed-out companies," Cavuto replied, "No, it absolutely -- and they sent a signal about that. That they want to broaden this out." In fact, President Obama has made no such proposal. Indeed, earlier that day on Fox News, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said of such a proposal, "[T]here are not plans to do something broad like that."

On the March 24 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson stated: "[O]ne of the interesting things that came up yesterday in the news, Robert, was the fact that maybe some of this executive compensation would spill over to other publicly traded companies. So, in other words, executives who work at institutions that are not receiving taxpayer dollars -- that your administration may, in fact, put a cap on their salaries as well." Gibbs replied: "Well, look, there are not plans to do something broad like that. The president has always believed that shareholders in a company ought to have a nonbinding say on the CEO pay of somebody in a company. I think that's a commonsense rule and regulation that allows and empowers shareholders to have a say in what makes sense."

Additionally, during his March 24 testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner made clear that in referring to restrictions on employee compensation, he was talking about "financial institutions that are receiving government assistance":

The issue of excessive compensation extends beyond AIG and requires reform of the system of incentives and compensation in the financial sector.

On February 4th, the President and Treasury announced new restrictions on executive compensation for financial institutions that are receiving government assistance as part of the Financial Stability Plan. These measures are designed to ensure that public funds are focused on the public interest and that the compensation of top executives in the financial community is aligned not only with the interests of shareholders and financial institutions, but with the interests of taxpayers providing assistance to those companies.

On February 17th, the President signed additional limits on executive compensation into law as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. These limits included a requirement to recoup bonuses already paid in cases of misrepresentation or malfeasance. Treasury is currently working to promulgate rules to implement these provisions and to develop a program under the original TARP legislation to review certain bonus awards already paid. We will work with Congress on any new legislation proposed in this area.

We need to strike the right balance between encouraging investment and prudent risk-taking to get our financial system moving again, and, on the other hand, placing limits on executive compensation to avoid taxpayer funded rewards for failure. The objective is to promote long-term value and growth for shareholders, companies, workers and the economy at large, and to reduce the risk of financial crises like the current one from occurring again.

From the March 24 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

LEVIN: Well, you know, the problem is, we didn't have a free market in the banking system. The banking system is the most regulated is the most regulated system next to the automobile industry. So there is no free market in the banking system. It's heavily regulated. We know about all these toxic loans -- thanks to Uncle Sam, pushing these loans as fast as they could, bundling them, encouraging the free market to respond with all kinds of financial packages. And then they pretend that it's something wrong with the free market. This is the way the status operates, and that's what I explain here.

There are no limits on our government today. They're about -- you know, they've close to nationalizing the automobile industry. Frankly, they basically nationalized the steel industry. They control the labor unions in giving them the authority that they give them. They control the products that are produced. They control what comes out of the chimney; they control what goes into the chimney. Now they want to control executive pay, and they're not going to limit it to bailed-out companies.

CAVUTO: No, it absolutely -- and they sent a signal about that.

LEVIN: Yeah.

CAVUTO: That they want to broaden this out. But don't you find it ironic, Mark, that as we're doing this here, Europe is actually going the opposite direction?

From the March 24 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

CARLSON: But one of the interesting things that came up yesterday in the news, Robert, was the fact that maybe some of this executive compensation would spill over to other publicly traded companies. So, in other words, executives who work at institutions that are not receiving taxpayer dollars -- that your administration may, in fact, put a cap on their salaries as well. I'm interested in your comment on that.

GIBBS: Well, look, there are not plans to do something broad like that. The president has always believed that shareholders in a company ought to have a nonbinding say on the CEO pay of somebody in a company. I think that's a commonsense rule and regulation that allows and empowers shareholders to have a say in what makes sense.

And, look, we understand that pay in any job -- pay in my job, pay in your job, pay in a CEO's job -- should be based on whether we do that job well. I think people get rightly frustrated and outraged when they see bonuses going for -- not for success, but for failure.

Posted In
Economy, Jobs, Wages, & Unemployment
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Neil Cavuto, Mark Levin
Show/Publication
Your World w/ Neil Cavuto
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