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9 Greedy CEOs Trying to Shred the Safety Net While Pigging Out on Corporate Welfare

Financiers, polluters and other biz honchos team up to strangle the economy.

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Obama invited Cote to join the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission in 2010, where he worked hard to create a flawed plan meant to reward the rich and cut vital services for the 99 percent. Meantime, sales of mostly aerospace-related Honeywell products sold to the government make up about 12 percent of Honeywell’s total revenues.

Here’s the 2009 figure for what Cote raked in as Honeywell’s CEO: $12,839,038. In response to the recession, Cote forced Honeywell's employees to take unpaid furloughs of between two and five weeks during 2008 and 2009.

6. Glenn Britt, chairman and CEO, Time Warner Cable Inc. Maybe the head of one of the world’s largest media conglomerates is ticked off because his compensation dropped from $17.4 million in 2010 to $16.4 million in 2011. Whatever it is, he is channeling his frustration by setting his sights on your wallet.

As a telecom giant, TWC is part of one of the most despised industries in America, and it’s no wonder. Whether it’s offering terrible customer service (Britt is devising a special “white glove” package for the affluent), leaving customers disconnected during Hurricane Sandy, or lobbying for laws that squash competition and lead to telecom oligopolies, Britt seems out to prove that his company can only succeed if the rest of the country suffers.

And with his Fix the Debt campaign, he’d like to make that suffering just a little more intense.

7. Reid Hoffman, cofounder and executive chairman, LinkedIn Corporation. Reid Hoffman brought us LinkedIn, possibly the most annoying social media network on Planet Earth. Why is it necessary to send scores of nagging emails to accept invitations to "link" to people you don’t even know? No one can say. But it sure is irritating. LinkedIn, along with his investments in companies like Facebook, has made Hoffman a billionaire. He’s ready to start giving – to the rich.

Hoffman hails himself as the champion of entrepreneurship. What he fails to mention is that entrepreneurship gets stifled when people don’t have a decent social safety net. You can’t take risks starting a new business if there’s nothing to fall back on. That’s why Norway is considered an entrepreneur’s heaven: the social safety net is strong and there’s far less shoveling income toward the rich.

Fix the Debt proposals would shred the social safety net, increase income inequality and make entrepreneurship less attractive for Americans. Hoffman’s presence on this list means only one thing: he wants to make it harder for you to be an entrepreneur like him. He’s made his money. And now he’s bent on kicking the ladder out from under the rest of us.

8. Richard Anderson, CEO, Delta Air Lines, Inc. Historically, airlines have been recipients of enormous subsidies from the federal government; after 9/11, many of those subsidies increased.

Delta CEO Richard Anderson enjoyed a 10 percent raise in 2011, bringing his compensation to $8.9 million. Not bad for a year when the company's stock price fell by more than a third. Delta employees didn’t fare so well as the boss. In 2010, Delta flight attendants lost their battle to protect their pay and benefits. According to Labor Notes, Anderson was quite creative in his effort to crush the American dream of those hard-working folks:

“[Anderson] played up a culture clash between Northwest’s Northern base and Delta’s Southern workforce, attacking AFA [Association of Flight Attendants] in one company-called meeting for being ‘un-Christian’ and ‘immoral.’ A DVD of the meeting was sent to every flight attendant.”

As the head of an airline, Anderson knows that his business would not have been possible but for the taxpayer-funded research and development that led to the creation of passenger jets, along with enormous air mail subsidies. He returns the favor by screwing workers and attempting to pass austerity measures designed to stick it to working people whose tax dollars make his job possible.