Two More Days

Know a young conservative who should be on Red Alert's 2015 '30 Under 30' List? Nominate them by this FRIDAY.

Schools giving university presidents extra cash to pay their taxes

A new report in the Chronicle of Higher Education finds that out of the nation’s 50 highest paid university presidents, half of them received additional cash to cover taxes on bonuses and other benefits during fiscal year 2010.

The Chronicle’s study comprised of 493 private colleges and universities with annual operating budgets of $50 million or more. It did not break down what the average amount of money university president’s receive for taxes, as universities each deal with the situation in different ways. However the study did show that 36 university presidents received more than $1 million in compensation that year, with the average salary at roughly $400,000.

The practice of giving executives’ additional cash to cover their tax liability on benefits beyond their base salary is known as “grossing up,” and it has been used in both the corporate and non-profit world for years. Recently, however, Congress and the Internal Revenue Service have started to crack down on the practice, and in 2007 the IRS updated its Form 990 to require nonprofits, including private universities, to disclose all corporate perks and cash bonuses, including grossing-up payments.

Despite increased public awareness of the grossing-up payments, colleges have yet to cease providing them. The 2010 report found that among the presidents with the fifty-highest salaries in the country, three-fourths of them still received some form of gross-up payment from the school. Only one, Emory University in Georgia, has officially stopped providing payments to cover employee taxes.

Dean Zerbe, who helped investigate the practice while serving as an aid to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), commented that it is “hugely hypocritical to be out there beating the drum [for Obama], and meanwhile running as fast as they can to get contracts that make sure any taxes don’t affect them.”

Thus, it’s not very shocking to read that 81 percent of campaign contributions that higher-education employees made to presidential candidates went to President Obama, according to a June 2012 Chronicle article.

Ironically, the highest paid university president the year of the study was none other than The New School’s Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic Nebraska Governor and Senator who recently lost a bid to reclaim his U.S. Senate seat against Republican Senator-elect Deb Fischer.

Kerrey netted $3 million in 2010, his final year as president at the New York City-based school, with only a fifth of that coming from his base pay. The Chronicle found that in 2010 the New School paid Kerrey $1.2 million in bonus pay, $420K in nontaxable benefits, and nearly $700,000 in “other pay,” which included severance and retirement pay.

Rounding out the top five were Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Shirley Ann Jackson, Birmingham-Southern College’s G. David Pollick, Washington University of St. Louis’ Mark Stephen Wrighton and Vanderbilt’s Nicholas S. Zeppos. Each of these individuals earned more than $2 million in total compensation in 2010.

(h/t The College Fix)

Comments

Polititainment

Stewart mocks Republicans who back NSA

As Congress wrangles over the Patriot Act provisions soon to expire, Jon Stewart laid into Republicans who complain about “government overreach” in healthcare, while simultaneously supporting invasive phone record collection programs from the NSA.

McGowan posts fake Cruz quote on Duggar
Amid the fallout of the Duggar scandal last week, many have spoken up with opinions, including liberal actress Rose McGowan who posted a made-up quote from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and later issued a reluctant, almost-apology. The Charmed actress’ not-so-charming tweet included a meme from the self-proclaimed “For Entertainment Purposes Only” website titled, “Stop the World, […]
Anti-Stephanopoulos artwork invades NYC

Posters depicting ABC News anchor George Stephanopolous and a smiling Hillary Clinton with the words "PayPal" and "Donate" written on them have been popping up close to the studio where ABC shoots Good Morning America.

Rubio gets first celeb endorsement

The Florida senator and official GOP candidate for president has just received a big celebrity endorsement from Rick Harrison of the popular show "Pawn Stars," according to a report in the Las Vegas Sun.

Snoop Dogg endorses Hillary Clinton

Snoop Dogg became the latest rapper to endorse the Democratic presidential candidate during his appearance on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" over the weekend.

2016

Rick Santorum is running for President
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) is making a second run for the White House. According to ABC News, Santorum will be sitting down Wednesday with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos to discuss his intentions and how he thinks he can stand out in the crowded 2016 GOP field. His interview with Stephanopoulos comes as a shock to many […]
If campaign songs were honest

Campaign songs--that signature tune that accompanies a candidate at every amped-up campaign rally--can say a lot about a candidate.

Pot advocate hopes to change Hillary's mind
While Hillary is busy picking out which pantsuit to wear to a Florida fundraiser on Friday, her brassy host is prepping for her conversion on a much less predictable talking point– the legalization of marijuana. Trial attorney and outspoken medical-marijuana advocate John Morgan will host Clinton and her supporters in his Florida home this weekend, according […]
The 7 most hideous Hillary campaign store items

Instead of forcing you to browse through all the (mostly overpriced) items, I thought I'd give you a sampling of the truly most outrageous accessories, signs and clothing pieces put up for sale by the Clinton campaign ... and what they really say about those who buy them.

Sanders: Hillary Clinton hustles money

The Democratic presidential candidate recently told CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood over a meal at a speakeasy that Hillary and Bill Clinton's lifestyle likely precludes them from being able to identify with the regular Americans who a truly struggling in the current economy.

Policy

Gun rights may be coming to NYC
Just last week Federal Judge Frederick J. Scullin struck down D.C.’s requirement that residents show “good reason” for needing a concealed carry permit. Now that battle may be spreading across the country. According to the New York Post, other anti-gun cities like New York City may be facing similar constitutional objections. New York City currently […]
Court rules DMV may ban pro-life license plates

A federal appeals court has ruled that New York can ban pro-life license plates as “patently offensive” messages that might drive someone to “road rage.”

NSA claims to be shutting down bulk surveillance

With key Patriot Act provisions soon expiring, and no legislative extension in sight, the question now becomes: will the NSA actually shut down their metadata program?

George W. volunteered to officiate a gay wedding

This year, journalists have been asking practically every Republican candidate whether they would attend a gay wedding—and have received a wide variety of answers.

Lindsey Graham rolls eyes during Rand Paul speech

Lindsey Graham's eyeballs practically fell out of his sockets when Rand Paul rose to speak against the NSA Friday night.