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Money talks 

San Luis Obispo

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?

Readers Poll

Do you think the SLO County Board of Supervisors should have gone against their policy that states funding for independent special districts should not result in a net fiscal loss to the county?

  • A. Yes, the housing and job opportunity the Dana Reserve is bringing is important
  • B. No, it's giving special privileges to the Nipomo Community Services District
  • C. I trust them, they know what's best for the county
  • D. What's going on?

View Results

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