My RedState and New Ledger colleague Francis Cianfrocca, working off the same Matt Yglesias piece I noted below, gets to the core of the issue of executive compensation:
The problem is that, because of tight arrangements with government, the largest companies really don’t have to perform well. They’re insulated from competition in ways that also make it possible for their CEOs to receive high income even if they destroy shareholder value.
But that should properly be a matter for those shareholders. We really ought to solve the problem of unfair government support for large businesses. Unfortunately all of Washington’s policies, from financial bailouts to increased innovation-killing regulations and taxes, are taking us in the other direction. If you don’t like big CEO pay for poor performance, you’ll hate the future even more than the present.
This leaves us with what the American people really want. They don’t want to see salary caps at all, and certainly not for successful people. They want to avoid rewarding failure with tax dollars.