Steve's Soapbox

Friday, October 14, 2005

Who's profiting while you're getting screwed to the wall ?

TXU Execs Pay Angers Some Customers

Oct 6, 2005 9:18 am US/Central
Consumer Investigator: Bennett Cunningham

TXU is seeking a rate hike. If an even higher electric bill makes you angry, then you won't be happy to hear who's getting big bonuses, while customers are picking up the financial slack.
Bobbie Rice just got her TXU electric bill. She owes more than $800 dollars. “I don't know what to do. What does a person like me do?”
Now TXU wants to raise electric rates by 24 percent because as TXU Spokesperson Chris Schein explains “you can't continue to lose money and have [electricity] priced inappropriately low. That's what we asked for this at this point in time.” About 10 months ago TXU’s top executive officer took in a 1 million dollar salary plus a bonus of nearly 16 million dollars.
So to put it in perspective, we wondered what you can buy for 16 million dollars. Well we looked in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog-- and you can buy an airplane for 3.5 million dollars -- and with 16 million, that's 1 plane for almost all the top execs at TXU. Or you can buy this mansion.. Not once but 10 times over and still have enough money to pay the electric bill.
In fact, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, all the top TXU executive officers received 6 figure bonuses last year. TXU's response ” it was all based on stock performance." In 2004 TXU's stock price increased 172% and that lead to the increase in pay. But Mrs. Rice told us “it’s the big people making money from the poor people.”
Rice doesn't get a bonus, she gets $1100 a month and she's on disability,. She is raising her 3 grandchildren alone because the children’s parents are in prison. Last month, the state ended a 200 million dollar low income assistance program last month that would have discounted Rice's electric bill. “My kids and I can’t afford this electric bill we live alone. Having a hard time as it is.”
TXU is discounting their rate 12 % until the end of the year. But we had one more question - are TXU execs taking a bonus this year, the answer from TXU “ The year is not over yet.”
source: http://cbs11tv.com/investigations/local_story_279102355.html
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