Disney's Bob Iger Lobbies for Lower Corporate Taxes (Video)

Bob Iger
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Disney CEO Bob Iger's compensation in fiscal 2010 rose 24%, outpacing gains in the company's net income, revenue and the stock price. Iger's salary, stock, options and various bonuses totaled $29.6 million in the fiscal year that ended Oct. 2, up from $23.9 million a year earlier. The exec also racked up more than $754,000 in fees associated with security and personal air travel.

"This country is charging among the highest rates in the world," the Disney CEO complains to CNBC's Maria Bartiromo.

Robert Iger, the CEO of the Walt Disney Co., didn’t take the bait on Tuesday when he was given the opportunity to get politically partisan, though he did make an appeal for a lower corporate tax rate.

Iger has supported President Barack Obama and other Democrats thorough his many political donations, and some insiders speculate he has designs on a career in politics once he leaves Disney, so a political question from anchor Maria Bartiromo during a CNBC interview mostly about Disney’s quarterly earnings wasn’t completely out of the blue.

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Toward the end of the interview, Bartiromo asked Iger about Obama’s critique of Romney’s plan to lower taxes for many Americans, including those who are considered wealthy. The plan, Obama said Monday at a fundraiser, is akin to “Robin Hood in reverse -- it’s Romney Hood.”

After playing a video clip of Obama uttering the line, Bartiromo asked Iger: “’Romney Hood.’ What do you think about that, Bob?”

“He’s got a sense of humor,” said Iger, who has given more than $85,000 to Obama and other Democrats in the past 18 months.

“We’re not going to take a position on the presidential election,” Iger continued, before taking a few moments to lament governmental gridlock.

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Bartiromo, though, appeared antsy for something more specific, and Iger eventually came through for her by seemingly lobbying for smaller taxes on corporations -- like Disney, for example.

“Corporate taxes have to be looked at carefully,” said Iger. “This country is charging among the highest rates in the world in terms of corporate taxes. In order for us to be competitive with the world, we’ve got to take a very, very serious look at our corporate tax structure.”

Video of the segment is below.

“Thank you for addressing that, Bob,” said Bartiromo, “It’s so important, because we have all this money of major, multinational corporations that have their money overseas and are unwilling to bring it back because of the tax code.”

Email: Paul.Bond@thr.com