"If we become an oligarchy like the oligarchies we used to decry in Central American countries and South American countries, what hope is there for the rest of the world?", asked Sen. Lori Hancock, D-Oakland, as she supported S.B. 1372, which would have significantly increased state income taxes on companies that pay their executives "too much." The bill failed, reports Steven Greenhut, but it would have created a sliding scale of taxes that is tied to corporate compensation. The higher the pay of the corporate executive (as measured by the ratio of CEO pay compared to other employees), the higher the tax rate. It's a punitive formula, which sparked Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, to complain about the Senate's simultaneous efforts to "help California's economy" even as his fellow senators "bash CEOS, these greedy wealthy CEOs."