Maybe you’ve heard of it—the CEO campaign to “Fix the Debt." With a $60 million war chest and the blessing of more than 80 CEOs of America’s biggest corporations, “Fix the Debt” is passing itself off as a reasoned call for compromise to save the nation from economic disaster. But as this new infographic and a recent study show, the companies behind Fix the Debt stand to gain $134 billion from one of the tax breaks they are promoting. Not just any tax break, mind you, but a new tax incentive for corporations to send U.S. jobs overseas.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other national leaders of unions and progressive groups actively involved in discussions over fiscal priorities met with President Obama Tuesday morning at the White House. Trumka and the group urged Obama to not give more tax cuts to those making more than $250,000 and to not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. The group also pledged to support the president in fighting for a good deal for the country, even if that means negotiating into the new year. Afterward, Trumka told reporters:
An analysis posted by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee shows that Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) won re-election while promising not only to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, but to expand the benefits for those programs. Tester won the race by a comfortable 3.9 point margin despite predictions that the seat was a likely Republican pick-up.
Some legislators and their friends on Wall Street are set on reaching a “grand bargain” during the post-election "lame duck" session of Congress that would cut the benefits that we and our children will depend on. They want to raise the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare, cut our Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)and cut Medicaid, which could force families into bankruptcy when a loved one needs long-term care.
Reflecting what voters said in AFL-CIO's election-night poll, a poll conducted on behalf of Democracy Corps and the Campaign for America's Future (CAF) shows that voters strongly reject proposals to cut Social Security and Medicare. When asked which was more important, 70% of respondents said that protecting education, Medicare and Social Security was more important than broad cuts to reduce the deficit. More than half—58%—of the overall sample said that they felt strongly about opposing such cuts. Only 17% of the survey said they felt strongly that across-the-board cuts were important enough to cut the popular programs.
Some news outlets have suggested that Republicans have changed their position on taxes after their resounding defeat on Tuesday. This is not the case. Republicans are still demanding lower tax rates for the richest 2% of Americans, paid for by cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.
Yesterday, the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, said that Republicans are “willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions.” But this is the same position Republicans have staked out for more than a year.
Thursday morning outside Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) Cincinnati office (see photo), a young single mother and her son, Vincent, who has severe disabilities, talked about the vital role Medicaid plays in their lives and how devastating any cuts to that health care lifeline would be.
The action was just one of more than 100 last week by working family activists urging Congress not to agree to a so-called “grand bargain” of deficit reduction in the upcoming lame-duck session that includes Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefit cuts.
The conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C., and in much of the media, is that because of the deficit and debt, we need to make cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. A bipartisan commission led by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles has promoted a plan that would cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and lower corporate taxes for the wealthy. Bowles and Simpson have been promoting their plan heavily and took to endorsing candidates who they believed would support their plan.