My Mom always said you shouldn’t take joy in other people’s misfortune. But sorry, Mom, I am getting a little kick out of the reported financial misfortune of a group boasting bloodlines that trace back to the “Grand Bargainers” Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.
A new report from the Center for Effective Government and the Institute for Policy Studies shows that two groups of corporate CEOs pushing for cuts to Social Security benefits, such as the "chained" CPI, personally have massive retirement plans. They also have allowed massive deficits to grow in their employees' pension funds. While these CEOs—members of the Business Roundtable and the Fix the Debt Coalition—sit on retirement funds most people couldn't even dream of, they have hurt their own employees' retirement security and are looking to do the same for people who don't even work for them.
Contrary to what The Washington Post and the billionaires who are trying to cut Social Security by pitting young people against seniors say, the nation does face a retirement crisis and Social Security doesn’t need to be cut. It must be—and can be—strengthened, said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in a powerful speech on the Senate floor Monday.
A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), called Corporate Pirates of the Caribbean, details how the CEOs who make up the group Fix the Debt, a group pushing for harsh austerity measures, are set to make even higher profits off of the policies they are pursuing in the name of "balancing the budget." Fix the Debt's members are pushing for cuts to Social Security, Medicare and earned social insurance benefits, while seeking to widen tax haven loopholes by creating a "territorial" tax system, which would earn them as much as $173 billion.
A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies and Campaign for America's Future shows that the CEOs who run the 90 corporations in the '"Fix the Debt" coalition, which advocates for cuts to earned benefits like Social Security while reducing tax rates for, well, themselves, accept massive subsidies from the U.S. government. The amount they have taken in subsidies ranges from a possible low of $953 million to a possible high of $1.6 billion. The AFL-CIO's Executive PayWatch covers related issues.
Did you know that the CEOs of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, the corporate front group that wants to cut Social Security and Medicare and lower corporate taxes, have parked more than $418 billion of untaxed corporate profits overseas? Overall it is estimated that U.S. corporations have as much as $1.9 trillion sheltered overseas. That would make a nice down payment on fixing the debt.
The most striking feature of the U.S. economy over the last three decades has been the upward redistribution of income. The top 1.0 percent of households has managed to pocket the vast majority of gains over this period. That is a sharp contrast with the three decades immediately following World War II when the benefits of much more rapid growth were broadly shared.
Fix the Debt is the most hypocritical corporate PR campaign in decades, an ambitious attempt to convince the country that another cataclysmic economic crisis is around the corner and that urgent action is needed. Its strategy is pure Astroturf: assemble power players in business and government under an activist banner, then take the message outside the Beltway and give it the appearance of grassroots activism by manufacturing an emergency to infuse a sense of imminent crisis.
"Fix the Debt" portrays itself as a nonpartisan group designed to convince government to do something drastic about the national debt, which it says is a significant danger to the country. And despite widespread evidence from economists that their proposals would hurt the economy, Fix the Debt's members are pushing for a set of policies based on tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans and benefit cuts to lifelines like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.
Seniors and veterans showed up at a "Fix the Debt" event in New Hampshire to tell Honeywell CEO David Cote that if he really wants to fix the debt, he should have Honeywell pay its fair share of taxes. Cote is one of a number of wealthy corporate leaders in the "Fix the Debt" coalition, which advocates for cuts to benefits like Social Security and Medicare and is pushing for lower corporate taxes. Advocates for working families and their allies point out that many of the "Fix the Debt" companies engage in loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.