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.
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 bills itself as a “non-partisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path.” However, the group touts a non-specific tax plan that members are calling “Simpson-Bowles Plus,” a plan that cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits, guts tax credits and benefits that many working families rely on, widens tax incentives for corporations to offshore jobs and lowers tax rates for corporations and the wealthy. Basically, it’s a wish list for millionaire CEOs!
Ever wondered what keeps payday lenders and the CEOs who pay poverty wages up at night? It’s not the 1,950% interest rates they’re allowed to charge Missourians on payday loans, or how the employees who make them rich are able to survive on $290 a week.
Here in Missouri, we know what terrifies the payday lending companies and corporations who want to keep paying poverty wages: It’s the convergence of faith, community, student and labor organizations who collected 350,000 signatures in the past 18 months to cap the rate on predatory loans and give minimum wage-earning workers a raise.
We’ve been talking a lot lately about the current financial state of play in electoral politics. Despite the mega-finances poured into the current election cycle, working families have more power than they think—power at the polls.
Some folks have been trying to make political hay with the easy availability of union financial information. As noted in an earlier post, however, The Wall Street Journal’s methodology in “discovering” the levels of labor union spending was fatally flawed and painted a false (and politically advantageous) picture.
And now Steven Law, the president of American Crossroads, a Republican super PAC, is using ridiculous fictions to try to defend the activities of the Karl Rove-backed group, claiming that the hundreds of millions of dollars that American Crossroads will spend on the election will somehow be dwarfed by what unions will spend.
“There is simply a better payoff by courting seven-figure donors,” said Matt Schlapp, a former White House political director for George W. Bush, in a Politico story Tuesday.
The story, “Election 2012: The Myth of the Small Donor,” details the meteoric rise of the mega-donor. Multimillion-dollar donations from people like Sheldon Adelson, Frank VanderSloot and the Koch brothers are “quickly diminishing one of the few avenues—outside of voting—for average folks to shape elections, help determine candidates’ viability and affect the course of the country.”
If the bad guys in the classic movie, “Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” had been corporate apologists or obnoxious Trump-like rich tycoons, the classic line about badges might read this way, “Government? We don’t need no stinkin’ government.”
In a column on AlterNet Paul Buchheit dispels what he calls “the bull of Wall Street” and cites five good reasons why the super-rich and big business may need government more than the rest us.
We regularly hear variations on that theme from the wealthy in the form of the tired old saw “I made it on my own…didn’t need any government help.” Corporate CEO’s and lobbyists rail against rules and regulations that supposedly stifle entrepreneurship and eat profits.