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.
The protest was sponsored by U.S. Uncut and Flip the Debt and was held in conjunction with a rally at which veterans with disabilities and seniors shared their stories about surviving on social safety net programs and how any cuts would harm them.
“We wouldn’t have to make these cuts, and we could invest in putting America back to work, if only [corporations] pay their fair share. So we say, rather than 'fix the debt,' let’s 'flip the debt' and put responsibility where it belongs. Hey, 1%! Pay your damn taxes,” Flip the Debt states on its website.
According to The Nation, Cote and Honeywell have a history of pushing for lower taxes for themselves while advocating cuts that make life harder for working families.
Over the past three years, Honeywell received more than $2.7 billion in federal defense contracts and reported more than $2.5 billion in U.S. pre-tax profits. And yet, thanks to corporate deductions, tax subsidies and loopholes, Honeywell has claimed $377 million in federal tax refunds during this period.
U.S. Uncut and Flip the Debt said in a press release:
Honeywell has paid an average effective tax rate of negative 14.8 percent from 2009–2011, even as they receive taxpayer money as the 35th largest federal contractor. Now CEO David Cote is demanding we sacrifice our nation’s most popular and effective anti-poverty programs. The average Social Security check is under $1,400 per month. By comparison, when CEO David Cote retires, he is expected to receive a monthly mention of nearly $500,000.