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‘Fix the Debt’: A Trojan Horse for Corporate Tax Cuts

Fix the Debt is a trojan horse for corporate tax cuts.

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.

A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (ISP) warns that:

[Fix the Debt] is a Trojan horse concealing massive corporate tax breaks that would make our debt situation much worse.

Peel away the slick PR and here’s what Fix the Debt really is—a powerful corporate lobby using the deficit as an excuse to sneak through costly corporate tax breaks, while at the same time cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

According to the IPS study:

  • The 63 Fix the Debt companies that are publicly held stand to gain as much as $134 billion in windfalls if Congress approves one of their main proposals—a “territorial tax system.” Under this system, companies would not have to pay U.S. federal income taxes on foreign earnings when they bring the profits back to the United States.
  • The CEOs backing Fix the Debt personally received a combined total of $41 million in savings last year, thanks to the Bush-era tax cuts. The top CEO beneficiary of the Bush tax cuts in 2011, Leon Black of Apollo Global Management, saved $9.9 million on the Bush tax cuts. The private equity fund leader reaped $215 million in taxable income last year just from invested stock.
  • Of the 63 Fix the Debt CEOs at publicly held firms, 24 received more in compensation last year than their corporations paid in federal corporate income taxes. All but six of these firms reported U.S. profits last year.

Don’t let corporate CEOs and lobbyists preaching for a “Grand Bargain” dominate the debate in Washington. Sign this petition to tell Congress that it’s time to let the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% expire and that they must reject any Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefit cuts.  

You also can share your story why Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are important to you.

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