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Common Dreams

Lobbyists Feign Budget 'Fix': Trojan Horse Filled with Corporate Tax Breaks

Common Dreams staff

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

As boisterous threats of the 'fiscal cliff' persist and progressive voices urge President Barack Obama to avoid falling for shortsighted solutions to illusory ultimatums, a group of corporate lobbyists and CEO's going by the name of "The Campaign to Fix the Debt" are set to unleash an onslaught of campaign ads which propose bipartisan 'compromises' to the problem, but in reality would act as a "Trojan horse concealing massive corporate tax breaks that would make our debt situation much worse,” according to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies.

The Fix the Debt campaign, made up of more than 80 CEOs of "America’s most powerful corporations," has raised $60 million to lobby for a debt deal that "would reduce corporate taxes and shift costs onto the poor and elderly," including large cuts to social programs such as Medicare and Social security, the report finds.

With ‘Fix the Debt’ CEOs are trying to "pass themselves off as noble leaders who are willing to compromise in order the save America from financial ruin,” but are actually "leveraging the 'Fiscal Cliff'" in order to push age old attempts to avoid paying taxes at the expense of those in need, says report co-authors Scott Klinger and Sarah Anderson.

The campaign’s ads are already appearing in places such as The Washington Post’s website but are are expected to "fill our airwaves."

The key findings of the report also include:

  • 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,” in which 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.
  • 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.

The group was co-founded by former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, who both co-chaired Obama’s "bipartisan" National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Obama is scheduled to meet with top American CEOs on Wednesday -- including, General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, Wal-Mart's Mike Duke, Dow Chemical's Andrew Liveris, Chevron's John Watson, among others.

The Campaign’s Ten Top Potential Winners from a Territorial Tax System:

Sarah Anderson, director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-author report appeared on Democracy Now! Tuesday morning:

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