The Truth About "Fix The Debt" CEOs
The "Fix The Debt" CEOs are the same people who crashed our economy, collected their bonuses, and left us with the clean up. They have ulterior motives.
- Pete Peterson is funding much of the deficit hysteria work. Michael Hilzik of the LA Times writes about the Peterson effort here: Unmasking the most influential billionaire in U.S. politics. "The most influential billionaire in America is Peter G. Peterson, whose misleading campaign to 'reform' traditional social welfare programs has subtly set the terms of the Washington debate."
- Felix Salmon explains the big picture ulterior motives of the Fix the Debt CEO's on Marketplace: Salmon says the CEOs might have ulterior motives -- they're hoping a bi-partisan approach to reducing the deficit could ultimately result in lower corporate taxes.
- Ryan Grimm of the Huffington Post pulls together some of the Peterson deficit talk efforts: Grimm writes, "According to a review of tax documents from 2007 through 2011, Peterson has personally contributed at least $458 million to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to cast Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and government spending as in a state of crisis, in desperate need of dramatic cuts."
- More recently, Peterson has been pushing his fiscal arguments by spreading that half-billion dollars widely across the Washington spectrum, putting both Democrats and Republicans on his payroll. He even launched his own newspaper, The Fiscal Times, which complements the many Peterson-funded nonprofits, such as the Concord Coalition and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
- The public face of his organizations is David M Walker, the former comptroller general of the United States. Officially, Walker is an adviser to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, for which he takes no salary. But Walker has been on the payroll at Peterson Management LLC, an investment firm that handles the Peterson family wealth, according to the 2007 book "The Foundation: A Great American Secret: How Private Wealth is Changing the World," by Duke law professor Joel Fleishman. Paying him through the investment fund allows Peterson to obscure his salary and frees Walker from the restrictions on lobbying by nonprofit foundations.
- Robert Kuttner of the American Prospect explains some of the politics in "Fix the Debt, Destroy the Recovery" (10/30/12). Kuttner writes: "David Walker was head of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Now Walker has been deeply involved with the efforts to levitate the late Bowles-Simpson Commission as a template for deficit-reduction, and has been working closely with the corporate-funded 'Fix the Debt' campaign of more than 100 CEOs lobbying for an austerity grand bargain.;"
- Thirteen out of about 80 CEOs and companies that signed a letter urging Congress to Fix the Debt have milked the federal tax system out of tens of billions of dollars, according to an analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness. Another six companies that signed the letter are leading proponents of a tax amnesty for corporate profits shifted out of the United States, especially profits shifted to offshore tax havens. Check out their nifty chart drawn from an analysis of IRS data by Citizens for Tax Justice: 57 of the sponsoring CEOs save at least $1 million a year courtesy of the Bush tax breaks.
- Another member of the steering committee is James B. Lee, Jr., co-chairman of JP Morgan. With Wall Street's other investment bankers, Morgan is relentlessly lobbying the government to water down the regulations carrying out the Dodd-Frank Act. It was the recklessness of Wall Street that pushed the economy into a deep hole, and these people want the license to do it again.
- Sen. Sanders released a report detailing how many of the companies headed by the same CEOs (who argued for fixing the debt) have avoided taxes, sent American jobs overseas and took taxpayer bailouts. Click here for the full report.