(MintPress) – A group of more than 100 big company CEOs have created a “non-partisan” campaign entitled “Fix the Debt,” in which the goal, according to the group’s website, is to “put America on a better fiscal and economic path.”
Though the group is also comprised of current and former members of Congress, governors, mayors and business leaders from both sides of the political aisle, the common goal of the group is to fix the budget by implementing massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
But as Iowa Senator Tom Harkin said: “Every dollar that wealthy taxpayers do not pay under this deal, we will eventually ask Americans of modest means to forgo in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.”
While at first glance the mission of the group seems to be well-intended, the group was recently “exposed as a front group for the world’s richest war profiteers to protect their billion-dollar Pentagon contracts, and the world’s worst corporate tax dodgers to protect their egregious loopholes and gimmicks in the U.S. tax code.”
Though some in the group have claimed they would discuss the addition of minor tax increases in addition to cuts, the majority of the group is focused solely on budget cuts and pressuring Congress to introduce new corporate tax breaks and create a permanent corporate tax holiday on offshore income.
As the Huffington Post reported, “We documented, for example, how many of the campaign’s leaders had contributed massively to the national debt through tax-dodging tricks. Twenty-four of them had even paid their CEOs more in 2011 than their firms paid in corporate income taxes. We also calculated that the average Fix the Debt CEO calling for cuts to Social Security themselves had pension assets of $12 million, enough to garner a $65,000 monthly retirement check starting at age 65.”
On Monday, Honeywell CEO David Cote, took the groups message to New Hampshire.
During his speech, activists with the “Flip the Debt” campaign, which advocates that the way to solve the debt crisis is for the 1 percent to pay their fair share of taxes, interrupted Cote and informed the audience about Honeywell’s low tax rate.
On its website, the Flip the Debt group wrote: “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.”
The group also claims that the “Bush tax cuts for the wealthy tax-dodging global corporations — many of them members of Fix the Debt — have cost the U.S. Treasury $2.3 trillion, an amount that exceeds the $1.6 trillion Congress now seeks to cut from the deficit.”
Honeywell has reportedly secured $1.5 billion in defense contracts in 2012, paid a minus 0.7 percent federal income tax rate between 2008 and 2010, has $39.8 billion in assets and is the 33rd largest recipient of tax dollars out of the top 100 military contractors.
Disabled workers and elderly retirees handed Cote their Social Security checks while he spoke, and one shouted, “I only get $1,200 a month to live on, but you need another yacht.”
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.
Luckily for those dependent on Medicare and Social Security, the power of “Fix the Debt” appears to be diminishing, but President Obama has not entirely ruled out making cuts to the program and increasing taxes on Social Security beneficiaries.
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