Take the latest Peterson PR campaign, Fix the Debt. The Institute for Policy Studies released a report last month about the billionaire CEO coalition standing behind the effort, showing it to be a Trojan Horse created to serve corporate interests. Among their findings:
- 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 vested 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.
So you see, the "Fix the Debt" effort isn't quite as non/bi-partisan as you might think, nor is it intended to serve progressive interests. But wait, there's more:
The hypocrisy was stunning. 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.
So this is the group who is calling for Social Security checks to be reduced and Medicare eligibility age to be moved up to age 67. A group of people who think our national debt is so serious, so utterly doom-ridden, they're fearmongering even while they set up their fat pensions and healthcare plans for themselves.