Dear Commons Community,
The Wall Street Journal reported today that the CEOs of more than 80 of the nation’s largest corporations, including Aetna, AT&T, Dow Chemical, GE, Merck, and Microsoft have signed on to a statement calling for a deficit reduction deal that includes both money-saving reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and a “pro-growth tax reform” which lowers rates and raises more revenues?
Significantly, the statement cites recommendations issued in December 2010 by President Barack Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission, which ostensibly would have cut the projected deficit by $4 trillion by 2020, as “an effective framework for such a plan”. Not coincidentally, the CEOs’ statement was coordinated by the Campaign to Fix The Debt, an organization founded by the co-chairmen of that deficit commission, former Wyoming Republican Senator Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles…
In their statement, the CEOs call the debt “a serious threat to the economic well-being and security of the United States” and describe it as “urgent and essential” that a bipartisan plan be put in place to stabilize federal debt as a a share of the economy and get it on a downward path.”
However, some of the same business leaders who now sincerely want a deal, have helped create the Washington gridlock blocking a deal by funneling big bucks to organizations and candidates including Mitt Romney emphatically opposed to any tax increases as part of a compromise.
As Washington Post economics columnist Steven Pearlstein wrote last July:
“The reality now facing practical, pragmatic corporate executives is that their Washington lobbying apparatus has become one with a Republican caucus on Capitol Hill that is dominated by ideological zealots and uncompromising partisans. So if they have now concluded that the most important issue for American business, and the economy, is getting a reasonable bipartisan compromise on taxes and spending, their only choice is to bypass that apparatus.”