CEOs of the Nation’s Largest Corporations Call for Tax Increases!

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.”




Special Olympian with Down Syndrome Shames Ann Coulter for Calling President Obama a “Retard” !

Dear Commons Community,

Ann Coulter was shamed yesterday by a Special Olympics athlete with Down Syndrome for using the word “retard” in referring to President Obama.  Ms. Coulter,  desperate for attention from any media outlet besides Fox News, after the Presidential debate on Monday, tweeted “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard”.   Despite widespread outrage about the tweet, Coulter doubled down on her word choice on Tuesday.

“If he’s ‘the smartest guy in the room’ it must be one retarded room,” she wrote about Obama.

In reply, Special Olympian John Franklin Stephens wrote in a blog post.

“Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow…So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?”

Stephens, 30, told Coulter that he has “struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.”

“I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.”

In his open letter, Stephens wondered whether Coulter had used the word to suggest that President Obama was “bullied as a child by people like you” or that he “has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says.”

“After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me,” he wrote. “You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.”

“Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor,” he said.

Stephens invited Coulter to attend the Special Olympics, challenging her to “walk away with your heart unchanged.”

Good for you, John!