A Cabal of CEOs Try to Bypass the Legislative Process and Impose Their Own Debt Reduction Plan
Most parents would agree that giving spoiled, entitled teenagers unrestricted access to money, coupled with no restrictions on their behavior, does little more than produce entitled adults who expect obeisance solely because they are special. America is home to an exclusive club of entitled adults with unlimited riches and power whose life’s goal is extracting every last bit of wealth from every American until they leave the population broken and in dire poverty. Shortly after a deal to avert the Republican fiscal cliff was passed in the House, a consortium of corporate CEOs lambasted the deal as a disaster and called for a specific deficit reduction plan to address the nation’s long term debt. One brilliant suggestion that garnered agreement from the CEO cabal was for corporate CEOs to bypass the legislative process and lay out a plan for deficit reduction, and it invokes a question Americans will have to address if this country is going to survive. How long before our representatives void the Constitution and cede government control to corporate America and finish the drive toward plutocracy executed by corporate America?
The group of CEOs were furious that Congress and the White House failed to include Draconian cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as part of fiscal cliff negotiations, and the head of George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management said executives should identify “sacred cows” that should no longer be protected, be specific about how big a deficit reduction deal they will accept, and get specific about what they want included in program cuts. It is important to note that none of the esteemed CEOs are elected representatives of government, and yet they propose circumventing the legislative process and enacting corporate-friendly cuts regardless of the consequences to the American people. Their assertion that “it doesn’t work talking to the politicians” and that a few corporate CEOs should have the final say in any fiscal decisions is the result of politicians giving credence to anything corporate leaders have to say when it comes to America’s economy.
What is immediately evident is that these men have no qualms slashing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and safety nets when their corporate welfare is part and parcel of America’s revenue problem and economic malaise. However, it is remarkable that these so-called geniuses who are wealthy beyond imagination are of the opinion that cutting Social Security will have any effect on the nation’s deficit, but that is what generally happens when entitled rich people assume special knowledge unknown to mere mortals. For the record, Social Security is forbidden, by statute, to add one stinking cent to the nation’s deficit, and yet it is the favorite “sacred cow” the wealthy and their puppets in Republican ranks put up for cuts to solve the nation’s long term debt.
One of America’s pressing economic issues is the particularly low corporate tax rate that adds to record profits while they slash wages and ship Americans’ jobs overseas. One of the CEOs, Honeywell CEO David Cote, proposed reducing the corporate tax rate to zero to attract business investment in America. Cote proffered that if America’s corporate tax rate was competitive with other developed countries, “we would create the most effective investment pipeline you’ve ever seen, we would have the lowest rate possible.” Cote is a liar because the corporate taxes that were actually paid fell to a 40-year-low (12.1%) in fiscal year 2011, while corporate profits rebounded to pre-Great Recession heights. Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett agreed and said “America’s corporate tax rate is well below those existing in most of the industrialized countries around the world. Corporate taxes are not strangling American competitiveness.”
Despite low corporate tax rates, job creation has been slow and not the result of corporate hiring, especially in the manufacturing sector. The truth is that America actually has one of the very lowest effective corporate tax rates in the developed world, and many of the most profitable Fortune 500 companies pay less than zero in corporate taxes, and it is still not low enough for CEOs like Cote. The Honeywell CEO spends his time busting unions and driving down pay and benefits for his company’s workers for which he was rewarded with $37-million in compensation in 2011 alone, so his reason for wanting to cut retirement and health programs is the corporate habit of punishing working Americans.
Corporations have powerful allies in the Republican Party who echo the constant refrain of restrictively high corporate taxes, and blame the supposedly high tax rate for discouraging job creation. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, a perennial corporate shill said on March 30, 2012 that “as of April 1, the United States of America will have reached the inauspicious position of having the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. I want America to be number one in many things, but having the highest corporate tax rate is definitely not one of them.“ Fortunately for the lying Mormon, America does not have the highest corporate tax rate, but the Nazi propaganda tactic of repeating a lie loudly and often has led many ignorant Americans to blame corporate taxes for slow job growth and it contributes to Republican support among Americans apt to believe high taxation is destroying jobs.
Cote was just one of the CEOs railing against allowing legislators to address America’s deficit problem, but he was in esteemed company of other wealthy CEOs whose corporations paid zero or less in corporate taxes over the past ten years while reaping outrageous profits cutting wages, benefits, and eliminating American jobs. The idea that corporate leaders should have a say in determining economic policy is a disaster that politicians of both parties are guilty of, and it belies their service to the people they were elected to serve. It is true America has a debt problem and there must be long term solutions to bring under it under control, but giving credence to the opinion and advice of corporate leaders who do not contribute to the nation’s economy is beyond misguided, it is criminal. It will be the undoing of this country as a representative democracy because the corporate leaders’ sole intent is pilfering every bit of national wealth until the entire population, save a few hundred wealthy families, is mired in poverty.
If Washington intends handing control of the government to corporate America, they could at least have the decency to disband all three branches of government, void the Constitution, and hand control of the military to a corporate conglomerate and dispense with the democracy fallacy. When this nation’s leaders begin taking, and acting on, advice of corporate CEOs whose only goal is controlling this nation’s economy, it is a sign America is morphing into the Incorporated States of America and sadly, we are nearly there.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.
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