By Nathan Jackson We’ve driven our economy back from the worst of it, but without good jobs and investments in social services like quality education, healthcare and safety net programs we are risking the gains we’ve made. We could be heading back into the ditch.
Cue the CEOs telling us that the ditch isn’t so bad.
CEOs have come together to form a corporate front group called Fix the Debt. This group uses flowery phrases and spin to try to appear reasonable and pragmatic, but what they are pushing for is the same old economic policies of tax breaks for the rich and austerity, aka budget cuts for the rest of us.
Two local corporate leaders—Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer have been acting as front men for the corporate front group.
Schultz made his workers in DC Starbucks push a pro austerity slogan on customers’ cups. Schultz agrees with the plans of the corporate front group to slash budgets for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while lowering tax rates on the rich and big corporations.
Never mind that tax rates are the lowest they have been in decades or the fact that we have not taken the steps we need to steer this economy back onto a prosperous path for the rest of us. Schultz apparently thinks that drip down economics actually work.
Not to be outdone, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has also signed onto the Fix the Debt’s plan.
The corporate front group has been actively lobbying to put in place tax “reforms” (read gifts) that would save the software giant $19 BILLION dollars on their federal tax bill. Meanwhile Ballmer agrees that we should cut public spending.
Microsoft has a pretty consistent stance on paying their fair share—they don’t like it.
The software company actively lobbied to change Washington State law in regard to a B&O tax on software royalties. Previously, Washington State would tax the worldwide royalties of software if the company was based here in the state. Through active lobbying, Microsoft got our state legislature to change the law saving the company from potential BILLIONS in back taxes.
They shouldn’t be trying to dictate to our elected leaders laws and regulations that only enrich them and leave the rest of our society nipping at each other’s heels for scraps.
On March 1st, deep Federal budget cuts are slated to take effect. If Congress doesn't take action, the impact will be devastating: more than 100,000 formerly homeless people would lose access to housing and shelters; unemployment benefits would be slashed; Medicaid cuts would result in thousands of layoffs in Washington State alone; and more.
We can’t sit back and allow these corporate front groups to gut the social programs that we all pay into and need to help us get back on our own feet. We’ve worked hard to get back to where we are and we won’t be pulled back.
It’s pretty simple what we want.
The rich and big corporations need to drop their affiliation with the corporate front group Fix the Debt, stop pushing for the failed austerity policies of the past and pay their fair share so that we can get or keep good jobs and invest in the policies that drive us onto a shared, prosperous economic path.