*** MEDIA ADVISORY FOR FEBRUARY 20, 2013 ***Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington, firstname.lastname@example.org
As brutal budget cuts loom in Congress...
Microsoft customers join campaign calling on local CEOs to send all-greed Congressional agenda to the recycling bin
Rowdy protests at Microsoft Store & Starbucks will push local CEOs to cut support for "Fix the Debt" corporate front group
WEDNESDAY 2/20 in SEATTLE - Concerned customers of Microsoft and Starbucks will gather at University Village for a rowdy protest and march aimed at pushing local CEOs Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and Howard Schultz of Starbucks to stop supporting the all-greed agenda of the deep-pocketed corporate front group known as "Fix the Debt".
If Congress doesn't act, devastating budget cuts called "sequestration" could take effect next month, including deep reductions to unemployment benefits, Medicaid support, senior assistance services, and even homeless shelters. But instead of agreeing to pay their fair share so we can stop the cuts, Steve Ballmer, Howard Schultz, and the other CEOs in “Fix the Debt” are trying to take advantage of the looming crisis to push for even more special loopholes and even more cuts to vital services. These CEOs say they want to "Fix the Debt" — but what really needs fixing is their greed.
Microsoft alone would save as much as $19 billion from just one of the new loopholes Ballmer and the other CEOs are pushing.
Who: Microsoft and Starbucks customers and community members opposed to the all-greed trickle-down agenda being pushed by local CEOs and their big-bucks allies across the country.
What/Visuals: Rally at University Village, including rowdy march and protests at Microsoft Store and Starbucks. Protests will include a giant Microsoft Office Clippy popping up to point out that "It looks like Microsoft is trying to get a big tax break by slashing vital government services," and a 3-foot-tall Starbucks cup reading "Budget Cuts are Bitter Brew". Seniors and others who would be directly affected by cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will speak out and call on these local CEOs to drop their support of the "Fix the Debt" front group.
When: Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 12:00 noon
Where: University Village Shopping Center. (GPS Address: 2623 NE University Village St, Seattle, WA 98105) Concerned customers will hold a boisterous rally, then march to the Microsoft Store, Starbucks, and Bank of America — three of the companies whose CEOs have endorsed the Fix the Debt corporate front group.
Microsoft Clippy was rejected by customers because he had an irritating habit of showing up at unfortunate times to offer help you don't need. Now, like Clippy back from the bin, Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and dozens of other CEOs are popping up in the middle of the budget debate in Washington, DC, pretending to offer useful advice. Ballmer has lent his name to the "Fix the Debt" corporate front group, joining dozens of other big-bucks CEOs like Howard Schultz of Starbucks, Brian Moynihan of Bank of America, Terry Lundgren of Macy's, and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs.
These CEOs are fronting for an agenda that includes lower tax rates for the rich, new corporate loopholes, and massive spending reductions. It adds up to a budget plan that would give new breaks to big corporations and the ultra-rich … and pay for it with deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other vital government services.
Wednesday's event at University Village comes on the heels of a January event where Starbucks customers "roasted" CEO Howard Schultz over his support of "Fix the Debt" outside Starbucks Global Headquarters in SoDo, and a boisterous December rally which culminated with more than a hundred people entering the downtown Seattle Macy's to deliver lumps of coal to their budget-cutting CEO. Expect protests like this to continue in Seattle and across the country until these big-bucks CEOs stop fronting for the "Fix the Debt" trickle-down agenda and respect that customers and community members want what we voted for: jobs, not cuts.
- DC think-tank Institute for Policy Studies calculated that Microsoft alone would save $19 billion from one new loophole — called a "territorial tax system" — being pushed by "Fix the Debt": http://www.ips-dc.org/articles/the_trojan_horse_in_the_debt_debate
- The New York Times recently looked at the private corporate interests behind "Fix the Debt": http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/us/politics/behind-debt-campaign-ties-to-corporate-interests.html?_r=0
- The Reuters news service calls Fix the Debt "ridiculous", describing the CEO letter joined by Ballmer, Schultz, and others as "CEOs’ self-serving deficit manifesto": http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/10/25/ceos-self-serving-deficit-manifesto/
- The Wall Street Journal published a list of CEOs who have lent their names in support of the "Fix the Debt" agenda: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204076204578078560907325012.html
Working Washington is bringing people together to fight for a fair economy. We are speaking out to demand that the corporations and the politicians do what it takes to invest in our communities and move the economy forward. We need good jobs — not cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other vital services. For more information, visit WorkingWA.org