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Ear to the Ground

CEO’s Demand Austerity to Fix Budget, Not End to Corporate Welfare

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Posted on Nov 26, 2012
Flickr/Fortune Live Media

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

A group of corporate CEOs that contributed to the burgeoning deficit crisis want the poor and elderly to largely pay for the mess the greedy Wall Street fat cats helped create. The executives working with the Fix the Debt campaign—among them Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein and Honeywell’s David Cote—are asking for cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to reduce the deficit. They claim this route will shave off $4 trillion from it.

“Yet the CEOs are not offering to forgo federal money or pay a higher tax rate on their personal income or corporate profits,” write The Huffington Post’s Christina Wilkie and Ryan Grim. “Instead, council recommendations include cutting ‘entitlement’ programs, as well as what they call ‘low-priority spending.’ ”

In other words, they want the deficit fixed, as long as they don’t have to pay for it themselves or give up their “corporate welfare.” Just another day in the life of a bankster.

The Huffington Post:

Many of the companies recommending austerity would be out of business without the heavy federal support they get, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, which both received billions in direct bailout cash, plus billions more indirectly through AIG and other companies taxpayers rescued.

Just three of the companies—GE, Boeing and Honeywell—were handed nearly $28 billion last year in federal contracts alone.

...Part of what makes the lobbying blitz around the fiscal cliff so complex for CEOs on the Fiscal Leadership Council is that many of them need more than just low tax rates. They also need Congress and the White House to maintain current defense spending levels so they can continue winning enormous contracts.

In 2011, $40 billion of taxpayer money was divided among just nine CFD member companies, led by defense giant Boeing, which raked in $22 billion in federal contracts alone, more than the other eight companies combined. For his efforts as CEO, Boeing’s Jim McNerney took home nearly $23 million in compensation last year.

Read more

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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