Un-Shared Sacrifice: How ‘Fix the Debt’ Companies Buy Washington Influence & Rig the Game
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A coalition of 95 companies, including some of the country’s largest corporations, are urging Congress to “Fix the Debt,” through a plan that mostly hurts middle class families while preserving tax breaks and windfalls for big corporations.
The coalition is kicking off a splashy $80 million lobbying campaign to “Fix the Debt,” a plan that, according to the Institute for Policy Studies, consists of two basic points: “pro-growth” corporate tax reform and “reforming” earned-benefit programs. In plain English, their goal is to make cuts to Medicare and Social Security while securing windfalls for some of the country’s biggest corporations—a plan that’s nowhere near balanced.
But the $80 million being spent on this campaign is only part of the story. Playing the influence game isn't new to most of these companies, who have spent big over the past few years on lobbying and campaign contributions by their corporate PACs and CEOs.
Over the coming weeks and months, Congress will grapple with the so-called “fiscal cliff” and tax reform. Many of the loudest high-paid voices, like those in this coalition, have spent years building up influence with politicians and these companies and their lobbyists will be using that to their advantage.
- The 95 companies that make up the “Fix the Debt” coalition have spent nearly $1 billion over the past four years on lobbying and campaign contributions.
- Twenty-two publicly traded companies that are members of the coalition have spent more on lobbying in the past three years than they have on taxes.
- General Electric (GE) is the top influence spender of these companies. Since 2009, GE, its CEO, and political action committee (PAC) have spent a combined $112 million on lobbying and campaign contributions.
- The influence peddling is bipartisan. 57 percent of the contributions spent by the CEOs and PACs of these companies goes to Republicans and 43 percent goes to Democrats.