Trillions of dollars have been awarded in subsidies, federal war contracts and bailouts to companies working with the Campaign to Fix the Debt. The companies have also received tax breaks and other loopholes that pretty much get rid of their tax bills. The CEOs from the companies belong to a campaign called Center for a Responsible Federal Budget, which is going to spend $30 million campaigning for a reduction deal for the deficit, according to a report from the Huffington Post detailing federal contracts.
The campaign is called the CEO Fiscal Leadership Council and includes David Cote from Honeywell and Lloyd Blankfein from Goldman Sachs. They claim that the only way to cut the deficit is to cut funding to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They have been campaigning for a ‘territorial tax system’ that exempts foreign profits from being taxed, which would net them $134 billion in tax savings.
In 2011, $28 billion in federal contracts were issued to Boeing, Honeywell and GE. According to the CEO council, there are two methods that could produce “$4 trillion of deficit reduction.” The first method helps “replace mindless, abrupt deficit reduction with thoughtful changes that reform the tax code and cut low-priority spending.” The second method helps “keep debt under control over the long-term by focusing on the long-term growth of entitlement programs.”
Blankfein said that Social Security “wasn’t devised to be a system that supported you for a 30 year retirement after a 25-year career. You’re going to have to do something, undoubtedly, to lower people’s expectations of what they’re going to get,” Blankfein told CBS, “the entitlements, and what people think they’re going to get, because you’re not going to get it.”
Cote talked with CBS on Tuesday, saying pretty much the same as Blankfein did during his interview. “The big nut is going to have to be [cuts to] Medicare/Medicaid … especially with the baby boomer generation retiring. It’s going to literally crush the system. From a fairness perspective, nobody would be able to stand [a zero tax rate on corporate profits]. If the U.S. really wanted to create jobs, we would have the lowest rate possible.”
From the years of 2008 to 2010, Honeywell was able to avoid paying taxes completely. The company received taxpayer-funded rebates totaling $34 million from profits of $5 billion. Taxpayer money, totaling $40 billion, was divided amongst nine members of the CFD, with Boeing taking home $22 billion in federal contracts in 2011. Boeing’s CEO, Jim McNerney, made $23 million in 2011 as his compensation.