As sequester cuts start to bite a little harder, the Fix the Debt gang is pushing for a "grand bargain," deep cuts to earned benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare in exchange for some vague promises about "tax reform."
In our new report on Fix the Debt, CMD reveals that part of the Fix the Debt's hidden corporate agenda is to push for new tax loopholes that would actually add to the deficit. Specifically, many Fix the Debt firms want to exempt money made offshore from taxation in the United States. Opening this new loophole would cost the Treasury some $1 trillion over 10 years according to Citizens for Tax Justice.
Since the Center for Media and Democracy's launch of ALEC Exposed in July 2011, CMD has known that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its corporate funders are accelerating the race to the bottom in wages and working conditions for America's working families. ALEC has a raft of "model bills" to lower wages and slash benefits for workers, even one to repeal state minimum wage laws.
Last week, the Center for Media and Democracy and The Nation magazine worked together to publish a package in The Nation and a new online wiki resource on Pete Peterson and the Campaign to Fix the Debt, an entity we consider an "astroturf supergroup" with a huge budget working hard to create the fantasy that Americans care more about national debt and deficits than jobs and the economy. Fix the Debt is currently exploiting the "sequester" debate in Congress to encourage steep cuts to incredibly popular social programs like Medicare and Social Security.
Democracy Now! spoke with John Nichols of The Nation and Lisa Graves of the Center for Media and Democracy about their joint efforts to expose Pete Peterson's "Campaign to Fix the Debt" as an astroturf supergroup spending millions to convince Congress that a job-killing austerity package is the way to go in the middle of an economic downturn.
by Dave Saldana
In Ontario, 465 union workers used to make locomotive engines. Then Indiana passed ALEC's anti-union legislation, and Caterpillar moved the works to Muncie. And that's bad for everybody.
Wisconsin is one of the highest-performing states in the country when it comes to election administration, but some state Republicans are falling behind a partisan national effort to attack the state's voting procedures and narrow access to the ballot box. "Rig the Vote," a new report from the Center for Media and Democracy and Citizen Action of Wisconsin, examines how proposed changes to Wisconsin's voting practices threaten the state's free and fair elections and are part of a cynical national effort to manipulate the electoral system for partisan gain.
Washington— On Wednesday, February 13, 2013, the Economic Policy Institute will host a media conference call on the economic policy agenda promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—an agenda that would weaken state economies, harm working families and put the interests of corporations and the most affluent households before the common good.
A majority of Visa shareholders rejected an effort to require the company to provide more disclosure about its role in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and related lobbying activities. Boston Common Asset Management, an investment firm focused on socially responsible investing, and the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA), a religious organization that affirms the inherent capacity for good in human beings, filed a resolution to require the company to disclose all payments used for lobbying purposes, including payments to groups like ALEC. In all, over 100 million votes were cast in favor of the resolution -- 37% -- but that substantial outpouring of support for greater transparency accounted for less than a majority of the votes cast by Visa shareholders.
With the nation still grappling with high unemployment and depressed tax revenues, many states are stepping up efforts to lure jobs from neighboring states -- paying firms a fortune to jump state lines. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, for instance, is actively trying to poach jobs from Illinois and changed the Wisconsin welcome signs to proclaim "Wisconsin -- open for business."