Windfall for the grown-ups: Fix the Debt ediiton

Windfall for the grown-ups

by digby

Regular readers know that I've been dogging this bogus "Fix the Debt" group for many months. It's long been clear that they are working on behalf of those who created the series of arbitrary deadlines called the "fiscal cliff" in order to press for cuts to entitlements.

It turns out they have another, more personal, agenda as well:

When a group of 86 large U.S. companies came out in late October in favor of fixing the debt it was seen as a rare example of corporate unity, and a wake up call on just how urgent an issue the growing federal deficit has become for business.

In a new report, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a liberal Washington think tank, argues that the group, called “Fix the Debt” is basically a larger version of an earlier Washington corporate lobbying group called “Win America”, and shares its focus on getting corporate money now being held overseas back into the United States with little or no taxes taken out.

Win America was pushing mainly for a lower tax rate on the repatriation of foreign earnings, but Fix the Debt is instead pushing for a shift by the United States to a territorial tax model. Under this kind of system, the companies would paylittle or no taxes on foreign earnings when those profits are brought into the to US. It’s especially beneficial to companies that earn a significant amount of profit in offshore tax havens.

Such a change would result in a $134 billion windfall for the 63 publicly traded companies in the Fix the Debt coalition, IPS calculates.

These are the people that were described like this in the Washington Post six months ago:

Anyone watching the Washington budget debate over the past decade must have wondered why there didn’t seem to be any grown-ups in the room — someone who could cut through what Honeywell’s Dave Cote calls the “hysteria, histrionics and hyperbole” and force the bickering children to agree on a reasonable compromise.

That’s what the voters want, what the economy demands and what country must now have to regain its confidence and its global influence.

Some grown-ups who have been noticeably absent from this conversation have been the heads of the country’s major corporations, who talk a good game about deficit reduction but haven’t invested the time, money and political capital necessary to jolt the political system from its dysfunctional equilibrium.

That’s about to change. Last week, the first battalion of CEOs showed up in Washington, reporting for duty.

Just what we need --- more generals.