News just broke that the “Campaign to Fix the Debt” — a group started by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson to push their deficit reduction plan that includes major cuts to Social Security — has raised $25 million for a media campaign. That’s a lot of dough, and because the group doesn’t disclose its donors, we have no idea where it’s coming from.
One thing we do know about the group is the people who are advising and advocating for it. One of these men is Honeywell CEO Dave Cote, who is a steering committee member for the organization. He has a statement up on the organization’s website about the need to address the “debt problem” in the United States.
But the shocking thing about Cote is that while he’s backing an organization based around promoting a plan to cut Social Security — which has virtually nothing to do with U.S. debt — he also wants corporations to pay even less in taxes.
Earlier this year, Cote told a CNBC host that he wants to see a corporate tax rate of “zero,” but that from a “fairness perspective, nobody would be able to stand it.” Watch the clip:
When asked about paying so little in taxes that they were actually getting money back from the government, a Honeywell spokesman said, “Honeywell adheres to the tax laws of all jurisdictions in which it operates, is subject to ongoing review by tax authorities and is compliant in all respects.”
That is, of course, true. After all, massive corporations like Honeywell are very influential in writing the tax code.
The question is, should Americans let people like Cote’s Honeywell succeed in cutting Social Security and then allowing corporations to pay nothing (or less) in taxes? The answer there is self-evident.