Top CEOs Call for Higher Taxes
On the same day that former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama, 80 CEOs from America’s largest companies called for action on the deficit that sounds an awful lot like the Obama plan. In an open letter to the Wall Street Journal (behind the pay wall) they debunked the notion that simply slashing government spending is a realistic or desirable deficit reduction plan.
The Journal explained it this way,
“Chief executives of more than 80 big-name U.S. corporations, from Aetna Inc. to Weyerhaeuser Co., are banding together to pressure Congress to reduce the federal deficit with tax-revenue increases as well as spending cuts.”
The companies represented include Alcoa, Allstate, AT&T, Bank of America, BlackRock, Boeing, Caesars Entertainment, Caterpillar, Cisco Systems and Corning.
In dismissing any plan that relies on cuts alone, they effectively called out Mitt Romney as a big, fat fibber. They derided any plan that relies simply on austerity to reform the deficit as unworkable. Romney’s plan does not include the actions these CEOs believe will work. In this, they agree with most all economists.
Mostly, the short letter is the usual pap we hear from titans of industry at banquets and annual meetings. But the CEOs, said that a fiscal plan "that can succeed both financially and politically" must include cost controls on health care and tax reform that "raises revenues."
Signatories also included Deere & Company, Deloitte FGS, Delta Air Lines, DIRECTV, Dow Chemical, Foot Locker, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Honeywell International, Humana, JPMorgan Chase, and Loews.
Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, told the Journal,
"You can't tax your way to fix this problem, and you can't cut entitlements enough to fix this problem."
The letter from CEOs is in sync with Democratic plans for health reform, tax policy and war’s-end deficit policy. It also seems consistent with Obama’s “grand bargain” and it specifically mentions the Simpson-Bowles framework.Continued on the next page