Mayor Scott Smith joins granny starving panel

21 Dec 2012 01:12 pm
Posted by: Donna

Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, whom I’m told is “moderate”, has gubernatorial aspirations. Which is why you’re seeing him more in the news these days than you’d expect to see the mayor of Mesa. And he’s very eager to have you see things like this:

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith has joined the Campaign to Fix the Debt as a campaign steering committee member. Smith, who is the incoming president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, will help lead the bipartisan group’s efforts to “find a practical solution that will help build the new American economy,” he said in a press release.

“Mayors know what it’s like to face a ‘fiscal cliff’ as they faced their own financial crisis years ago,” Mayor Smith said. “Mayors from both parties demonstrated how it is possible to balance budgets, reduce debts, while creating economic growth that adds jobs. They made the tough decisions, and our cities are both stronger financially and ready to take advantage of opportunities for growth. Washington can, and should, do the same to fix our nation’s financial challenges.“

More information on the campaign can be found at www.fixthedebt.org.

That is clearly a press release, uncritically reprinted in the East Valley Tribune. And who is behind this Campaign to Fix the Debt outfit? You will be shocked (shocked!) to learn that it’s none other than Peter G. Peterson, the guy I featured in my last post who philanthropically puts piles of his own money into the important cause of starving grannies. Here are HuffPo’s Christina Wilkie and Ryan Grim reporting
on the Campaign’s background and major players.

The companies represented by executives working with the Campaign To Fix The Debt have received trillions in federal war contracts, subsidies and bailouts, as well as specialized tax breaks and loopholes that virtually eliminate the companies’ tax bills.

The CEOs are part of a campaign run by the Peter Peterson-backed Center for a Responsible Federal Budget, which plans to spend at least $30 million pushing for a deficit reduction deal in the lame-duck session and beyond.

During the past few days, CEOs belonging to what the campaign calls its CEO Fiscal Leadership Council — most visibly, Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein and Honeywell’s David Cote — have barnstormed the media, making the case that the only way to cut the deficit is to severely scale back social safety-net programs — Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security — which would disproportionately impact the poor and the elderly.

As part of their push, they are advocating a “territorial tax system” that would exempt their companies’ foreign profits from taxation, netting them about $134 billion in tax savings, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies titled “The CEO Campaign to ‘Fix’ the Debt: A Trojan Horse for Massive Corporate Tax Breaks” — money that could help pay off the federal budget deficit.

Yet the CEOs are not offering to forgo federal money or pay a higher tax rate, on their personal income or corporate profits. Instead, council recommendations include cutting “entitlement” programs, as well as what they call “low-priority spending.”

Wow. Low priority spending. That’s Grandma’s grocery money, or her ability to not have to live in squalor in a substandard nursing home. So yeah, grannies gotta starve but not a precious hair on defense spending will be touched, while (naturally) the Job CreatorsTM get yet more generous tax breaks. This is a “bipartisan” effort with several high profile Dems (ugh) on board too, so it further helps a guy like Scott Smith look moderate and pragmatic. But the reality is that this is a radical movement bent on shifting the tax burden onto working people and demolishing the social safety net. The really fiendish thing about this is that if Smith runs for Governor of Arizona, he’s not likely to be asked about Social Security. He’ll simply use his participation in the Campaign to Fix the Debt to posture about how Very Serious he is and not like those crazy Republicans.

10 Comments

  1. Comment by Suzanne on December 22, 2012 9:29 am

    Donna I appreciate your call to awareness on this subject.

    However, I have read a few articles on Mr. P. Peterson and he has a point. I look to this season of buying on credit as a clue. Household and credit card debt is down only slightly for the year and we are not saving. Our Government borrows and spends too much as do we citizens borrow and spend too much.

    Closing loopholes and increasing taxes on the 1% is not enough: reducing the military budget as well as a concerted effort, from all of us, to bring health care costs down and individual savings up – would help.

    http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-data/average-credit-card-debt-household/

  2. Comment by Donna on December 22, 2012 12:52 pm

    The federal government is nothing like a your household. It is exactly the opposite. In times of recession the government should be spending more to stimulate the economy since no one else is. And this Fix The Debt campaign is led by several wealthy defense contractors. Read the reports I linked. They’re not calling for any defense cuts.

  3. Comment by Suzanne on December 22, 2012 2:36 pm

    Yes, good point Donna. I read the links and I noticed no mention of defense cuts earlier. And, I agree that we need stimulus spending.
    I am just saying . . .

    Also I want to thank you for all you have done to help me be better informed this year :)
    Thanks, I appreciate it.

  4. Comment by Timmys Cat on December 22, 2012 6:56 pm

    When the big recession started-

    During that time period, 24 states cut government spending by an average of 7.5% after adjusting for inflation, while another 25 states increased spending by an average of 11%. (The analysis excludes Alabama due to data problems reported by the National Association of State Budget Offices.)

    The states that increased spending enjoyed on average:
    •0.2 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate
    •1.4% increase in private employment
    •0.5% real economic growth since the start of the recession

    In contrast, states that cut spending saw on average:
    •1 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate
    •2.1% loss of private employment
    •2.9% real economic contraction relative to the national economic trend.

    The Fatcats are just afraid the limited budget will mean their purses will take a hit. So they’ve all decided that Grannys lunch has to go to reduce a deficit which is managable and is not really the problem. It’s jobs being slowed and the PRIVATE sector not spending money on projects.
    Peterson and crew want to make sure the spotlight stays on Granny while they shove their way to the federal trough.
    HERE

    I also too and appreciate the effort to keep me informed. Of course the issue here is keep.
    Oooo look! Something shiny!

  5. Comment by Donna on December 22, 2012 7:02 pm

    Thanks, Suzanne! Have a great holiday.

  6. Comment by Timmys Cat on December 22, 2012 7:23 pm

    YOIKS!!!!!

    ARMNHAMMERGEDDON!

  7. Comment by Timmys Cat on December 22, 2012 7:42 pm

    OYEAH

  8. Comment by Donna on December 22, 2012 8:01 pm

    Ha!

  9. Comment by Suzanne on December 23, 2012 8:38 am

    Thanks, Timmys Cat for your cat humor and other stuff.

  10. Comment by Mike Slater on December 23, 2012 2:35 pm

    Stimulus spending never works. FDR tried in the 30’s and all it did was prolong the Great Depression. Even his Secretary of the Treasury admitted that.

    In order to balance the budget we need spending cuts including the military, Social Security,Medicare,Medicaid and other entitlement programs such as welfare, food stamps etc.

    The government can’t continue to borrow more money than it takes in.

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