Just write the checks to Wall Street

When President Obama meets with Congressional leaders today, one of the issues on the agenda will be the Bush-era tax cuts scheduled to end for everybody December 31st.

On the eve of this important meeting, a report exposes why the U.S. Chamber has been waging an all out campaign to make sure the tax cuts for the top two tax brackets do not expire. It is fighting to protect its “richest CEO’s wallets”, according to U.S. Chamber Watch and Citizens for Tax Justice.

While the U.S. Chamber and the high-end tax cuts supporters claim they only want to protect small business owners (see my post on this lie), here are the real beneficiaries of their advocacy:

— Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of News Corporation, whose donation of $1 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce led to well-publicized shareholder outrage, would pocket more than $1.3 million.

— Don Blankenship, a former U.S. Chamber Board member and the CEO of Massey Energy, whose company owned the mine in which twenty-nine miners died in April 2010’s mining disaster, the worst in forty years, would take home more than $700,000.

— David Cote, the CEO of Honeywell and a member of the National Fiscal Commission, who keynoted an address to the National Chamber Foundation expressing concern about the national debt over the next ten years, would get a tax cut of over $1.2 million.

— CEOs of big banks on Wall Street who helped collapse the economy and then used the U.S. Chamber to fight stronger financial regulations stand to reap between $700,000 and $1.6 million each.

— The CEOs of the health insurance industry, whose industry saw an overall increase in profits this year even while they slashed benefits and instituted breathtaking premium increases, are looking to personally benefit from another hit on the middle class by taking in between $335,000 and $875,000.

— U.S. Chamber president and CEO, Thomas Donohue, who has shifted the Chamber’s mission from serving mainstream business to serving the interests of the CEOs whose corporations write the biggest checks, will personally gain over $200,000.

Every one of these CEO’s, I bet, is counted as a small business owner by the IRS because they own some rental property or some other passive investment. Someone needs to ask Rupert Murdoch or Tom Donohue how many new jobs they personally are going to create with their deficit-spending windfall. Or should the government just write their tax-cut checks to Wall Street since that is more likely where they’ll put their money.

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