As the Denver Business Journal’s Neil Westergaard reports:
A group that includes some of the biggest names in Colorado business is imploring Congress to cut a bipartisan deal to fix the federal debt and deficit problems, and avoid going off the so-called “fiscal cliff” before Jan. 1.
The Colorado Fiscal Leadership Council of the nationwide Fix The Debt organization, chaired by Denver oilman Peter Dea and Cole Finegan, managing partner at Hogan Lovells in Denver, sent a letter Monday to the Colorado delegation in Congress, and key members of the House and Senate, urging quick resolution of the stalemate in Washington.
In the letter, the group says Congress needs to adopt a bipartisan package that includes reforms to “all areas of the budget, including Medicare, Medicaid, tax reform and increased revenues.”
The Colorado chapter of Fix The Debt includes a hefty and at least nominally bipartisan cross-section of the state’s business elite, from Republican kingpin Phil Anschutz to Rob Katz of Vail Resorts, who has a fairly liberal reputation. But the goals as expressed by Fix The Debt don’t seem very “bipartisan” at all–from the letter in question, sent to every member of the Colorado congressional delegation and signed by the Colorado business leaders comprising Fix The Debt:
In order to develop a fiscal plan that can succeed both financially and politically, it must be bipartisan and reforms to all areas of the budget should be included. The plan should:
- Reform Medicare and Medicaid, improve efficiency in the overall health care system, and limit future cost growth;
- Strengthen Social Security, so that it is solvent and will be there for future beneficiaries; and
- Include comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform that lowers rates, [Pols emphasis] raises revenues and reduces the deficit.
That’s right; the solution from the “bipartisan” Fix The Debt group, and all the Colorado business leaders who signed on including a number of at least nominal Democrats, is nothing more than John Boehner’s vague suggestion to “reform” (meaning cut) Medicare and Social Security, and “tax reform” that lowers tax rates. For context, a new Quinnipiac poll today says 65% of Americans want tax rates increased on income over $250,000 per year–and only 31% oppose.
Is that the side the Democrats who signed this letter are taking? Apparently so.
If Fix The Debt sounds less “bipartisan” after reading what they actually stand for, as Huffington Post reported earlier this week, there’s a good reason:
[Fix The Debt's] bipartisanship is only skin deep, according to campaign finance records and non-profit tax filings reviewed by The Huffington Post, which reveal that Fix The Debt’s biggest backers and partners are Republicans and Republican-allied.
HuffPost previously reported that members of the campaign’s Fiscal Leadership Council currently calling for cuts to Social Security and Medicare have benefited from billions of dollars in war contracts, bailout funds and tax subsidies. But the CEOs haven’t just been taking — they’ve been giving, too, in the form of political donations to many of the lawmakers who keep the spending spigots turned on.
Of the 86 CEOs on the council, all but 10 donated to political candidates in 2012, for a total of more than $3.2 million through Oct. 17. Of that, 79 percent, or $2.5 million, was donated in support of Republicans, while only 21 percent aided Democrats.
CEO contributions to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney outpaced those to President Barack Obama by more than three to one…
In summary, we can’t really explain why anyone to the left of Mitt Romney himself would sign up with Fix The Debt, and both the results of the election last month and public polling clearly point to a solution very different than that recommended by this group. Democrats who have provided bipartisan cover to what appears to be a partisan Republican agenda should be asked to explain what they were thinking: that, or they should be seriously re-evaluating their decision.