Liberal group calls out CEOs looking for debt deal

That criticism dovetails with the response that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and other prominent liberals unleashed on Fix the Debt on Thursday, after more than 80 chief executives called on Washington to get moving on a deficit deal. Sanders and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), among others, have said that broad deficit deals modeled after President Obama's fiscal commission ask too much from the lower- and middle-class, and not enough of the wealthiest.

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Erskine Bowles, a former top aide to former President Clinton, and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) founded the Fix the Debt campaign, after chairing the fiscal commission. The report created by that commission, commonly known as Bowles-Simpson, proposed savings in entitlement cuts and a tax overhaul that increased immediate revenues for the Treasury. 

Officials on both sides of the aisle have praised the framework of Bowles-Simpson, and Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) famously came close to a grand deficit bargain last year. But with a slew of tax increases and spending cuts looming around the end of the year, it remains to be seen whether policymakers will be able to hash out the outline of a broad deal in the upcoming post-election session of Congress. 

On Thursday, the chief executives signed on to principles crafted by Fix the Debt, which included addressing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and revamping the tax code. 

But some analysts have also said the chief executives basically hedged, by being hazy on such issues as how a tax reform that lowers rates and eliminates tax breaks would raise revenue.

Americans for Tax Fairness also noted Friday that six of the companies whose chief executives signed on also backed a corporate tax holiday that would have allowed multinational corporations to bring profits back to the U.S. at a reduced tax rate.

Corporations have largely tried to push back on the idea that their tax rate is well below the current top corporate rate of 35 percent.



Correction: This post originally named Americans for Tax Fairness as Americans for Tax Reform.