Political Animal


December 19, 2012 12:04 PM “Fix the Debt” - Defense Contractor Ties Exposed

By Samuel Knight

Nothing exposes GOP flailing about debt for the fraud that it is like defense budget scrutiny. When genuine deficit hawks point out how bloated and porky the Pentagon has become, Republican Keynesians come out of the woodwork in droves.

So it comes as no surprise that a leading balance-the-budget corporate lobby has been found to have extensive ties to defense contractors.

According to The Public Accountability Initiative, the group Fix The Debt - which advocates for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security cuts while pushing corporate tax reform - has 38 leaders with “ties to 43 companies with defense contracts totaling $42.3 billion in 2012.”

Boeing’s CEO W. James McNerney is among those on the group’s CEO Council, and Northrop Grumman board member Vic Fazio is on Fix the Debt’s steering committee. Other Fix the Debt linked companies with over $1 billion in defense contracts in 2012 include GE, Textron, Honeywell, and World Fuel Services.

To read the full report, which includes details about Fix the Debt’s Wall Street ties and how it actually had the gall to blast defense cuts, click here.

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.


  • Mimikatz on December 19, 2012 12:28 PM:

    Ed Rendell, who regularly appears on MSNBC's chat shows, is a paid shill for Fix the Debt. These are just more of the haves who want more at the expense of everyone else. Reuters had a story yesterday about how the bloated defense budget has enriched defense contractors and propelled them into the top 1%.

    The GOP and the whole debt debate is just more GOP efforts to cut from the 95% to fened the top 5% and it sucks.

  • c u n d gulag on December 19, 2012 12:48 PM:

    Yes, we must cut earned benefits!

    The money for the contractors is important, because our military needs it, and all of the toys they can get, if they're to protect our nation of poorly fed and educated children, and poor, and soon to be even poorer, middle class and seniors.

    These contractors and the military have suffered enough, when, instead of looking to give them more, the President and the Democrats had the audacity, and showed the poor judgement, to spend time and money trying to give some form of health care to the people.

    THAT money would have been so much better spent on the contractors and new toy... WEAPON'S for the military!

    Who cares about your meals, Grandma, or that Grandpa can't afford his blood pressure medecine, when we are all threatened daily by such Super-powers as the Naz... Japa... USS... Russ... Chin... TERRORISTS armed with boxcutters, and BVD bombs!!!

    We could cut back the military budget by a fixed percentage every 5 years, with no appreciable difference in the quality of our defense.

    Too bad, Ike, instead of just warning us about the Military Industrial Complex on your way out of the White House, you didn't do anything about it while you were IN the White House.

  • paul on December 19, 2012 1:32 PM:

    " the group Fix The Debt - which advocates for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security cuts while pushing corporate tax cuts and the expansion of accounting loopholes"

    There, I fixed it for you.

  • boatboy_srq on December 19, 2012 1:32 PM:

    It never ceases to amuse/amaze me that the same people who are convinced that we need to spend umpteen billions on a new weapons system (CVN? F-35? V-22?) are the same ones who are equally convinced that we can't spend mere millions for public services.

    I don't fault the contractors: they're businesses, and business exists to make a profit and have every right to squawk when their profits are threatened.

    But for FSM's sake don't complain about the budget deficit when you're the largest part. Boeing, Northrup, Honeywell, GE et al have no business complaining about how much the US is spending when they're getting the lion's share of those expenditures.

    And it would be nice to see the GOTea get out of MilInd's pocket as well. Not that that will happen anytime soon, of course.

  • Rick B on December 19, 2012 3:35 PM:

    It has been obvious since the 1960's that America has long made a tradeoff between spending money on the military and providing adequate health care and education funding for the mass population.

    In my naïveté I'll admit that it never occurred to me that the tradeoff was not just the results of the budget process being squeezed and military getting priority but instead was the explicit intention of the players to enrich themselves.

    The problem with Social Security, Medicare, and the other health care initiatives is that they are too efficient! They do not create pots of uncontrolled funds that can be exploited by contractors because they generally do not use contractors to operate the core management functions. No one gets rich exploiting the salary of a civil service job.

    So the predators all shift into government contracting for the military, hire retired military to operate the lobbying function, and live high on the hog as defense contractors.

    But then the competition for the military funds gets competitive, so they really, really need to shift federal funds from the (unexploitatible) health care and social security programs and try to get those funds cut and given to the military contracting vultures. The vultures quit waiting for the prey to become naturally available (the metaphor is quit waiting for the prey to die naturally) and started trying to kill things.

    I admit that I never saw that coming, even as I read the stories of CIA contractors exploiting corrupt Congressmen and CIA secrecy to get overpriced contracts like bottled water for the CIA paramilitary.

    We can tell that the federal government is politically half-dead by looking at the massive flock of expensively dressed vultures that reside on K-Street and which have been hand-fed by their keepers in the Republican Party like Tom DeLay.

  • Daddy Love on December 19, 2012 10:25 PM:

    Gosh, if only we could make the connection!!!!

  • Daddy Love on December 19, 2012 10:33 PM:

    Speaking of SS as 'earned benefits" is wrong. They are not earned. Present-day contributors pay for present-day recipients, which is why any plan to reduce obligations mean reductions in receipts on he part of TODAYs recipients.

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  • iyoumeweus on March 23, 2013 3:46 PM:

    One way to eliminate the debt would be to have all the large American corporation who own foreign assets or have there wealth in oversea loophold bank accounts pay for the military assistance and protection they receive. Here are some more:
    Enact a transaction tax on all trades: stock, bonds, futures, options, derivates, CDO’s, etc.
    Enact a special tax on all nanosecond trades (above) where a fast trader can ‘see’ your trade buy it and resell it unbeknownst to you. For the privilege of spying upon you a special tax should be paid.
    Eliminate the special “carried interest” tax on hedge fund and equity managers. Tax these earning as income.
    Eliminate all ‘off-shore’ special tax loopholes.
    These are all taxes which affect Wall Street and the privilege class which ripped us off, destroyed our dreams, our futures, our pensions and the nation’s economy. If they are too big to prosecute, then we must demand our elected representatives remove their special tax status bestrode upon them by us.