Public Campaign, along with National People's Action, released a new report today: "Wall Street and the Supercommittee: The $41 Million Question." The report details the close ties from Wall Street and other financial industry interests to the supercommittee. By examining the campaign giving, intense lobbying, and revolving door back and forth by the financial sector, the report shows that with this amount of pressure the supercommittee will be under, a balanced approach to deficit reduction could be tough to come by.
From the Executive Summary: "The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is charged with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction measures. Whether these measures will reflect a balanced approach and rely on much needed revenue raisers is a subject of intense debate, and intense lobbying. The 12 members of Congress on this so-called “supercommittee” are facing intense, concentrated pressure from lobbyists and wealthy special interests representing major corporations and trade associations who are concerned about being asked to pay their fair share if the supercommittee closes corporate loopholes or fairly taxes top earners."
The very close ties from the industry to the members of the supercommittee is a perfect example of why these members should forgo fundraising during the work of the committee if they want to come with a fair plan. Some members have canceled fundraisers, and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has sworn off raising money for himself. This is a good start, but as we proceed it will be important to note who goes to bat for corporations and special interest carve outs, and who looks out for ordinary Americans who can't afford to bear any more of the burden. Maybe the numbers will tell us all we need to know.
The USA Today has coverage of the release of the report here.