As Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, puts it in a blog, the joint statement likely reflects more of a fear of shifting political winds rather than some benevolent, introspective change of heart.
“The truth is, the new statement reads like something Dr. Frankenstein might have written when villagers were outside the castle waving pitchforks,” wrote Gardner, adding in parentheses that
“their previous statement, written in 1997, was just a photograph of a suitcase full of cash.”
More importantly, the statement’s contents belie the absence of any desire for concrete action toward ameliorating the disparities in political and economic power created by vast and worsening U.S. income and wealth inequality.
The key, from Gardner’s point of view, is that the CEO lobby never mentions taxes at all, even though they play a major role in widening inequities and must be central to any reversal.
“The 180 corporate leaders signing the revised statement represent a rogue’s gallery of tax avoiders,” he writes. “Twenty-one of the CEO’s signing yesterday’s letter preside, at this moment, over hugely profitable companies that paid not one cent of federal income tax in 2018.” Read more