Lobbyists warn ‘super committee’: Cuts and tax increases will hurt
November 6th, 2011
12:57 PM ET
3 years ago

Lobbyists warn ‘super committee’: Cuts and tax increases will hurt

Washington (CNN) – Lobbyists for America’s senior citizens, oil companies and airlines had a message Sunday for the special joint congressional committee trying to forge a comprehensive deficit reduction plan: tread carefully.

In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” lobbyists for the AARP, American Petroleum Institute and Air Transport Association cautioned that possible options including tax increases and spending cuts could harm their constituencies.

“Seniors, of course, are always willing to sacrifice for the country,” said David Certner of AARP, the nation’s main advocacy group for senior citizens.

However, he warned, “people outside Washington think very differently about protecting their benefits than people inside Washington,” especially involving programs such as Medicare and Social Security that are built on contributions from citizens over a lifetime.

Such entitlement programs need protection because “they do provide financial security,” Certner argued.

Sean Kennedy of the Air Transport Association warned against raising taxes on “an industry that is the third largest contributor” to economic output.

“The airline industry is one that has shed one-third of its workforce,” Kennedy noted, adding that “proposals circulating would impose another $36 billion in taxes.”

In defense of the possibility of increased airfares, Kennedy claimed that “airline prices have been much lower than inflation over the past 10 years” and argued that “air travel is still a relative bargain.”

Marty Durbin with the American Petroleum Institute acknowledged negative perceptions of the oil industry exist but said that “the facts aren’t out there.”

“There are no loopholes,” Durbin stated of calls to end subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies. “These are tax deductions that all industries are able to use.”

He compared oil companies to tech powerhouse Apple, saying the computer company “posts similar profits, yet their tax rate is lower,” with no objection from the public.

Each of the men made their own recommendations for the so-called “super committee” responsible for recommending $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by November 23, with the penalty of deep spending cuts across the board - from defense to education budgets - if they fail to reach an agreement.

“Let’s talk the Medicare program and health care in general,” Certner said. He advised creating savings in the cost of health care by attacking “high drug costs” and improving coordination among health care providers who care for senior citizens.

Kennedy pledged that airlines are “going to live with whatever the ‘super committee’ gives us,” but also warned of an impact on “investments in aircraft, jobs, and in service.” Durbin, meanwhile, said oil companies “are willing to put all the tax provisions on the table,” but advised that “we are creating jobs.”

“Let’s not put anything in the way of doing that,” he said.

Also see:

'Devastating' cuts if super committee fails

Debt committee pressure points

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. bipar

    get the lobbyists out of washington they are the biggest problem in politics

    November 6, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Nadeem

    Seniors are willing to sacrifice, the middle class is willing to sacrifice, the GOP and their millionaire and billionaire friends whose income have risen while the rest of the country has seen a decline. "Do not make the job creators (sic) sacrifice one little bit!"

    November 6, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. bipar

    lobbyists don't need to be with the super committee, the super committee is confused as is.
    need to put the super committee in a locked room and don't let them out until they make a decision and on wooden benches

    November 6, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. Keith in Austin

    Don't listen to Lobbyists regarding the economy!!! They are the root of evil in Washington! By the way, Obama is on record for taking more money from Wall St. Lobbyists than any President in American History! Where are all the OWS Protesters around Bozo's never-ending campaign speeches???

    November 6, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Simple there is no “SACRIFICE” sad

    November 6, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. FedUp

    Give me a break! Tax increases will not hurt anyone. Just ask Obama. The economy is fine and he is making plenty of jobs (while he is running around the world and personally killing terrorists).

    November 6, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. claire

    These guys are are the perfect example of "White Collar Criminals" Gop/Tea, Norquist,are the "Paid-Off Puppets of American White Collar Crime" The old "Mafia figures and organized crime, Dwarf , Compared to Koch,Banks,Gop, Coulter,Limbaug,Beck,"Must I go On????? Simply Put, Gop is bought and sold! Dah!!!

    November 6, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. MTATL67

    This coming from two industries that have made obscene profits. They raised prices to the point we can't or won't spend our money on other goods. I would say that is a major factor for the state of our economy. Their advise carries very little weight since they helped to create this recession.

    November 6, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Debbie

    Get lobbies and money out of the structure of our government.

    November 6, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. AK_steve

    The suits these guys are wearing are probably worth the average Americans monthly pay check.
    Lobbyist speak for special interest. Not the American people.

    There is nothing they say that relates to me or the rest of the 99%.

    November 6, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Busted

    And this is why Bush was such a horrendous president. We can't get out of the spending and lack of revenue mess he created. This is why we are going bankrupt.

    November 6, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    The best way to protect Medicare is to restructure it. With the nation having a debt closing in on 100% of our GDP, it is long past time to make this important program as efficient as it can be so that it can survive to serve future generations. Paul Ryan has created a plan that saves Medicare without compromising the quality of care. The Democrats have not made any counterproposals. It's much easier to sit back and complain. We need leaders and people who can manage running our government, not people to complain and be divisive.

    November 6, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. johnborg

    Well, of course they world. Big business doesn't want to lose a little bit of money. We've cut their taxes so many times hoping that they would hire more people. Yet, this isn't the nature of capitalism, people. The nature of is it to make the post profit for the smallest costs. Hiring more people isn't part of the formula is advanced technocratic service-oriented capitalism.

    November 6, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. zb

    No matter who you cut benefits to (ie tax cuts, social security or medicare payments) will have some negative economic impact and will ultimately be passed on to the public. However, and notwithstanding the totally unproven and largely false republican/tparty mantra that cutting taxes causes investment and creates jobs. Tto the contrary, the real driver is the fair market cost of competing goods and services together with the available market. Taxes are a cost of business just like labor and materials.

    If well spent, for example on providing and educated work force, efficient transportation system, and secure climate, it is critical to doing business. Furthermore, a stable population that feels secure in their well being as comes from Social Security and assured affordable healthcare boosts consumer confidence in a way that increases other spending. Companies that fail to invest in the future are doomed to failure and in similar fashion the Republican/Tparty formula of cut taxes, reduce government by cutting spending on critical needs while undermining public sense of security through cuts in SS and healthcare is a proven roadmap to failure. It is the same formula that caused the Great depression; the same policies of Bush/Republicans that caused the great Recession, and is now the same policies of the current Republican/Tparty Candidates.

    Clearly, some people never learn.

    November 6, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. Larry L

    I'd like to believe we could find 12 honorable people within the US Congress willing to do what's right for our country without checking to see who funded their campaign. I'd like to believe that – but I don't. These weasels lack the character and courage required for this job.

    November 6, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. steve a,nb, tx

    who is running this show anyway? must be lobbyist......why even have a congress.....just give it to the lobbyist and they will do what they are paid to do=fullfill the republican dream.

    November 6, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Time will do it

    Time will take care of the many people entering into retirement. The working population should be the only beneficiaries of SS retirements, but wait ..... all those on welfare are feeding from the system thanks to voter hungry congressmen. Start to improve SS retirements by taking that money from welfare and RETURNING it back to working class American Taxpayers. You would be surprised how the lack of handouts would get people to take jobs they won't consider otherwise. Also, take a look at the number of "low income" people who file little to no income only to find out they are making thousands each under the counter and never even reporting it. Straighten that out and watch the economy look better immediately.

    November 6, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |