Were the Hollywood academy to hand out Oscars for roles in this fiscal cliff drama, the winner of the Best Charlatan award would not be in much doubt. Corporate America, take your bow.
Say this for the Republicans and Democrats: Both sides are fighting over principles. Nothing so generous can be said for the bulk of America’s corporate chieftains, whose agenda lately has been to stick it to everyone else.
As the negotiations have rolled on, a growing collection of CEOs and big-business lobbies have fallen in line with President Obama’s cry to raise income taxes on those making more than $250,000. To listen to these CEOs, this is the ultimate self-sacrifice. “I would pay more in taxes” in a budget deal, explained the noble Honeywell CEO Dave Cote, but it would be worth it to “put the economy on a sounder footing.”
We’ll see how much more Mr. Cote’s personal accountants ultimately allow him to pay. Meanwhile, the virtuous poses appear to be cover for a bigger game.