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Macy’s CEO to American People: Drop Dead

As a Thanksgiving treat, Terry Lundgren wants to gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
 
 
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Macy’s is a powerful symbol of Thanksgiving, with its festive parade and freakishly large floats. But Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren is part of a group of greedy, unpatriotic CEOs who would like to seize this moment of American hardship and tear the rug out from under hard-working families. Moms, dads, grandparents, kids—he’d like to take a little something from each of you. Especially if you're poor: he’d really like to get into your purses.

Lundgren and a coalition of other big-time CEOs are lobbying Congress to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits so that they can enjoy tax breaks. Obviously, Lundgren did not take Econ 101, which would have demonstrated to him that reaching into the pockets of the people will leave them without enough dollars to buy your products. It’s very simple, Mr. Lundgren. Your job and your stores are supported by the spending power of the American consumer. Robbing that consumer by hacking away at hard-earned retirements and healthcare is not going to help your bottom line.

Jobs, not austerity, is the path to a healthier economy. Just ask Europe.

Lundgren and his band of reverse Robin Hoods, part of a campaign called Fix the Debt founded by "catfood commissioners" Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, have ganged up to influence post-election policy by spreading the myth that our main problem is long-term debt and deficits, rather than high unemployment. They actually like high unemployment, because it keeps their workers in check. They’re out holding town halls, trying to buy or rent members of Congress, and otherwise throwing their weight around.

Such is the spirit of giving in the world of big business. Many Americans are outraged and cutting up their Macy’s cards and signing petitions in protest. You can actuallly choose among petitions. There's the Macy's v. Medicare petition, or if you prefer, there's also a petition urging Macy's to end its partnership with the race-baiting Donald Trump. The "Dump Trump" petition has already collected over 650,000 signatures, but Lundgren stands by the loopy real estate mogul.

The Fix the Debt coalition, unsurprisingly, features a heaping helping of fatcat financiers:

  • Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman & CEO, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  • James Gorman, Chairman, President & CEO, Morgan Stanley
  • Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman & CEO, General Electric Company
  • Brian T. Moynihan, President & CEO, Bank of America Corporation
  • Josh Bekenstein, Managing Director, Bain Capital

There's also a smorgasboard of guys who want your holiday dollars:

  • Richard Anderson, CEO, Delta Air Lines, Inc.
  • David Barger, President & CEO, JetBlue Airways Corp.
  • D. Scott Davis, Chairman & CEO, United Parcel Service, Inc
  • Arne M. Sorenson, President & CEO, Marriott International, Inc.
  • Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

For a complete list of the Ebeneezer Scrooge brigade, peruse the coalition's Web site.

Lynn Parramore is Contributing Editor at AlterNet. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of "Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture." She received her Ph.D. in English and cultural theory from NYU. Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore.