Starbucks to expand idiotic “Come Together” fiscal cliff coffee cup campaign

It’s a curious campaign, considering Starbucks’ embarrassing tax issues in the UK. Perhaps this is why Starbucks is promoting a completely stupid “Come Together” campaign in the US, where the coffeeshop’s baristas are writing the message “Come Together” on people’s coffee cups before serving them to customers at Starbucks, supposedly in order to promote a theoretical middle ground in the “fiscal cliff” debate.

It’s rather weird that Starbucks is invoking the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre to somehow justify this GOP-aligned “debt” campaign.

There are moments in our lives when we have an opportunity to ignite tremendous positive change—not just in the lives of the customers and communities we serve every day, but in our country. This was evident in the outpouring of support in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary that claimed 26 innocent lives, including one of our partners (employees), Lauren Rousseau.

This spirit of connectedness and humanity is powerful; so powerful that if we unleash it, we can make a difference on a much grander scale.

Heckuva pivot there, Starbucks.

There’s another creepy side to this campaign.  Starbucks is doing the campaign on behalf of a Wall Street -backed organization financed by “fix the debt” Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson (more on that from Krugman).  So this isn’t some indie group.  It’s the same old Wall Street crowd that helped get us into this mess in the first place.  (Funny how they refused to cut their bonuses but we’re supposed to cut our Medicare and Social Security.)

Encouraging both parties to “come together” on some mythical middle ground is beyond false. The pendulum has been pushed so far to the right that companies like Starbucks miss the reality that a middle ground is still a far-right wing position. Somehow I must have missed Starbucks’ coffee cups criticizing the wasteful spending involved with invading two countries, one based on a lie, and multiple tax cuts that we knew would break the bank. Anyone else recall seeing that?

Starbucks come togetherOr, what about Starbucks promoting an end to the reckless tax cuts that are a large part of the financial issues in the US? Anyone recall that either? I certainly don’t, but then again I’ve never been a fan of paying $3+ for bitter coffee.

And another thing.  John was just talking to me about another “fiscal cliff” fact that a lot of people don’t realize.  The easiest “solution” to the fiscal cliff is Congress simply passing legislation telling the fiscal cliff to bugger off.  The only reason we have an impending “fiscal cliff” is because Congress passed legislation mandating a fiscal cliff.  All Congress need do is repeal the legislation, or, wimpier but just as effective, amend the legislation and change the date of the fiscal cliff to whenever they want in the future.

The fiscal cliff and its impending deadline are artifice.  Just as phony as Starbucks’ goofy cumbaya coffee cups.

Companies like Starbucks need to either shut up about politics, or educate themselves about what’s really going on and get fully involved in the right way.  But this pathetic excuse for meaningful discussion is worse than a waste of time.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • pamsfriend

    Not to mention if someone dies between 1/1/13 and whatever day they pass the law, what’s the estate tax? Every day does count.

  • DonS

    “Cum together” would be most droll.

    But apparently this Starbucks guy fancies himself serious.

  • Naja pallida

    This Congress doesn’t seem to really care much about legislative nor legal precedent… and something tells me the next one won’t either… but the provisions for preventing retroactive tax law are more intended to prevent one from being taxed additionally after the fact. I doubt there would be much objection to a retroactive tax cut… and taxes specifically are treated differently than other forms of legislation for the purpose of ex post facto law. Worst comes to worst, they’d probably implement some kind of streamlined process for people to get the money back when they file their next tax return… or maybe even just cut people a check and bill it as some kind of micro-stimulus. :)

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I’m not sure you can do that though — retroactive laws are a big no-no in our legal system so they can’t really decide on the 10th what someone’s tax rate would be for income earned on the 5th, I think.

  • benb

    Peggy Noonan from NYT was on Face the Nation this morning bemoaning that Obama always brings the country to the edge of the cliff ’cause he never deals. Huh? My first reaction was that I was watching Fox News by mistake. My second was…why is the NYT wasting their money on Noonan when they can get the same kind of profoundly stupid thinking from a celebrity like Sarah Palin. Probably cost more but everyone likes to laugh a Palin—and that would be really good for circulation.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/peggy-noonan-with-this-president-its-always-cliffs-never-deals/

  • Naja pallida

    Seems most likely any provision to change the tax rates would retroactively include a few extra days, just so they don’t have to overly complicate things. That’s assuming it happens relatively quickly. If the “debate” goes on for any length of time, it’s going to just make things worse all around.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Does anyone know what would happen if a deal wasn’t reached until, say, January 10th? Would tax rates “go up” on January 1, then back down on January 10, so next April we’d be figuring out 10 days of 2012 income according to a different rate table than the rest of the year?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    But she’s probably a ninja cat, so she can handle it.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Laughing. I forgot to mention that Bodhi does cat impersonations. :)

  • cole3244

    the ads that use first responders to sell corporate products just make me stay away from those brands, using tragedies or patriotism to sell things is way out of bounds at least to me.

  • S1AMER

    Yeah, you’re causing her a world of grief in days to come. You’re a bad, bad person.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I guess my cat isn’t exactly a brain trust, but we call her puppy cat. She is extremely loving and follows me around. I guess I shouldn’t be telling this, because she could be tossed out of the cat union.

  • Drew2u

    Here’s one similar take to your comment: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022078647

    But someone else pointed out, maybe on Last Word this past week, that this campaign ultimately denies responsibility and culpability to the GOP of not wanting to do anything. It deligitimizes the actual efforts the Democratic side has done to reach out while giving the GOP a free pass by repeating the “both sides do it” canard.

    Too bad that kind of commentary is only found where nobody sees.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    There isn’t a cat alive that is smarter than our Bodhi Dog, or nicer for that matter. Bodhi doesn’t drink Starbucks coffee.

  • Naja pallida

    Remember what Harry Truman called the “Do Nothing Congress”? This Congress has done 2% of what that Congress managed to accomplish. 98% LESS than nothing. And even that was done poorly, with absolutely no regard for what the American people want or need.

    John Boehner is simply terrible at his job. Harry Reid is too weak willed to stand up to the Republicans. Obama is too busy trying to be a Republican, when he should be out there every single day mocking Congress for not getting anything done. He should have been having daily press conferences since the day he won re-election, just to point out that Congress still is too busy playing switchfinger to do the job they were elected to do.

  • S1AMER

    Well, dogs are smarter than most congress-critters (and cats are smarter than dogs, but that’s another matter).

  • S1AMER

    I hatethis touchy-feelie, let’s all be buddies crap. It’s not just naive, it’s ultimately supportive of GOP intransigence and, therefore, destructive for the entire country.

    Also, a company smart enough to make itself ubiquitous throughout the land ought to be able to come up with something more intelligent than this. I mean, seriously …

  • dant

    To my tastebuds, starbucks coffee tastes very sour, not bitter.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    My dog Sasha is doing more than Congress :) But it still bothers me that we’re all playing into this artifice that the fiscal cliff is real. It’s not. It’s a law passed by congress. It can be amended in a snap.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000303841461 Joseph Arechavala

    They’re still doing more than Congress…

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