Yesterday, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) was named co-chair of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction. Like the other members selected, Hensarling has close ties to any number of special interest groups in Washington, D.C. Hensarling's number one career donor, for instance, are the employees and PAC of accounting giant KPMG, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. His campaign committee has received $62,250 from company donors.
A few years ago, "KPMG — one of the 'Big Four' that dominate global accounting work — admitted it helped wealthy individuals in the US evade tax on billions of dollars of income between 1996 and 2002." The company agreed to pay "$456 million in fines, restitution and penalties as part of an agreement to defer prosecution of the firm, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced today."
In 2011, KPMG was rated second place in the "World's Best Outsourcing Advisors," by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, "the leading professional association for organizations and individuals involved in transforming the world of business through outsourcing, offshoring, and shared services."
The company has spent $790,000 so far in 2011 lobbying Congress on any number of tax issues and the implementation of Dodd-Frank financial reform. In 2010, the company spent $1.7 million on lobbying.
Tax reform will be a major issue for the "super committee"--closing corporate tax loopholes, requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share, etc. It will be interesting to see what role KPMG has in the debate and the influence they have with Rep. Hensarling.