Pete Peterson's pet dog, the smarmy David Walker, just appeared on MSNBC (or whatever they're calling it these days) to try to conflate the nation's economic problems with the debt so he can push "bipartisan" solutions like cutting Medicare and Social Security. To whip up the hysteria, he tries to compare our financial situation to that of Greece - even though any comparison is just plain old wingnut craziness. But hey, when you're trying to steal the financial safety net of millions, whatever works!
Steve Kornacki pushes back a little, even though he makes it sound like a matter of opinion and not basic facts:
David, I think I want to challenge the premise of what you are doing here a little bit. I think some people can make a case, pretty strong case, that it is not really a deficit crisis that we have right now. It is a jobs crisis, and it is a demand crisis in the economy. People who don't have money because they don't have jobs or afraid of losing their jobs and they are not spending money.
If you can get the economy moving by getting people spending their money again then it is a windfall of revenue and the picture wouldn't look nearly as bleak. I'm looking at, you know, interest rates on government bonds are kind of ridiculously low right now, which to me says if you have a demand crisis and you have the nonexistent interest rates, isn't this the time for government to spend more money and not to be worrying in the immediate short term about deficit but to be stimulating the economy through spending so you get demand up and you get spending going again and get revenue coming in.
WALKER: We have a short term problem and structural problem and we need to deal with both. The short term we need to get economic growth up. We have to deal with our unemployment and underemployment challenges. Yes, that can justify additional target investment that are effectively implemented, even if they exacerbate the deficit in the short term as long as they are coupled with a clear credible concrete and enforceable plan to deal with the large and growing structural deficit that lie ahead driven by demographics and healthcare costs. By the way, in comparable full and fair accounting, there is only one country in Europe that has higher total government debt to GDP than we do, that's Greece, and we don't want it follow their example.
This is a really easy way to know someone is trying to sell you rotten fish: They compare us to Greece.