The Peter G. Peterson foundation claims to be bipartisan, yet their former CEO is out pimping a book, a new advocacy group and a position. Peter G. Peterson served as Secretary of Commerceunder Richard Nixon. He claims to be very, very, very concerned about our deficit, yet not one word is uttered in this report about Wall Street's contribution to the deficit, the collapse of our economy, or any responsibility on the part of the financial industry to help reduce the deficit they helped create.
Ryan Grim at the Huffington Post has updated that information with some more current relevant facts and data:
According to a review of tax documents from 2007 through 2011, Peterson has personally contributed at least $458 million to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to cast Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and government spending as in a state of crisis, in desperate need of dramatic cuts. Peterson's millions have done next to nothing to change public opinion: In survey after survey, Americans reject the idea of cutting Social Security and Medicare. A recent national tour organized by AmericaSpeaks and largely funded by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation was met by audiences who rebuffed his proposals.
But Peterson has been able to drive a major shift in elite consensus about government spending, with talk of "grand bargains" that would slash entitlements, cut corporate tax rates and end personal tax breaks, such as the mortgage deduction, that benefit the middle class.
Peterson's deficit hawkery drives the narrative away from fairness right into the arms of willing Republicans. So this week, he held a "summit" of Washington elites to pearl-clutch over the deficit and debt in order to bolster their case. We can thank Bill Clinton for contributing to that narrative, too, since he was one of the featured speakers. The entire interview is at the end of this post.
Thanks to Peter Peterson, we have a country full of people who actually believe the national debt is the single biggest issue this country faces, and because he's put a "bipartisan" face on the dialogue, he gives the appearance that Democrats and Republicans alike should abandon Social Security and Medicare because they are, in his opinion, the primary drivers of the deficit. Worse yet, he's pimping those ideas to kids in order to drive a wedge between generations in the hope of succeeding at eroding these fundamental safety nets.