April 20, 2013

There's definitely a lot of bull around global austerity, but it isn't coming from our side of the fence. You know who really, really loves Reinhart and Rogoff and the BS study they did where they "forgot" certain key pieces of data? You'll never guess!

That's right, our old friend Pete Peterson. PRWatch, with all the gory details:

As the Center for Media and Democracy detailed in the online report, "The Peterson Pyramid," the Blackstone billionaire turned philanthropist has spent half a billion dollars to promote this chorus of calamity. Through the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Peterson has funded practically every think tank and non-profit that works on deficit- and debt-related issues, including his latest astroturf supergroup, "Fix the Debt," which has set a July 4, 2013 deadline for securing an austerity budget.

Reinhart, described glowingly by the New York Times as "the most influential female economist in the world," was a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics founded, chaired, and funded by Peterson. Reinhart is listed as participating in many Peterson Institute events, such as their 2012 fiscal summit along with Paul Ryan, Alan Simpson, and Tim Geithner, and numerous other Peterson lectures and events available on YouTube. She is married to economist and author Vincent Reinhart, who does similar work for the American Enterprise Institute, also funded by the Peterson Foundation.

Who else funds AEI? Oh, I know! David and Charles Koch! They give millions to AEI each year, as does the DeVos family, and the rest of the billionaire cadre.

Kenneth Rogoff is listed on the Advisory Board of the Peterson Institute. The Peterson Institute bankrolledand published a 2011 Rogoff-Reinhart book-length collaboration, "A Decade of Debt," where the authors apparently used the same flawed data to reach many of the same conclusions and warn ominously of a "debt burden" stretching into 2017 that "will weigh heavily on the public policy agenda of numerous advanced economies and global financial markets for some time to come." (Note that not everyone associated with the Institute touts the Peterson party line.)

While all eyes have been fixed on Boston and West, Texas this week, Simpson and Bowles have been skulking around Congress trying to revive their austerity agenda with revised numbers for a 'deal'. Flushed with the realization that their primary foundation has washed away in a tidal wave of flawed scholarship, they're now resorting to saying it's just 'common sense' dictating the need to reduce spending. No deal, boys. Give it up.

Meanwhile, over on the Obamacare aisle, the Club for Growth has parted ways with Eric Cantor about including funding for pre-existing condition insurance pools in the budget because we just can't afford it, they say. Cantor is pimping it because he thinks it's an 'alternative' that could justify getting a repeal of Obamacare before the effective date in favor of these high-risk pools. Cantor and the Club for Growth can suck their shoes for all I care. Just leave Obamacare alone, boys.

The austerians are beginning to realize they've lost their footing in this debate. Time to step up and keep reinforcing the truth -- austerity harms the economy. It is no help at all to anyone other than possibly billionaires who want to have it all as the serfs grovel for their crumbs.

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