Peter Peterson and his “institute” (which is really a propaganda machine) are ubiquitous once again. They really never went away though. They’ve slithered in and out and around the halls of power, dropping nearly half a billion dollars to own the conversation according to a recent article at Huffington Post. And own it they did and do.
Once again this week, the Peterson Foundation called a “fiscal summit” and the salivating dogs of the press were there on the spot to pay homage. From NPR to newspapers to cable news we heard once again about the purported need to reduce the deficit while doing the worst possible thing for deficit reduction, slashing revenue.
It’s astounding that Peterson thinks we are so stupid that we believe the BIG LIE of trickle down non-economics still. Even more astounding, his institute wants, no, demands, huge added tax cuts for the rich. The fairy tale that tax cuts cuts solve deficits is is laughable. More laughable is that a man who has worked the system, not bettered it, but milked it, thinks he should run the show.
Here are just a few tidbits about the man who would give most of America the shaft:
Peterson, who served as commerce secretary under President Richard Nixon, founded the Blackstone Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, which owes its great profitability largely to a once-obscure tax break that allows investment managers to pay lower taxes than regular, working people. Before that, during the 70s and early 80s, he ran Lehman Brothers, the firm that blew up at the start of the financial crisis in 2008. He chaired the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the George W. Bush administration. At the summit Tuesday, Peterson told the audience that he sat on the committee that picked Geithner to serve as president of that bank.
You know there is a parallel here in the gall of Mitt Romney talking about how he is a job creator. To Peterson, I’d say: “Great job, Brownie–I mean Petie.” How a man could look himself in the mirror while simultaneously trying to ruin millions of people by hammering their health care, their pensions and therefore, indirectly, pretty much everything they hold dear, escapes me.
And yet, the fawning pols suck up to him till their lips are raw. Remember that Virginia’s junior senator has been on the Peter Peterson speaking circuit. Et tu Bill Clinton? Bill was at the Peterson event this week as he was at one last year. If only Dems, especially Virginia’s own, would do the right thing, which is the best thing for the most of America: Revoke the Bush tax cuts, raise the thresh hold for Social Security taxes, etc.
Instead, Peterson wants to take away tax deductions for most Americans while getting more for HIMSELF. It takes real shamelessness to try to pull that.
As the Huffington authors point out, the real problem is the starve-the-beast “collapse of revenue” along with unpaid for (needless) wars.
Though sound fiscal management is vitally important, this is still no time for austerity through drastic deficit reduction, though you will note Barack Obama has in fact reduced the deficit. But that is not good enough for the deficit clowns. Raising the deficit every year (from the surplus he inherited) George W. Bush never accomplished that. But when Barack Obama is president, they try to persuade that he should stiff the 99% to further enrich the 1%.
More importantly, Peter Peterson seems to think that if he spins enough about things such as Social Security we will believe him. We won’t.