If you have "no place to go," come here!

Can it be true that Obama outsourced the staffing for his Social Security Gutting Commission to Pete Peterson?

On the bus up to Zone 5B, so I can't run this one down, but that was the talk between breaks at the Fiscal Sustainability Teach-In Counter-Conference. Can it possibly be true? That's a little much, even for Obama. Readers? Links?

Have I not been cynical enough again?

No votes yet


Submitted by jawbone on

Written by James Ridgeway, this post looks at the players and the unusual relationship between Peterson and Obama et al.

When Obama’s new deficit commission gets going, it intends to be “partnering“–in the words of executive director Bruce Reed –with outside groups. Among them will be the foundation run by Wall Street billionaire Peter G. Peterson, who on Wednesday will upstage the president with his own fiscal summit in Washington. Obama insists he is keeping an open mind about how to deal with the deficit and national debt–but as I’ve written before, he’s already stacked his own commission with people who lean heavily toward one particular solution: cutting entitlements. And now he is working hand-in-glove with a wealthy private organization whose central purpose is to cut Social Security and Medicare. Talk about foregone conclusions.

Here's the money quote:

In June, according to the Washington Post, Obama’s deficit commission will be participating in a 20-city electronic town hall meeting, put together by an organization called America Speaks. It is financed by Peterson, along with the MacArthur Foundation and Kellogg Foundation. This is a truly unusual event because it marks the first time a presidential commission’s activities are financed by a private group that has long been lobbying the government on the very subjects the commission is supposed to “study.”

The heavy hitters appear to be mostly Clinton administration people.... The following graf is definitely opinion. Dog help us if it's accurate.

All-in-all, it seems to be dominated by Clinton-era officials, who oversaw much of the Wall Street deregulation that nearly drove the country broke. These are the people who will now try to make up the losses on the backs of the poor and the old by rewriting the hard-won entitlement programs created during the New Deal and the War on Poverty.

And here I thought Bill Clinton just made a mea culpa about his role in letting the Big Banksters get out of hand!

Also in Mother Jones.

selise's picture
Submitted by selise on

The heavy hitters appear to be mostly Clinton administration people

right. because clinton's claim of economic competency rests in large measure on gov surpluses.

what would the public think about those surpluses if they looked at the correlation between gov surpluses and subsequent depressions? what would they think about clinton's or democrats' ability in general to manage the economy?

Submitted by jawbone on


Campaign for America's Future Roger Hickey expressed deep concern that Pete Peterson deficit hysteria propaganda is taking hold on the commission, noting that a new key staff member was hired from a Peterson-funded organization, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Hickey also pointed out while Social Security and Medicare were repeatedly flogged, there was little mention of the Bush-era tax cuts that actually vaporized the surplus.

But, hey! Peterson has a poll!!

Hard To Take New Peterson Foundation Deficit Reduction Survey Seriously

28 Apr 2010 -- Posted by Stan Collender

?In advance of the "fiscal summit" it's holding today, The Peter G. Peterson Foundation yesterday released a survey that it says shows “broad agreement” for a serious deficit reduction effort.

Except that it doesn't.

The survey is of 58 of the "most senior economic officials from the last eight administrations and Congressional leaders from the past 30 years." Frankly, I'm not sure how seriously anyone should take the opinion this group about the current need to reduce the deficit and national debt given that all of them were responsible in some way for adding to or not dealing with it when they were in office and actually had an opportunity to do something about it.

Suggestion: Keep calling it the Peterson/Obama Debt Commission. Or Peterson/Obama Eat Cat Food Commission. Just keep placing Peterson as close as possible to Obama, like a duck on a june bug.

Submitted by jawbone on


Even before its first official meeting, the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (a.k.a. the White House Deficit Commission), is suffering from an affliction common to Washington entities: abundant skepticism.

Conservatives call the effort to make deficit reduction recommendations a dog-and-pony show. Progressives fret about the free-market ideologues on the panel. Few imagine that anything produced will carry much weight -- after all, the final report is not legally binding.

Faced with a trust deficit before their initial meeting on Tuesday, committee members recently began what can best be described as a self-defense campaign. The two chairs -- former Sen Alan Simpson (R-Wyo) and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles -- took to Fox News for a joint appearance this Sunday. And on Monday, one of the top progressive figures on the panel, departing SEIU president Andy Stern, derided the "the Washington assassins of change" who are discrediting the panel.

"If this group of people reaches a conclusion on almost anything, it will mean something," Stern said, in an interview with the Huffington Post. "Forgetting me, these are not insignificant people. I would say that the most interesting thing is that publicly everyone has low expectations... Everybody's scared that we have meetings and everybody can't see what's going on because somebody may do something wrong. I would say my conversations with the people on the commission, everybody appreciates that this is really a bad problem."

WTF? WTH? "Washington assassins of change"??? So what are we? Cyber Assassins of Change?

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

You think that comment was not made to intentionally stoke fears of assassination? Its fucking deplorable.

Submitted by jawbone on

Thanx for pointing this out.

But, crikey...Andy Stern looking for a cabinet appointment? Or just a job in the administration?

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

Alex Lawson brought that news to the Teach-In, after his stint as a billionaire Demonstrator outside of the venue of the PGPF conference.

I haven't seen it in print yet.