The Nation exposes Pete Peterson’s Fix The Debt fraud

 

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

I posted about this the other day, Bowles-Simpson 2.0 – The 'very serious people' of the Beltway media perpetrate a fraud on the American people. Now the editors of The Nation expose Pete Peterson's Fix The Debt fraud in Stacking the Deck: The Phony 'Fix the Debt' Campaign:

As Paul Krugman reminds us, “Inside the Beltway Simpson and Bowles have
become sacred figures. But the people doing that elevation are the same
people who told us that Paul Ryan was the answer to our fiscal prayers.”

Who does that elevating? Meet the Campaign to Fix the Debt, the
billionaire-funded project that uses Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles as
figureheads for a fearmongering campaign to convince Americans that the
deficits the United States has run throughout its history have suddenly
metastasized into “a cancer that will destroy this country from within.”
It is the latest incarnation of Wall Street mogul Pete Peterson’s long
campaign to get Congress and the White House to cut Social Security,
Medicare and Medicaid while providing tax breaks for corporations and
the wealthy
.

Peterson has poured an estimated half-billion dollars into schemes so
unpopular, so economically unsound and so obviously self-serving that
even conservative politicians run from them, as the implosion of the
Simpson-Bowles commission illustrates. So Peterson has repurposed his
project into what Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) Global Economy
Project director Sarah Anderson calls “a Trojan horse” for “filthy rich
tax-dodging hypocrites.”
With a stable of CEOs, Peterson timed the
launch of this new $60 million campaign to exploit the wrangling over
the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling and the sequester. Fix the Debt has
signed up prominent Democrats and Republicans as spokespeople (many of
whom have undisclosed financial ties to firms that lobby on
deficit-related issues) and launched “astroturf” campaigns to create the
fantasy that young people and seniors are concerned enough about debts
and deficits to support Peterson’s austerity agenda.

Quite a few of those CEOs head firms that pay a negative tax rate,
like Honeywell, GE, Boeing and Verizon. And as the Public Accountability
Initiative notes, many lobby to preserve costly tax breaks for the
wealthy (including the “carried interest” tax loophole that made
Peterson a rich man) and to prevent a tax on Wall Street speculation.
Fix the Debt–tied firms are even pushing for a “territorial tax system”
that will increase the debt by $1 trillion over ten years and encourage
the offshoring of American jobs. Why would supposed debt slayers favor
this boondoggle? Because, IPS calculates, at least sixty-three Fix the
Debt firms would divvy up a $134 billion windfall.

As Fix the Debt ramps up its campaign and seeks any opening in this
period of fiscal fighting, progressives must fight back. That’s why The Nation
and the Center for Media and Democracy—which collaborated on the
award-winning ALEC Exposed 
project—are focusing on Peterson and his
austerity project with this series of articles. Their publication
coincides with the launch of an indispensable new resource on CMD’s
SourceWatch.org.
The goal: to expose Fix the Debt, its architects and its bankrupt
economics before this cynical campaign “fixes” American fiscal policy,
making the 99 percent pay to make the wealthiest 1 percent a whole lot
wealthier
.

John Nichols: “The Austerity Agenda: An Electoral Loser

Lisa Graves: “Pete Peterson’s Long History of Deficit Scaremongering

Mary Bottari: “Pete Peterson’s Puppet Populists

Dean Baker: “Fix the Debt’s Fuzzy Math

John Nichols discusses the astroturf campaign of Fix The Debt.

UPDATE: The Center for Media and Democracy has launched a new wiki resource on the
funding, leaders, partner groups and lobbyists of the Campaign to Fix
the Debt, at PetersonPyramid.org.

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