The fecklessness of Washington's professional budget alarmists
Obama successfully beat back the hostage takers. He should do the same to the deficit scolds.
Cash prizes, a date with Bill Clinton: Pete Peterson recruits collegiate centrists
Pete Peterson's long game to reduce the national debt involves wooing college kids with cash prizes and a visit to Bill Clinton's conference.
The anti-deficit lobby is a powerful force in American political life.
Here's the beginning of NPR's report on the Peterson-funded fiscal summit yesterday: American Political heavyweights gathered in Washington today. They met to tackle the biggest problem facing the nation: the massive public debt. The financier Pete Peterson, in a genuine act of public spiritedness, has spent huge sums of his fortune to persuade elites and the public that the public debt is the biggest crisis facing the public. This is, of course, a matter of opinion.
Naftali Bendavid reports that a bipartisan debt reduction plan is picking up steam in the Senate.
One of the oddities of Washington establishment thought is that the Pete Peterson ideology -- the belief that deficits are the most serious problem in America -- is so pervasive that those who share it don't realize it's an ideological belief at all. As a result, efforts to advance the cause of deficit reduction are frequently portrayed not as an ideological decision but as a simple good.
Just before the new year, The Washington Post published the first piece to come out of its partnership with the “new independent digital news publication” The Fiscal Times (TFT). By 7 a.m. that morning, Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, argued that in publishing the piece The Washington Post had ceased to exist as “a serious newspaper,” and subsequently over a dozen wonks and academics called for the Post to end its partnership with the “propaganda arm for ideologues.” Why all the hubbub?