Really, really rich people are going to be delighted when Medicare and Social Security are disemboweled by our newly conservative Congress. A few of them are actually holding seminars on why we should go along with this.
“By this point, many people have come across the name “Hugh Jidette,” the fictional presidential candidate created by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to advance its agenda of cutting Social Security and Medicare. In the more realistic version of this story we would have Hugh Janus, the Wall Street lobbyist who is constantly plotting ways to take away the benefits that tens of millions of retired workers depend upon.
“Apologies for the descent into fourth-grade humor, but that is now the level of the public debate on budget and economic issues in Washington. Every chapter of this debate seems more corrupt and further removed from reality than the last one.
“We… have a long-time columnist with the Washington Post, David Broder, suggesting that President Obama go to war with Iran to bring down the unemployment rate. Imagine having your son or daughter or father or mother die in Iran, along with hundreds of thousands of Iranians, because President Obama’s economic team couldn’t think of any other way to create jobs. In polite Washington circles this is a sensible position.
“Other parts include paying his (Peterson’s) son to set up a fake news service, the Fiscal Times, to try to get more positive news coverage for his deficit scare stories in major news outlets. He even succeeded in getting the Washington Post to use Fiscal Times articles in the same way as it uses news stories from real news services like Associated Press.
“Peterson also funded a series of forums by the organization America Speaks that were designed as a multimillion dollar propaganda effort to show that people really want to see big cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The participants were given an overly-pessimistic deficit situation and then denied obvious options like reforming the U.S. health care system or imposing a serious tax on Wall Street speculation. Even when given these false constraints, the participants refused to go along with the Peterson agenda for cutting Social Security, although the organization originally reported that a majority had supported an increase in the Social Security retirement age.
“It would be great if those touting concerns about the deficit were actually interested in having an informed national debate on the budget and the economy. But their agenda is cutting Social Security and Medicare, not informing the public.”