May
23
2011

Peterson Pay-to-Play at the Washington Post?

On Sunday the Pete Peterson Foundation took out an ad in the Washington Post touting its upcoming "Fiscal Summit," which will feature speeches by the likes of Bill Clinton, Paul Ryan and Alan Simpson. Panels will be moderated by Gwen Ifill, George Will and others. The hook is that Peterson is promoting a "Solutions Initiative," which in part involves giving money to different organizations to develop plans that focus on "solutions." The grantees are the American Enterprise Institute, Bipartisan Policy Center, Center for American Progress, Economic Policy Institute, Heritage Foundation and the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network. On the page next […]

Feb
14
2011

USA Today's 'Nonpartisan Experts' Agree: Obama Not Tough Enough on Elderly, Poor

The subhead sums up the point of USA Today's lead story today (2/14/11) about Barack Obama's budget proposal: Obama Proposes Cuts to Trim Deficit; GOP, Others Want More The piece by Richard Wolf and Mimi Hall begins, "President Obama will send Congress a 2012 budget today that would trim the budget deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next decade, but Republicans and nonpartisan budget experts are already saying that's not enough." And that's how the story is framed: You've got the White House vs. the Republicans, and "nonpartisan budget experts" who agree with the Republicans. "We're going to make tough […]

Jun
30
2010

Pete Peterson's Real Crisis: America Speaks and Says the Wrong Thing

Billionaire Pete Peterson has spent a lot of money trying to convince people that Social Security is a serious threat to the country's finances. And it's a message that the corporate media love to echo. So when Peterson's group decided to hold "town hall" meetings to promote fiscal austerity by cutting Social Security and Medicare, one would haveguessed that the media wouldgive it some attention. But a funny thing happened this weekend at these "America Speaks" events. Members of the public, after being given what Roger Hickey calls "misleading background information about the federal deficit and economic options to achieve […]

Jun
21
2010

The WaPo and Fiscal Times, Together Again

At the end of 2009, the Washington Post published an article that was produced by the Fiscal Times. As FAIR noted in an Action Alert (1/6/10): The article, headlined "Support Grows for Tackling Nation's Debt" (12/31/09), was a product of the Fiscal Times, described in an accompanying note as "an independent digital news publication reporting on fiscal, budgetary, healthcare and international economics issues." More accurately, it's a propaganda outlet created and funded by Peter G. Peterson, a Wall Street billionaire and Nixon administration cabinet member who has long used his wealth to promote cuts in Social Security and other entitlement […]

Jun
12
2010

The Ghost of Anti-Entitlement Crusaders Past

You know, the fact of the matter is we have to change how we do things. We are on an imprudent and unsustainable path in a number of ways. You talk about debtors' prisons, we used to have debtors' prisons, now bankruptcy is no taint! Bankruptcy is an exit strategy! Our society and our culture has changed. We need to get back to the opportunity, we need to move away from entitlement, we need to provide reasonable risk but we need to hold people accountable when they do imprudent things. It's pretty fundamental. –David Walker, CEO of the Peterson Foundation, […]

Nov
23
2009

NYT Non-News Story Says It's Time to Tighten Belts

The New York Times (11/23/09) has an editorial on its front page today disguised as a news story. Appearing under the headline "Federal Government Faces Balloon in Debt Payments," Times business reporter Edmund Andrews makes an impassioned plea for the neo-Hooverist economics popular in corporate media: Claiming that "the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners in default on their mortgages," Andrews maintains that "there is little doubt that the United States' long-term budget crisis is becoming too big to postpone." There's not a lot of news in this ostensible news article; it […]