Pete Peterson Rules Their World
I agree with Dean Baker that it's amusing to hear these nervous ninnies going on about the deficit when the economy remains in free fall. And these are the ones who say Obama needs to keep focus:
People are losing their homes through foreclosures at the rate of more than 100,000 a month. The default rates on credit cards, car loans and other debt is at record levels. Most of our major banks are effectively insolvent.
Home and stock prices have plummeted, destroying most of the wealth of the baby boom cohort as they stand on the edge of retirement. The economy is shedding almost 700,000 jobs a month, with the unemployment rate rapidly approaching the highest level since the Great Depression.
In this context we are supposed to be up in arms over the deficit projections for 2013 or 2019? This is a bit like someone complaining about the lawn not being mowed at a time when the house is on fire, it's just not the first priority. And the media all seem to go along with the charade - yes, they are very concerned about the projected deficit for 2013, just as the characters in the movie expressed concern about the health of Bianca the blow-up doll.
It is especially annoying to hear the whining from this group of deficit hawks since their whining in prior years helped to drown out serious discussion of the dangers posed by an $8 trillion housing bubble. While some of us were yelling at the top of our lungs about the imminent disaster that would hit the economy when the housing bubble burst, the media chose to focus on these deficit hawks with their dire warnings about budget deficits 40 or 50 years in the future.
This is especially ignorant because, without fixing the economy, those deficits will skyrocket anyway.
But this fight should have been engaged a long time ago. It may be too late:
Here's Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner today at the Council on Foreign Relations having a jolly laugh with moderator and investment banker Roger Altman about the process now getting under way—all thanks to propaganda assistance from investment banking billionaire Pete Peterson.
For those without a decoder ring, "everyone" being a fiscal hawk means that due to the current financial disaster, they'll soon be coming after Social Security and Medicare:
GEITHNER: Of course, we are all fiscal hawks now because of Pete Peterson. (Laughter.) There are no doves left on the fiscal side. (Laughter.)
ALTMAN: And he deserves credit for that.
Yes, the coming massacre of American lives will be quite funny indeed. (Laughter.)