Friday, November 12, 2010

Who in the FUCK is Peter G. Peterson?

Have you seen these commercials...?

They started running a while ago with the one immediately below, but then on the 10th of November they began running a different, shorter spot but much more aggressively.  Here's the original...

I wanted to actually post the second (and currently being blanketed) spot, but when I tried to embed it, I got a " don't have permission to do that" I figured the next best thing would be to provide the link, so you can see that spot for yourself if you haven't seen it on television.

In case you, like me, saw that and said "WTF?" but didn't feel like doing the research, here goes:

Disclaimer at
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation has set up this VERY elaborate (and I'm sure remarkably expensive) campaign wherein a fake "candidate" named Hugh Jidette ('huge debt'...get it?) is "running for President for 2012".  The whole thing was set up by this "foundation" in order to "raise awareness" of the national debt (because this multi-billionaire doesn't think we common folk get it).  The campaign is estimated to be costing $6 million (I don't know if that includes production of the commercials and the site, etc...I believe that may be just the media buy...but information is a bit sketchy).

Now...if you're wondering, (like I was) who the fuck is Peter G. Peterson and why is his foundation spending $6 million for this utterly ridiculous's what I've learned so far:

The Washington-based Peter G. Peterson Foundation was established with a $1 billion (that's right, billion with a "B") personal endowment by Peter G. Peterson, who served as U.S. commerce secretary under President Richard M. Nixon. In addition to this post, he was the Chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers from 1973 until 1984 when he founded the Blackstone Group. Additionally, he was Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2000 to 2004. He works very closely with the Rockefeller family and their various foundations and took over David Rockefeller’s seat as Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations when Rockefeller stepped down in 1985. Peterson then remained their Chairman until “retiring” in June 30, 2007 after being named “Chairman Emeritus”. Peterson was ranked 149th on the “Forbes 400 Richest Americans” with a net worth of $2.8 billion.

But, back to the fallacious candidacy of the fictional Mr. Jidette. 

Brian Rothenberg, a spokesman for the liberal advocacy group ProgressOhio, told the Daily Record that he suspects diminished Social Security coverage is a goal of the campaign. (

"We're concerned that there appears to be a concerted effort to continue to chip away at people's Social Security in an ultimate attempt to privatize it," he said. "Contrary to their alarmist message, the Social Security Trust Fund is more solvent than most government funds, according to most studies."

That same Daily Record article further states, “Former Ohio Tax Commissioner Joanne Limbach said it's important to act while voters are energized on the issue. She said politicians too often use financial gimmicks to try to make budgets more palatable. One of the things we want to do is to try to get to reality," she said.

Though not mentioned in that article, I also think it should be noted that Ms. Limbach is also the President of the Ohio Chapter of AARP.  It's interesting that Ms. Limbach would talk about politicians using "gimmicks" to get a point across and claim that we need to "get to reality" when she is talking about the ultimate "gimmick" of a fake Presidential campaign.  What about the candidacy of the fictitious Mr. "Jidette" does she consider to be getting "to reality"?  And, incidentally, why is a President of the Ohio Chapter of The American Association for Retired Persons speaking in support of a multi-billionaire who seems to be trying to trick the people into putting their retirement into the privatized hands of his old pals on Wall Street?

According to an article in Newsweek from May 2009, that Peter Peterson supposedly wrote himself (but I’m sure someone else was likely paid to write for him), he says: (

"Ultimately, I decided to commit $1 billion to the Peter G. Peterson foundation—the vast majority of my net proceeds from Blackstone. Why so much? Kurt Vonnegut once told a story about seeing Joseph Heller at a wealthy hedge-fund manager's party at a beach house in the Hamptons. Casting his eye around the luxurious setting, Vonnegut said, "Joe, doesn't it bother you that this guy makes more in a day than you ever made from Catch-22?" "No, not really," Heller said. "I have something that he doesn't have: I know the meaning of enough." I have far more than enough.”
In an article for Newsweek (, Mr. Peterson is credited as saying:
“We fat cats will have to pay more taxes. The government will have to spend less. Everyone will have to save more. I'm not sure if we remember how to give up something for the long-term general good. Nor do we hear calls for sacrifice from our leaders.”  ~  Peter G. Peterson, Newsweek –
Well, Mr. Peterson, I have to say I do agree with two of your assessments, you DO indeed have FAR "more than enough" and second, ARE a "fat cat" and WILL have to pay more please, could you and your rich pals PLEASE stop whining about it? 

Back during the Clinton years, the wealthiest in this country were paying 39%...and during those years EVERYONE was doing well...the rich were doing well, the middle-class was doing well, even the poor...though not doing "well" were certainly fairing far better than they are NOW.  But the millionaires of this country "needed" a tax break and got their Republican pals to give it to that 39% was dropped by Bush and his GOP cronies to 36%.  That cut, along with the two ill-advised wars that those same Republicans got us into, turned the Clinton surplus into a huge deficit...and then the bankers and Wall Street almost completely collapsed our economy (with Peterson's old friends at Lehman leading the charge). 

Now our current President wants to raise that rate back to that same 39% from the prosperous Clinton years and the Republicans (and the uber-rich that they represent, like Mr. Peterson) are whining that they don't want go to back to those rates.  And Mr. Peterson here wants to lecture the middle-class of this country how WE need to accept cuts while HE and his fellow billionaires and millionaires demand extentions of those tax breaks from our struggling system??  Hasn't the middle-class of this country been destroyed ENOUGH, Mr. Peterson?  Apparently, Mr. "I've got mine so screw the rest of you" Peterson doesn't think so. 

Yet he claims, "Nor do we hear calls for sacrifice from our leaders.”   Actually, Mr. Peterson, and the others of the richest among us have been asked to sacrifice a meager 3% more...and your resounding answer seems to be a loud, whining "NO"! 

Tell you what, Mr. Peterson...I will GLADLY trade places with you...I would love to have a mere fraction of the money that you are hoarding...and if I did, I certainly wouldn't whine about having to pay 39% of it to help support the country that I truly do love.  Hell...I'll up the ante...I'd even pay 40%. 

In 1994 in “Foreign Affairs” (published by the Council on Foreign Relations) Henry Owen wrote a review of Peterson’s book entitled "Targeting the Middle Class" which unequivocally states:
"Middle-class entitlements must be slashed to stem the budget deficit, raise private investment and restore the American dream."

Mr. Peterson, the bulk of us who used to be "middle-class" but are now on the brink of poverty think that the Middle Class has been "targeted" quite enough, thank you.  We think it's YOUR turn.  Because YOU got the "American Dream"...we got the "American Nightmare"...and we'd like to wake up now, please.  Just pay the damn 3%...I think you can afford it, like you admitted, you have far more than enough.

Oh...and Mr. Peterson...I think if you're REALLY that terribly concerned about the debt, instead of wasting $6 million on a ridiculous fake "Presidential campaign", you should have just given the money to the Treasury Department to PAY DOWN the damn my (recently defeated) wonderful Senator used to do with any mid-term raises he received, as well as any surplus money left over on the operating funds he received for his Senate office.

To view some of the writings of Peter G. Peterson and really get to know this louse, visit:

Article about Peterson from firedog lake:

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