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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:22 AM

A Billionaire Obsesses, Our Politics Regresses

from Too Much: A Commentary on Excess and Inequality:

A Billionaire Obsesses, Our Politics Regresses
December 2, 2012

How much can a billion dollars buy? The undivided attention of America’s entire political and chattering classes. Case in point: our ongoing national fixation on debt and deficit.

By Sam Pizzigati

Down through the millennia, single individuals have changed the course of history, some through their intellect, some through their courage, and still others through the depth and breadth of their vision.

But you don’t have to have smarts or courage or vision to change history. You just need a ton of money, the sort of fortune that the 86-year-old Peter Peterson has amassed over his years wheeling and dealing on Wall Street.

Peterson has been obsessing for years over federal budget deficits. Now his obsession has shoved the nation to a “fiscal cliff” that might well end up raising the age that Medicare kicks in and chopping billions out of all sorts of other programs near and dear to the hearts of America’s working families.

These cutbacks make no sense. The current federal budget deficit directly reflects the bursting of the housing bubble five years ago and the resulting Great Recession. Put people back to work and end that recession, progressive economists note, and that deficit would quickly start shrinking. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://toomuchonline.org/a-billionaire-obsesses-our-politics-regresses/

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Reply A Billionaire Obsesses, Our Politics Regresses (Original post)
marmar Dec 2012 OP
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #1
Hydra Dec 2012 #3
John2 Dec 2012 #4
xchrom Dec 2012 #2

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:38 AM

1. They are willing to spend billions for lobbying efforts to avoid paying taxes,

taxes that would have cost them much less, been more effective in deficit cutting and more stimulative for the world economy in the short, mid and long terms.

Even without generating anything close to a public groundswell, Peterson’s agenda remains alive and well on Capitol Hill. Peterson, of course, doesn’t personally deserve all the credit. His basic budget agenda — keep federal spending down — has always resonated powerfully with America’s most affluent.

The main reason: the less the federal government is investing in programs that help working families, the lower the pressure for raising taxes on America’s rich to help finance that investing.

America’s rich and powerful can’t seem to get enough of the Fix the Debt “fiscal responsibility” message. Business groups, reports the New York Times, are now paying Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles $40,000 a pop — each — for speechifying at their conferences and confabs.


The rich have, in effect, framed our political debate. In plutocracies, they always do. A century ago, Americans understood that reality. Their response? They made plutocracy itself their target. Someday soon, we’ll need to follow suit.

A Billionaire Obsesses, Our Politics Regresses

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:01 PM

3. Actually, if they didn't do this kind of PR maneuvering

Their heads would be on the chopping block.

They're spending millions to make illicit billions. Soon they'll be spending billions to make trillions.

Really though, what they are reaping is absolute power. These people are functionally above the law at the moment. Raise them a little higher and they can do it in full view of everyone. THAT is really what they want. Orwell nailed it.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:21 PM

4. I wonder


how many of today's wealthy, were children that inherited their wealth from their parents? Mitt Romney comes to mind, with his lack of understanding working class people and the poor. The same goes to everyone in his immediate family including his wife. I don't think he quite understands America. To tell you the truth, I have survived this far without Mitt Romney and thought he was full of it to think that I needed him to be President to do so. That is what Ann thought.

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