Via Charlie Pierce, Kevin C. Brown at Remapping Debate outs the “Journalists in the Service of Pete Peterson“:
January 16, 2013 — Each spring since 2010, some of Washington’s A-list politicians assemble in the capital to submit to questions from some of the media’s A-list journalists on the future of the federal fiscal policy.
These interviews, though, aren’t conducted on the steps of Congress, in the Washington bureaus of the nation’s newspapers, or in the television studios of major networks, but rather at private “Fiscal Summits” convened by Peter G. Peterson, the billionaire former commerce secretary and co-founder of the Blackstone private equity group.
Peterson, however, is hardly a disinterested and dispassionate observer of such discussions. In fact, he is now beginning his fourth decade of arguing that there is no alternative to enacting “entitlement reform” (read: cut Social Security and Medicare) and “tax reform” (read: raise regressive taxes and lower progressive ones) in the name of curbing the country’s “unsustainable” debt and deficits.
An essential and successful element of the Peterson strategy is to create an environment where it is widely if not universally believed that there is no alternative to his vision. In this view, it’s “not realistic” to believe the country can afford the same programs it once did. Those who are prepared to be “adults” will look at these “hard truths” without flinching and recognize that it is time to take citizens-have-to-do-with-less medicine….
The more politically aware among us will point out that none of the Very Serious Villager names in this rogues’ gallery (Jon Meacham, Erin Burnett, Bob Schieffer, George Will) should come as a surprise. But it’s nice to have a cheat sheet with quotes from the guilty parties, as Mr. Pierce says:
… The success of Pete Peterson at getting the country to come as close as he has to handing the Social Security trust fund over to him and the rest of the gamesters of Triskelion has been a wonder to behold. Not that Republicans needed a lot of convincing, but the way he’s found Democratic suckers, and romanced the more easily gulled members of the courtier press, have been his real triumphs. It’s nice to have it all laid out in a clear and simple way as various Washington elites prepare once again to shove the last untainted quatloos into the rigged casino on Wall Street. Don’t believe anything is a accident. This has been a very long con.