That’s fine, I know them all pretty well

Heh (via):

Everyone is having a bit of a laugh today at the expense of “The Can Kicks Back,” the youth-oriented affiliate of the group known as “Fix the Debt,” which is yet another of the many organizations funded by single-minded deficit hawk billionaire Pete Peterson, along with a few of his similarly wealthy peers. The Can Kicks Back, which was supposed to nurture a youth movement to support Peterson’s goal of social insurance cuts and tax reform, now finds itself “nearly broke,” according to various internal documents obtained by Politico’s Byron Tau. As of November: “The group’s cash reserves were down to $70,000, with more than $75,000 in outstanding donor commitments …” And they’re having trouble with the fundraising.

One fundraising problem The Can Kicks Back has faced is the entirely accurate perception that it is not actually a grass-roots organization of young people deeply concerned with reckless entitlement spending and unsustainable long-term debt, but rather yet another front group — and in this case a particularly ineffective one — for the small network of billionaires who have spent decades advocating tax cuts and the rolling back of Social Security and Medicare benefits, in the name of fiscal responsibility.


[P]lease note that The Can Kicks Back’s advisory board includes Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson, Evan Bayh and David Walker.

38 replies
  1. 1
    linda says:

    Well that last paragraph is chock o block full of angry ripped off young’uns. So how could it be a bullshit inauthentic failure?

  2. 2
    James Gary says:

    “The Can Kicks Back?” It might’ve worked out better if they hadn’t picked the most obnoxiously smirking-DC-“savvy insider” name possible for their organization. Although I guess that was the point.

  3. 3
    srv says:

    I wonder how much kicking these elitists will all do when the Stalinists hang them from the ropes they sold them.

  4. 4
    Ash Can says:

    More proof that wealth and intelligence do not necessarily go together.

  5. 5
    rk says:

    that it is not actually a grass-roots organization of young people deeply concerned with reckless entitlement spending and unsustainable long-term debt

    Let me tell you, I do not know a single young person who is concerned with reckless entitlement spending and long term debt. They are however concerned with grades, the prohibitive cost of college, and have fears about finding a job. I hate old men with passion. The country and the planet is ruled by stupid old men and they will kill us all.

  6. 6
    Gypsy Howell says:

    Can we please stop calling them “deficit hawks.” They are no such thing. They are tax-avoidance schemers. Their only goal is to reduce their own taxes. That’s it.

    Oh OK. And they want to be free to do anything and everything to increase corporate profits. Which they should also get to keep and not ever be taxed on. That’s their other goal.

    Reducing the deficit is not and never has been one of their goals.

  7. 7
    Trollhattan says:

    Who reference noted with pleasure. “The [Old Farts] are definitely not alright.”

  8. 8

    Sociopathic fucksticks are Sociopathic.

  9. 9
    DougJ says:


    I like that song a lot.

  10. 10
    c u n d gulag says:

    Sounds like the can got its can kicked!

  11. 11
    jackmac says:

    Average age of the this “youth group” advisory board? 65.

  12. 12
    SP says:

    I just try to imagine the pitch meetings where someone presents a proposal for a group like this, but then my mind goes blank and I’m looking up from the floor a few minutes later.

  13. 13

    Is Evan Byah still relevant? Is he even on cable news these days?

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    I might go outside and kick a can down the road to celebrate.

  15. 15
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    I am going to start a conservative youth motivation group that will be totally grassroots. Hmmmmm…what to name it???

    Oh those kids, what games do they play…hey I know…Kick the Can. So we’ll do the hep thing and turn it around. That is a dalgarn knee-slapper.

    Maybe as a free gift to encourage donations we can give away raccoon tails that one can affix to the aerial antenna of ones jalopy.

    Next up a grass roots anti gay marriage youth group…maybe call it Only Two Balls and One Chain.

  16. 16
    Patrick says:

    [P]lease note that The Can Kicks Back’s advisory board includes Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson, Evan Bayh and David Walker.

    On October 2, 2002, Bayh joined President George W. Bush and Congressional leaders in a Rose Garden ceremony announcing their agreement on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War,

    The Iraq war has cost in excess of one $trillion and has never been paid for. I literally couldn’t care less what Mr Bayh thinks about our deficit. Talk about having no credibility.

  17. 17

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, sorry, was that uncalled for? Too bad!

    I always did wonder, though, what this deal with “kick the can” was all about. When I was a kid, we played a game called “kick the can” but it had nothing to do with kicking it down the road or along a road. It was a kind of team tag game. One team would hide and the other would look for them. When the hunting team found a hiding team, they’d try to tag them. If they did, the hider would have to go over to where the can was and stay there. The slowest hunter, often the fattest one, would guard the imprisoned hiders. When all the hiders were tagged, the teams would switch. But if one of the hiders ran through the “jail” and kicked the can, all the prisoners could run free and hide again.

    I don’t know if anybody else ever played this game, or has even heard of it, but that’s the only kind of can kicking I know of. Am I just abysmally ignorant of some other can kicking, or are all these idjits who go on about kicking the can down the road the ignorant tools? Somebody help me here.

  18. 18
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    Thank you for the earworm! Love the vocal melody (if that is the correct term.)

  19. 19
    Gypsy Howell says:

    The Can Kicks Back… Kicks Back… Kick Back….. Kickback!

    No wonder the name appealed to them.

  20. 20
    geg6 says:


    This. Except for one correction: it’s old white men. Fuck them all.

  21. 21
    SatanicPanic says:

    @James Gary: It doesn’t even make sense. The can, I assume is the debt, so the debt is kicking back? How does it do that? Or maybe they’re trying to say young people are the can, but who wants to call themselves a can?

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    Can we please stop calling them “deficit hawks.” They are no such thing. They are tax-avoidance schemers. Their only goal is to reduce their own taxes. That’s it.

    Very true, and if we had a decent mass media in this country, those cockknuckles would have no credibility a all.

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    @Patrick: “and has never been paid for. ” I think the Iraqis and a good many US soldiers got the bill. And I think they paid pretty heavily.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    John Revolta says:

    I hate old men with passion.

    old white men. Fuck them all.

    Pete Townshend’ll be 69 in a couple months. Just sayin’.

  27. 27
    StringOnAStick says:

    I went to a presentation about Simpson-Bowles, with old Simpson himself once; it was right after their “report” came out and they were touring a group of various people to presentations set up by senators in their states (I’m still pissed at Udall and Bennet for hosting that mess, though I will help Udall in this year’s campaign). Alice Rivlin, Gary Hart as the presentation leader, etc. Handouts and everything, but the main thing was letting ol’ Gramps Simpson rattle on about how fucked the debt is, we’re doomed, all you people who plan to use SS to survive are just selfish pigs, etc. I did give Gary Hart credit for noting loudly that the real cost of gasoline in the US is $6 or $7/gallon when you add in all the US military costs to secure that supply from the ME; Simpson didn’t argue but he didn’t look up either.

    The interesting thing was the final set of slides, where all the sleight of hand was presented. “We’ll cut taxes to tiny levels for everybody, as long as Medicare and SS die, though we have no firm idea exactly how we’ll do that nor can we assure you peons that all the benefits won’t accrue to anyone other than you, like our buddies the Koch’s” was the basic upshot. Your basic pig in a poke that will be so fine, so fat and so tasty, provided you can catch it. It was also the first time I saw Paul Ryan’s name, since he was on the committee and refused to endorse the final document because it wasn’t draconian enough. I knew then he was one to watch.

  28. 28
    NotMax says:


    Your basic pig in a poke that will be so fine, so fat and so tasty, provided you can catch it.

    Minor quibble, offered with only the most cordial intent.

    A poke is a bag, so there is no pursuit or chase involved. The proverb refers to opening the package and examining the goods before buying.

  29. 29
    gratuitous says:

    Why, those young whippersnappers! A pox on them! Why aren’t they contributing hundreds, thousands, yea even millions of dollars to this grassroots organization that’s only trying to help them? Perhaps it’s time to get a few more of those Pony Express fellas to ride out with appeals for more subscriptions. That’s they way to reach those young ‘uns, right Erskine?

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    You’ve heard of shovel ready projects?

    Pete Peterson is tumbrel ready.

  31. 31
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Alan Simpson is pretty near shovel-ready by this point.

  32. 32
    Mike G says:

    I think Millenials looking at the sucky job “opportunities” they are facing are a little more skeptical that they have common interests with rich old corporate white guys, than were the smug Reagan Youth cohorts of the 80s.

  33. 33
    mainmata says:

    @linda: Win the thread!!!

  34. 34
    mainmata says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): I know the game you are talking about but only from other peoples anecdotes. It either hasn’t been played for a really long time or was/is a regional thing. I think the expression just refers to a kid kicking a can (or a ball or an acorn, etc.) down the road just to amuse. Then it got a wider sociopolitical expression as we know.

  35. 35
    maeve says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    I think the name comes from the expression “kick the can down the road” – meaning put off dealing with a problem and let other people deal with it down the road. So this group of “kids” (The Can Kicks Back) was supposed to be group of responsible young ‘uns saying “No – don’t put off the problem – cut our future social security and medicare benefits! Please!”

    Except that I’ve never heard the expression “Kick the Can down the road” from anyone younger than 60 (if that) and only in a political insider context.

  36. 36
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): the way we played it, it wasn’t a team game, so much as it was a war of all against It. Or, put another way, the “tagging team” consisted only of whoever was It, and everybody else was on the other team.

    But yeah, nothing about kicking it down the road.

  37. 37
    Chris T. says:

    One really big problem is that if they can find someone young who cares about the question now, said young-person is pretty likely to realize that Montgomery Burns, er I mean Simpson Bowles, are saying: “we don’t have enough money to pay you tomorrow, so let’s not pay anyone today and not pay you tomorrow, but we’ll keep taxing you today!”

    Such a deal!

  38. 38
    daveNYC says:

    With an advisory board like that I can’t imagine why they’d have problems reaching young people.

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