About "Hugh Jidette"
Plunderbund did a post on this and I think we need to as well, since it's an issue that has really been on my mind.
You may be seeing ads on this site promoting the candidacy of one "Hugh Jidette," – get it? (Say it fast).
Click on it and you will see a lavish satirical campaign intended to gin up public alarm about a false "problem": the deficit.
There's been a lot of talk lately about the recommendations of President Obama's "deficit commission," which has been putting out some very cruel and pointless ideas, specifically, cutting Social Security benefits and raising the retirement age. Since Social Security did not cause the deficit and cutting it will not shrink the deficit, these recommendations are intended solely to further the destruction of the economic standing of regular working people. What's even more outrageous is that simultaneously, Republicans in Congress are DEMANDING the extension of tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy — which DID help cause the deficit! So — the deficit is a looming crisis when it comes to shrinking pensions for people who may depend primarily on Social Security, but completely vanishes as a crisis when it comes to extending tax cuts for the bankers and financial high rollers who wrecked their retirement savings.
Gee, that's so fair.
The "Hugh Jidette" ads are the product of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, whose goal is to try to stoke public alarm about the deficit to make it easier to slash and burn anything that benefits ordinary working people, to convince us we have to suffer to "solve" this nonexistent problem, even though the wealthy don't have to sacrifice anything. The foundation was formed with a billion-dollar endowment form Mr Peterson who, obviously, is very very wealthy and has no idea what Social Security checks mean to a retiree. A couple of years ago it released a breathless documentary called I.O.U.S.A. which featured a lot of sober economists and rapidly changing counters racking up the national debt. It was a crock of hooey. So is everything the Peter G. Peterson Foundation puts out.
So far, this propaganda is a dismal failure — and let's keep it that way. A Gallup poll taken last week showed that only 9 percent of Americans consider the deficit the most important problem facing the country. 33 percent say it's jobs and the economy. A CBS poll is even starker: 4 percent think the deficit is the major issue; 56 percent think it's jobs and the economy.
The real problem is that everything suggested to get the deficit under immediate control — and not doing so constitutes no real threat — is an economy crusher and job destroyer. Not that that matters to someone who can endow foundations with a billion dollars like it was pocket change. But it's important that we all keep this in mind as we start to get bombarded in the next year with the type of campaign that Peterson's billion dollars can buy. They want to make this a 2012 campaign issue. Apparently, they are scaring President Obama because he hasn't taken a strong stand on the deficit commission's recommendations and hasn't blasted the Republicans' petulant demands for extending tax cuts for the wealthy as the real cause of the deficit. This is bad, and we should all be writing and calling the White House. I don't know how they are going to do it, but somehow the Republicans are going to hang the idea of cutting Social Security — a real election destroyer — on Obama and manage to slither out of it themselves, even though they're the ones pushing for it and always have been.
By the way, the staff of that deficit commission is stacked with representatives from ... the Peter G. Peterson Foundation!
We have a lot of work to do.