Target: Councilmembers of the Fix The Debt campaign
Goal: Stop the spread of disinformation about the national debt and entitlement spending
Fix The Debt is the campaign of a council made up of some 80 CEOS determined to push a deficit-reduction “grand bargain” budget deal on Washington. The council was founded by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the co-chairs of the Obama Administration’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. However, the campaign is funded largely by Wall Street Investor Peter Peterson, who has used his personal fortune to finance a number of organizations with a single goal: to ensure funding cuts for Social Security and Medicare.
In 2007 the deficit was 1.3 percent of GDP. The government can run deficits of this size forever without cause for concern and the debt-to-GDP ratio was actually falling from previous years. The deficit was projected to turn into a surplus in 2011 after the Bush tax-cuts were set to expire, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This was the last year before the economic downturn, which caused a spiked increase in spending in unemployment insurance and other programs designed to counteract the downturn. The deficit has nothing to do with Social Security or Medicare — it was the result of the economic downturn plain and simple.
The attempt by the Fix The Debt campaign to push the idea that the national debt is more serious than it actually is and that cutting Social Security and Medicare is the only way to fix things belies a nefarious agenda. These 80 CEOs are incredibly wealthy individuals. Their annual paychecks are in the tens of millions and they stand to lose money in planned top marginal tax increases. They have an interest in keeping the national conversation focused on entitlement programs rather than on the nature of their income and capital gains taxes. They want to make sure that entitlement spending is cut so their minimal tax rates may be preserved.
This council of ultra-rich CEOs wants to divert attention away from its constituents’ massive untaxed profits and place it onto a red herring — entitlements that benefit the average American. Tell the campaign to Fix The Debt to stop lying about the nation’s deficit and the impact of Social Security and Medicare.
Dear councilmembers of the Fix The Debt campaign,
I am writing this letter to address and to express my grievance with your campaign.
First of all, the Fix The Debt campaign suggests that the U.S. deficit is an urgent problem that requires immediate attention. This is simply not true. While there is a long-term deficit problem, this is the result of projected increases in healthcare costs. What’s more, the data on health care spending was actually lower than the projected rise in the most recent quarter. Secondly, your campaign argues that Social Security and Medicare need serious adjustment in order to “fix the debt,” which I have just established to be a non-issue. America’s entitlement programs did not increase the deficit, the economic downturn did. Increased spending on unemployment insurance and other programs necessary to counteract the impact of the downturn increased the deficit.
Your campaign is a political red herring that threatens vital programs that countless Americans rely upon. Ultimately, it amounts to scaremongering the American people into supporting the destruction of programs that have been the touchstone of the American life. I urge you to reconsider your campaign’s direction and to stop spreading misinformation about the relationship between the U.S. debt and entitlement programs.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: csmonitor.com