Pete Peterson’s think tank, Peterson Institute for International Economics, just released a study in January 2016 predicting great economic growth from the TPP. But the PIIE methods are so detached from reality that the conclusions are wrong. Here are the reasons why.
Pete Peterson is the conservative billionaire who is a major financier in the effort to dismantle, cut and privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Recently he and his foundation held a contest asking folks to submit videos on why it is important to “fix” the national debt of which, he and his foundation falsely claim, Social Security is a major contributor.
The most striking feature of the U.S. economy over the last three decades has been the upward redistribution of income. The top 1.0 percent of households has managed to pocket the vast majority of gains over this period. That is a sharp contrast with the three decades immediately following World War II when the benefits of much more rapid growth were broadly shared.
Fix the Debt is the most hypocritical corporate PR campaign in decades, an ambitious attempt to convince the country that another cataclysmic economic crisis is around the corner and that urgent action is needed. Its strategy is pure Astroturf: assemble power players in business and government under an activist banner, then take the message outside the Beltway and give it the appearance of grassroots activism by manufacturing an emergency to infuse a sense of imminent crisis.
"Fix the Debt" portrays itself as a nonpartisan group designed to convince government to do something drastic about the national debt, which it says is a significant danger to the country. And despite widespread evidence from economists that their proposals would hurt the economy, Fix the Debt's members are pushing for a set of policies based on tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans and benefit cuts to lifelines like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.
Fix the Debt bills itself as a “non-partisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path.” However, the group touts a non-specific tax plan that members are calling “Simpson-Bowles Plus,” a plan that cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits, guts tax credits and benefits that many working families rely on, widens tax incentives for corporations to offshore jobs and lowers tax rates for corporations and the wealthy. Basically, it’s a wish list for millionaire CEOs!