fresh voices from the front lines of change







Unless we successfully pressure CNN to change course, tomorrow it will air Pete Peterson’s anti-Social Security, anti-Medicare anti-public investment deficit propaganda film “I.O.U.S.A” along with additional propaganda “commentary” from people who work for the Peterson Foundation.

CNN did this last year, and it was a completely one-sided presentation, when in fact, there is an actual debate going about how serious a problem is the national debt, and whether Social Security and Medicare really need to be gutted to reduce the debt.

Now, maybe CNN was actually clueless last year, and was not aware that many of the nation’s most prominent economists do not traffic in deficit hysteria, insist that Social Security is fundamentally sound, and broader health care reform (which just passed) is the way to protect Medicare.

But over the course of the past year, this debate has been raging.

Even the President debt commission, while too slanted towards the deficit hysterics for our tastes, does include people with different points of view, recognizing that there debates to be had. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and SEIU President Andy Stern have a much different view about the debt than Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

And just today, the nation’s most famous economist, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, warns in the New York Times not to follow the deficit hysterics into the economic abyss:

Greece’s public debt, at 113 percent of G.D.P., is indeed high, but other countries have dealt with similar levels of debt without crisis. For example, in 1946, the United States, having just emerged from World War II, had federal debt equal to 122 percent of G.D.P … how did the U.S. government manage to pay off its wartime debt? Actually, it didn’t. At the end of 1946, the federal government owed $271 billion; by the end of 1956 that figure had risen slightly, to $274 billion. The ratio of debt to G.D.P. fell not because debt went down, but because G.D.P. went up…

…Of course, we should be fiscally responsible. What that means, however, is taking on the big long-term issues, above all health costs — not grandstanding and penny-pinching over short-term spending to help a distressed economy…

…What worries me most about the U.S. situation right now is the rising clamor from inflation hawks, who want the Fed to raise rates (and the federal government to pull back from stimulus) even though employment has barely started to recover. If they get their way, they’ll perpetuate mass unemployment. But that’s not all. America’s public debt will be manageable if we eventually return to vigorous growth and moderate inflation. But if the tight-money people prevail, that won’t happen — and all bets will be off.

But will that view be heard tomorrow? Nope.

No one slated to provide commentary on CNN this weekend represents Krugman’s informed view, and most are directly linked to the Peterson Foundation.

A one-sided propaganda presentation is far from what we should expect from “The Most Trusted Name In News.” Click here to demand CNN provide equal time.

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