Progressives Mobilize to Oppose Conservative Peter Peterson Influence on Obama Deficit Commission

Additional Resources

» Listen to the April 27 news conference call featuring Roger Hickey, Robert Kuttner, Heidi Hartmann and Dean Baker.

» Watch the REALnews network’s coverage of the Peterson Summit

Articles and Reports

Charging that Wall Street billionaire Peter Peterson is exerting undue influence over the new White House Deficit Commission, a group of progressive economists and activists assembled by the Campaign for America’s Future will launch a new campaign to keep policymakers’ focus on the need for economic recovery — and to fight back against dangerous attacks on Social Security and Medicare.

Peter G. Peterson is holding a large, one-day “Fiscal Summit” on April 28, one day after the first meeting of President Obama’s new Deficit Commission. At the CAF press conference at 3:30 p.m. on April 27, progressive economists and activists will protest the participation of Obama Commission Co-Chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles (and OMB Director Peter Orszag) in the Peterson Summit, which CAF Co-Director Roger Hickey charges is designed to promote Peterson’s “endless campaign to gut Social Security and Medicare.”

To counter Peterson’s influence, progressives are mobilizing to make sure that the country pursues investments in growth and job creation as the best path toward balanced budget. They will also be promoting reduced military spending and progressive revenues, once the economy is growing robustly. And they will make their case that cuts to Social Security and Medicare will harm seniors and young people while doing nothing do achieve long-term budget balance.

Hickey notes that many of the speaker’s at Peterson’s “Fiscal Summit” are people like former Treasury Security Robert Rubin and former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who deregulated the financial system and failed to protest the Bush tax cuts that blew a hole in the Federal Budget. “Peterson is bringing together the people who created and benefited from the financial and budget crisis to lecture seniors and the rest of us about the need for us to tighten our belts,” said Hickey. “And former President Clinton, also speaking, should not be lending them credibility.”

The principals at this press conference are

  • Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future,
  • Dean Baker, economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research,
  • Heidi Hartmann, economist and President of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research,
  • Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect, Demos, and author of the new book, A Presidency in Peril.

What: Press call to fight back against Peterson’s campaign to gut Social Security and Medicare.
Where: Telephone Press Call (Media and bloggers only; use the contact information above to get more details)
Tuesday, April 27th, 3:30pm

Note: CAF is also conducting an online Virtual Summit on Fiscal and Economic Responsibility at