On August 4th, 2010, Peter G. Peterson was one of the 40 billionaires, along with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who agreed to give money to the government.
In 2011, he gave our government $458 million dollars; the money went to Social Security and other safety net programs like Medicaid and Medicare.
In an interview with Bill Moyers in 2003 Peterson said:
“Imagine politically 77 million Boomers. They don’t have savings. They depend on Social Security and somebody’s saying to them, ‘Sorry, folks, we’re out of money. You’re not going to get your benefits.’ “
I had never heard of Peter G. Peterson before an NPR radio broadcast and was impressed enough to want to profile this man.
What impressed me was that this man realized—30 years ago—that our fiscal systems are broken and he dedicated himself to working toward fixing them.
Now, I knew in high school (in 1975), that our country was not what it used to be.
It does not take a lot to realize this country needs help.
He made a fortune, over a billion dollars, with the Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, in his eighties.
Some question how he did all this; I understand that and cannot fathom the dollars he’s earned. (I think I have $15 in my savings account.)
But at a time when the government is implementing sequestration, in the one so-called safe place economically in this country, where I live, I applaud his tenacity and his effort to seemingly side-step party politics and focus.
From what I gathered on the NPR broadcast, Peterson thinks this act will not affect much change; from what I read online, some say it is backed by the Tea Party and others say the President is hoping this will get the two parties to work together.
According to Peterson, the GOP is not what it used to be; the GOP used to be about long term planning and now it seems to be about tax cuts, no matter what.
The Bloomberg Business Week Magazine in 2004 quoted Peterson as saying:
“I remain a Republican,” Pete Peterson said, “but the Republicans have become a far more theological, faith-directed party, not troubling with evidence.”
Peterson says tax cuts without spending cuts won’t solve our problems.
In fact, in a 2004 conversation with Mother Jones Peterson said:
“You have tax cuts, and we’ve become theological about tax cuts. You know, faith directed, more or less untouched by analysis, history, or evidence. And it’s morphed into, “Any tax cut, any time.” But a long-term tax cut is not a tax cut at all, unless it’s accompanied by long-term spending cuts. It’s what you’d call a deferred tax increase on the future, which is our children.”
And it seems that there is a need for Social Security and other programs (for people just like me) that have no savings and nothing to fall back on; in fact, he created the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in 2008 to support his work.
My ears opened when I heard about a man whose goal is to work toward making our government efficient and cost effective, so our country will have a future and so the chasm between rich and poor does not deepen.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise
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