It is my job to bring to you not just the news that took place, but the news that has yet to happen.
Today, that’s exactly what we have.
There is a war coming to try to change Social Security from a social safety net to a “revenue stream” for certain corporate interests, and that war is set to begin Tuesday morning, according to information that was provided to me yesterday afternoon.
Follow along, and you’ll be both forewarned and forearmed.
RELY ON HORN
–Actual “Burma Shave” Message, 1945, from “Verse By The Side of the Road”, Frank Rowsome, Jr.
So here’s the dish: a limited partnership corporation called The Blackstone Group, through years of trading in real estate, operating hedge funds, giving financial advice to other companies and governments, and buying and selling companies (Hilton Hotels is one of theirs, the company that makes Corexit, the oil dispersant, is another), made its co-founder and former Chairman Peter G. Peterson a more-than-billionaire; a billion of that went to endow a Foundation that bears his name.
The Foundation has a particular interest in things budgetary and governmental, and they are seen as one of the groups most looking to change the way Social Security works today.
(Change, you say? Indeed, and if you’ve been following this series of stories, you already have an idea of what that might entail.)
The next thing you need to know is that there is a Great Big Deal Presidential Commission currently at work who is charged with identifying…
“…policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run. Specifically, the Commission shall propose recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015. This result is projected to stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio at an acceptable level once the economy recovers. The magnitude and timing of the policy measures necessary to achieve this goal are subject to considerable uncertainty and will depend on the evolution of the economy. In addition, the Commission shall propose recommendations that meaningfully improve the long-run fiscal outlook, including changes to address the growth of entitlement spending and the gap between the projected revenues and expenditures of the Federal Government.”
…and that the Commission is going to deliver a report with its suggestions December 1st.
It would be fair to say that there are those who are concerned that “the fix is in”, so to speak, and that the report will be the beginning of an effort to privatize Social Security…and guess what?
Managing the Federal Government’s Social Security money, for a handsome fee, would be a spectacular business opportunity for Pete Peterson and The Blackstone Group, and to help create the environment where that can happen, the Peterson Foundation is dropping $20 million on a TV ad campaign to try to convince you to get interested in privatizing Social Security, too.
This Tuesday morning, November 9th, Peterson will appear at Washington, DC’s Newseum to unveil the advertising campaign, presumably to the delight of the assembled throng and the sipping of the coffee of the assembled media; this according to a Peterson Foundation press release that came across my desk yesterday.
There’s even a catchy name for the reform program: “OweNo”…and if you’ve already written your own “Oh, No!” Social Security joke, you’re apparently a bit faster on your feet than the guy who tried to sell Chevy Novas in Spanish-speaking countries…or the folks who came up with this catch phrase.
So that’s the story: come Tuesday, Pete Peterson, with a presonal fortune that comes from a Big Fat Wall Street Firm That Would Love To Manage Your Money For Big Fat Fees, is dropping $20 million to tell you that it’s time to “get a Chilean”…and I’m here to tell you that such a procedure is going to hurt your wallet, a lot—and when it’s all over, you’re the one who’s going to be saying “Oh, No!”
FULL DISCLOSURE: This post was written with the support of the CAF State Blogger’s Network Project.