Top corporate chieftains and Wall Street gamblers want to tell Washington how to fix our national debt, so they’ve created a front group called “Fix the Debt” to push their agenda. Unfortunately, they’re using “fix” in the same way your veterinarian uses it — their core demand is for Washington to spay Social Security, castrate Medicare and geld Medicaid.
Of course, a group of pampered, narcissistic billionaires would not make a credible sales team for this dirty work, so Fix the Debt has recruited a bipartisan gaggle of former Congress critters to give their self-serving political gambit a softer public image, a sheen of high public purpose. With a budget of some $40 million, these “elder statesmen” are doing TV interviews, hosting breakfast sessions with members of Congress, making speeches about “mutual sacrifice,” and generally going all out to sell the financial elite’s snake oil.
But wait — being an elder does not automatically mean you’re a statesman. Let’s peek at the resumes of these so-called public-spirited fixers of the debt.
Start with Jim McCrery, a former GOP lawmaker. While urging Congress to cut peoples’ programs, he’s also a top-paid lobbyist pushing Congress to give more tax subsidies to America’s richest people and biggest multinational corporations.
Former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn is a fixer, too — but he’s also paid $300,000 a year to be a board director for General Electric. Likewise, Democrat Erskine Bowles, a co-founder of the fixers’ front group, is on the board of Morgan Stanley, drawing $345,000 a year. And former GOP Senator Judd Gregg takes about a million bucks a year as advisor to and board member for such giants as Goldman Sachs and Honeywell.
I wouldn’t want this gang of fixers to pet my dog, much less touch my Social Security!
This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.