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The following is by Campaign for America's Future Co-director Roger Hickey

This weekend, CNN is giving four hours of free airtime  to the leading propagandist fanning the flames of deficit hysteria, Pete Peterson,  along with his lackeys.  Bloggers and  online activists are joining today to promote this action:

Click here to demand CNN stop giving free airtime to  deficit crazies this weekend –

And if they do go ahead with this programming, tell them to provide balance to Pete  Peterson's deficit hysteria. Give equal time to defenders of Social Security,  Medicare and public investment.

CNN plans to air Peterson's thoroughly debunked propaganda movie "I.O.U.S.A," – and then his acolytes will have free  reign to spread their usual lies about Social Security, Medicare and government  in general without any fiscal expert to challenge them and give a different  point of view.

How do we know? Because CNN  did the exact same thing with "I.O.U.S.A" last year. No debate. Just Peterson's  propaganda.

Is this how "the most trusted name in news"  should cover the debates on retirement security, job creation and fighting  poverty?

We have just one day to get CNN to balance it's  programming.

Click here to demand CNN stop these programs – or  give equal time to defenders of Social Security, Medicare and public  investment.

Whose voices will be shut  out this weekend?

The nation's leading economists who are urging our government to use deficits today  to invest in long-term prosperity – such as Paul Krugman, James Galbraith and  Dean Baker.

The fiscal experts who have repeatedly said Social Security is sound and broader health  care reform will protect Medicare.

All of you who voted for an active government to invest in our future.

While you are kept silent,  who does CNN give the microphone to?

A multimillionaire Wall  Street mogul who wants our government to slash investments while millions are  losing their jobs. This guy had no problem taking tax cuts for the wealthy that caused our deficit problems – and  his Wall St buddies crashed the economy.

NOTE:  Peterson is holding an April 28 “Fiscal  Summit” to once repeat his “way forward” out of the deficits caused by tax cuts  for the wealthy and the financial crisis caused by Wall Street and the  bankers. On the program:  President Bill Clinton and former Treasury  Secretary Bob Rubin, who deregulated the financial system, profiting Rubin’s  Citibank – until the system melted down. Also on the program, Alan Greenspan, the former Fed Chief who presided  over the deregulated banking system. These are the people Peterson chooses to lecture the rest of us about  why we need painful austerity. This weekend’s CNN programs are just a setup for April 28.

Click here to demand CNN give equal time to defenders  of Social Security, Medicare and public investment.

We are in the midst of a great debate over the direction America should take.

"The most trusted name  in news" should be the place where we have the debate, not where one  opinion is deemed to be absolute truth.

We already have a cable news  network that does that. We don't need  another unfair, unbalanced channel


 Speak out today. Don't let Pete Peterson take over the debate about our future.   

Originally posted to BillScher on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 09:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for posting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rapala, ExStr8, allie123

    This is outrageous.  

    "Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff." Sen. Sherrod Brown

    by Betty Pinson on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 09:04:40 AM PDT

  •  CNN = Faux News Lite (7+ / 0-)

    It's obvious what their agenda is now. Teabaggers, deficits, and all these other Faux News trumped up issues.

  •  Nobody watches CNN anymore anyways.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rapala, ExStr8, PatriciaVa

    especially on weekends.  I think 90210 reruns get better ratings than CNN these days.

    •  I do. Every day during the day. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I won't watch their nighttime programming, but I am home all day every day, and I am a news junkie. I'm not watching FOX.

      MSNBC has spokesmodels interpreting the "news" for me, giving their opinions on the news, and they run with every bit of titillating celebrity gossip they find, and then blast it for the rest of the day.

      MSNBC has NO credibility on the news during the day. None.

      Tamron Hall and Contessa Brewer are NOT journalists. Monica Novotny used to be, but they've poisoned her of late as well.

      And they are running off the only person in daytime worth watching: David Schuster.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 09:20:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I feel bad for you..... (0+ / 0-)

        I am also a news junkie but I no longer watch the news channels all day.  It's unhealthy....seriously!

        I now get my fix exclusvely from the internet.  Day and night.  You still get to watch clips of some of the more interesting stuff but it is entirely your choice what you want to watch.

        I find it is much better health wise and I can chose what sort of news I want (which website) through out the day.

  •  I think people are voting with their feet (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    CNN is becoming irrelevant.  Their lurch to the right hasn't worked quite the way they thought it would.  

    When CNN loses enough viewers and money, they'll give their new rightwing nut best friends a kick right out the door.

  •  Wrong tack. There is no point in denying that we (6+ / 0-)

    have a deficit problem - we've got a very serious one. The discussion should be about which party is the one that can solve it.

    And is sure as hell isn't the Republicans.

  •  Will U also Take Pelosi and Volcker to Task? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, ExStr8, PsychoSavannah

    Because lately, they too have behaved like Deficit Crazies..

    What has Pelosi said about the deficit...

       * OCTOBER 8, 2009

    Candor about taxes is rare in Washington, so when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admits that Democrats may have to impose a huge new tax on the middle class to fund their spending ambitions, believe her.

    Speaking with PBS's Charlie Rose on Monday, Mrs. Pelosi mused publicly about the rising possibility of enacting a value-added tax, or VAT, as part of broader tax reform. "Somewhere along the way, a value-added tax plays into this," she said. "Of course, we want to take down the health-care cost, that's one part of it. But in the scheme of things, I think it's fair to look at a value-added tax as well."

    and Volcker..

       * APRIL 8, 2010

    Volcker on the VAT

    The middle class is where the money is.
    Kudos for candor to Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve Chairman and current White House economic adviser, for admitting what other Democrats also know but don't want to admit until after the November election: The political class is preparing to pass a European-style value-added tax.

    Answering a question at the New York Historical Society on Tuesday, Mr. Volcker said that a VAT—a consumption tax levied along stages of production—"was not as toxic an idea" as it has been, and that both a VAT and some kind of tax on energy need to be on the table. "If at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes," he said.

    Under no circumstances can we as Dems support any candidate/officeholder who supports the monstrosity known as a national sales tax.

    And I do hope that the Republicans call the Dems on it before the fall election.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

    by PatriciaVa on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 09:08:59 AM PDT

    •  First Restore Sane Progressive Income Taxation (5+ / 0-)

      which includes high top marginal rates that are essential for protecting the economy by de-incentivizing outrageous incomes and the diversion of business to casino to earn them.

      Then we'll talk about punishing the people.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 09:13:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why are no Dems floating a Wealth Tax? (0+ / 0-)

        That's what really surprises me.

        Why do they float a VERY regressive national sales tax, but have refused to float a progressive wealth tax?

        Some argue that a wealth tax would be unconstitutional, but even more say that a national sales tax (VAT) would be against the constitution.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

        by PatriciaVa on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 09:21:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because it would be unconstitutional (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          as a direct tax not apportioned to the states under article 9 of the Constitution.

          The federal income tax is only constitutional because of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which specifically allowed it.  

          The income tax is a transactional tax -- it is a tax on the transaction of money/assets going from one person or entity to another, assessed as of the year of the transaction.  You'd have to pass a constitutional amendment to do a tax on accumulated wealth.  

          •  But the VAT would be unconstitional too, ... (0+ / 0-)

            ...for same reason.

            And if Dems have to choose one or the other, if they need to push a constitutional amendment, I say choose the progressive option which won't decimate our middle-class.

            And I urge the GOP to extract promises from Dems never to support a national sales tax.

            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

            by PatriciaVa on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 10:01:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  That's already figured into the equation (0+ / 0-)

        The deficit projections already assume that we will return to Clinton era rates on the wealthy.  

        If you look at the CBO numbers, the effective federal income tax rate on the wealthy was HIGHER during the Clinton years that it was in 1979, pre-Reagan tax cuts, when the top marginal rate was 70%, but there were many, many, many more deductions, exemptions, and exclusions.  

        The projected deficits assume that we will return to Clinton-era federal income taxation (i.e., Bush tax cuts on the wealthy will expire), and we will still have the huge projected deficits.  

        Remember, the important number is not top marginal rates -- it is effective federal income tax rates.  

  •  CBO Is Just Warning About Unsustainable Deficits (0+ / 0-)

    so it sounds like the economy has had enough after that health reform insolence, and has a pretty well coordinated effort going.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 09:11:40 AM PDT

  •  I thought this was an updated version (0+ / 0-)

    rather than just a repeat of last year's show.

    I'll have to listen more carefully today when they talk about the economy, because that's when they advertise it.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 09:14:13 AM PDT

  •  Say what you want but Social Security and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hlinko, voxpopuli

    medicare are far far from "sound".  Social Security ran its first deficit this year in fact.  All those IOU's from the general fund are laughable.  Does anything honestly think those IOU's to Social Security are worth much of anything?

    Now I am not saying we should completely do away with Social Security.  We should be honest about it however.  The need to raise the retirement age and reduce payments to future retirees is need today to balance the books on SS.  Do you really want to "punt" this problem down the road again?  That simply creates an even larger mess tommorrow.

    •  Got any links for these aeertions? (0+ / 0-)

      Because they are Peterson and his poodle, David Walker, verbatim.

    •  Horseshit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nytcek, cany

      Really, this is complete crap.  Social Security was of course affected by the recession and enormous job losses - but that is likely a temporary phenomenon, not the beginning of a trend.

      Moreover, those "iou"s are government bonds, obligations of the United States with the same status as bonds held by other bondholders everywhere.  There is no question they will be honored.  Moreover, the system is funded by a dedicated payroll tax that has run large surplusses over the last 25 years precisely in order to fund the retirement of the baby boom generation.  There is no point in having a dedicated tax if you don't have a trust fund reserve to keep track of surpluses and deficits.  You cannot argue the trust funds are not real and in the same breath argue that Social Security is in danger of running out of money.  If the funds aren't real, then there's no specific financial issue, it's a question of general deficits.  If they are real, then the problem is a general revenue deficit problem, not a Social Security problem.

      People are struggling now just to make it to the earliest possible retirement age of 62, as they lose jobs and can't find another one in their late 50's and early 60's.  How the hell are they supposed to survive until 68 or 69?  It's absurd.

      I helped write the retirement age increase legislation in 1983, and I thought it was a mistake then, because it's simply a benefit cut for people who can't find employment after age 62, not a real retirement age increase.  It's even more wrong to think about raising it further.

      •  So your solution is to simply "pay" Social (0+ / 0-)

        Security back the "IOU's" from the general fund?  HOW?!?!?!

        Do you simply want to run an even larger deficit.  Until this year, Social Security surplus had been stolen and used for general spending.  This all changed this year.  You are correct that it could turn around for a few more year (2016 is the last year possible for any surplus).

        Your options:

        1. Drastically reduce all other spending and pay back Social Security
        1. Reduce Social Security payments and increase the retirement age
        1. Run larger deficits

        I would choose #2.  #3 would wreck us all in the long run.  #1 can work, but who will convince them to step up and reduce medicare and reduce the military budget.  Fat chance...

  •  They won't be content... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2laneIA, Bluefin

    ...till the whole of the elderly population has taken to consuming cat food and untreated water (after Medicare and Social Security are gutted to save America from the "Greatest Threat to America"--the deficit) to survive, while the wealthy parasites that have sucked the country dry live the life of luxury--to be the new kings and queens of an America that is finally in a world of shit.

    These are the same people that exponentially exploded the deficit while genuflecting to the all-mighty ideology of one Ayn Rand.  Their advice should be resoundingly rejected in the open, so as to embarrass them so much that they keep their thoughts to themselves and bury it in a bottomless pit.  Unfortunately, we've a president, a congress that has lended them an ear, which has given the Village and their corporate masters the opportunity to further plunder what's left of this country.

    It's all being done in plain daylight and no one with enough power is doing anything to stop them.  That fact alone should be enough to actually wonder about the true dark nature of the human condition.

    "Grow up Democrats. Face the music. Do it alone. You're the majority." -- Rachel Maddow

    by cybrestrike on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 09:42:41 AM PDT

  •  Deficit hawkery... (0+ / 0-)

    is 100% about fear of inflation and the self-serving preservation of the value of dollar-denominated financial assets.  I dare you to do a shot every time inflation is mentioned in this agitprop documentary.

    •  Your post is a study in contradiction (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As dollar denominated assets do not suffer in inflation.

      Since the government does not produce wealth government spending is necessarily transferring wealth from one class to another--usually from the politically unconnected to the politically connected.

  •  The response around here about deficits (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hlinko, voxpopuli

    has not been all that realistic, either.  

    As soon as the economy recovers, some serious steps are going to have to be taken in that area.  That's what Obama's deficit commission is for.  And it is almost certain that they will recommend a broad-based income tax increase (more on the wealthy, but some on the middle class, because, as so many have said, "that's where the money is"), a VAT, or a combination of the two.  Pelosi and Volcker's statements are laying the groundwork for the inevitable.  

    It's all well and good to decry the solutions of others to the looming deficit issue, but there needs to be a realistic alternative that has a chance of raising the huge amounts necessary to bring down the projected deficits (which projections already assume that the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy will expire).  

    I'd be interested to hear some thoughts about realistic suggestions that will raise the kind of revenue needed.

  •  I like to see you disagree with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the facts of any of the points made by Mr. Walker. He is on the mark and excellent. The Brookings Institution, which is a Democratic thinktank, agrees with his premise.

    SS/MED are bankrupting the system.

    •  Agree 100%. Walker once sued Dick Cheney (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, voxpopuli

      I've met Dave, and worked with him in the past, and the assertion that he's somehow a "lackey" or a right wing nut is just plain ludicrous.

      This is the same guy who sued Dick Cheney when he was Comptroller General, to try to get Cheney to release secret records of his energy task force.  Hardly a right-wing nut...

      More to the point right now... I can't understand for the life of me why so many Dems run like scared bunnies when the deficit and debt is brought up.

      WE are the ones who have the high ground here.  

      BUSH was the one who accumulated more debt than all other presidents combined, and turned record surpluses into record deficits.  

      OBAMA is the one who is actually doing something about it, including appointing a bipartisan commission that the GOP was too wimpy to do itself (even after earlier supporting it).

      I've seen IOUSA, and it's a very reasonable overview of the growth of the debt and deficit.  And it came out before Obama was even elected.  It's hardly propaganda.  It lays out the facts, and describes a real problem.  

      And since it's a problem that Democrats are actually trying to SOLVE, unlike the GOP, I fail to see why we're supposed to oppose this.

  •  So called "liberal media" (0+ / 0-)

    is no less a mouthpiece for the aristocracy than is Fox News, they're just less in your face judgmental about the social issues that are used as a wedge. That's what makes them "liberal."

  •  Many people say that CNN is irrelevant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But I disagree. I think CNN has an impact on INDEPENDANTS, and we have to take this seriously.

    •  Good point. Many who have seen CNN change since (0+ / 0-)

      turner have assimilated to that change and, like watching your dog go grey, there is rarely a point where you observe the change as an Epiphany.

      I don't watch (don't have a TV) but do watch when elsewhere and I just cannot stand CNN anymore.  But most of the US likely doesn't share my personal experience.

      866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 10:52:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I did send the letter (changed it a bit) AND (0+ / 0-)

    added a few words about Eric Erickson while I was at it.

    Thanks for the head's up.

    866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 10:53:07 AM PDT

  •  Damn librul media, at it again n/t (0+ / 0-)

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