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and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more
Isaiah 2:4

Did not happen. War is the thing now. Butter into bombs. Ploughshares into bomber planes. Schools into Shrike Missiles. Tractors into tanks.

Fix the Debt – a powerful, corporate-backed lobbying group advocating debt reduction with a $60 million budget – has failed to embrace defense spending cuts as a viable deficit reduction option, despite the fact that defense spending makes up over half of discretionary spending.

The group’s “core principles” focus on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid reforms and “pro-growth” tax reform, and fail to even mention defense spending. Elsewhere on its website, Fix the Debt identifies the sequester’s automatic defense spending decrease not as a potential contributor to deficit reduction, but rather as cause for concern.

Fix the Debt’s eagerness to point the finger at social safety net spending while virtually ignoring defense spending makes more sense in light of its corporate backing.... 38 Fix the Debt leaders have ties to 43 companies with defense contracts totaling $43.4 billion in 2012. Fix the Debt leaders profiting from defense spending include the group’s cochairs, steering committee members, and CEO council members; they have ties to these companies as board members, executives and CEOs, and lobbyists.

Scanning the list of corporations backing Fix the Debt I was perplexed to come across the names Deere and Caterpillar. Deere, as in John Deere, manufacturer of the tractor that my father -- and even I -- used to drive? Caterpillar? Seems to me I've seen a bit of Caterpillar equipment on farm sites as well. Guess they're not making ploughshares any more.

And, who else is behind the skullduggery of Fix the Debt? Why, my old enemy, multi-billionaire Pete Peterson who doesn't have enough money, who wants my Social Security and Medicare. Let's also point fingers at a few other people:

If Barack Obama wins reelection, the question for liberals is whether he’ll rejoin his unfortunate crusade for a Grand Bargain. We came dangerously close in 2011, and the coming “fiscal cliff” threatens to bring us to the brink yet again. And Pete Peterson will be there, the minute the election ends, to help push Washington to Fix The Deficit.

Pete Peterson, as Ryan Grim reports, is at it again. He is throwing millions of dollars at yet another group — an impeccably bipartisan one, as always — devoted to selling both regular Americans and the political elite on the idea that our single most pressing national problem is the national debt.

Democrat Ed Rendell and Republican Judd Gregg are the co-chairs of “The Campaign to Fix the Debt,” run by Peterson’s Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonprofit also co-chaired by various moderate former members of Congress from both parties. Peterson has donated $5 million to the new campaign.

One of President Obama's major failings is his obsession with the Grand Bargain, a bargain made upon my back and the backs of millions of Americans dependent upon Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid.

A bargain made in such a way is consummately without grandeur. It is more of a bargain that reeks of depravity and corruption. Pete Peterson, that is what you are ... a depraved, greedy monster who stinks of corruption.

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