Obama Packs Debt Commission with Social Security Looters
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Reischauer has close ties to economic wrecking ball Robert Rubin—the Goldman Sachs chairman who became Clinton Treasury Secretary and pushed through radical deregulatory banking laws, then went to Citigroup to score $120 million for driving his company into the ground. Rubin and Reischauer knew each other at both the Harvard Corporation and the Clinton White House, where Reischauer was director of CBO. Reischauer is on the advisory board of Rubin’s Hamilton Project, and the two most recent CBO directors have come straight from Hamilton.
One of Reischauer's co-signers of the Brookings memo, Alice Rivlin, is another fox Obama has put in charge of the Social Security henhouse. Former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve under Greenspan at the peak of the tech bubble, and also a Hamilton Project board member, Rivlin will likely make another great Wall Street ally on the commission. In 2004 Rivlin co-authored (with Obama's current Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, among others) a 138-page Brookings report titled " Restoring Fiscal Sanity" advocating $47 billion in entitlement cuts, including an "increase in the retirement age under Social Security" and "more accurate inﬂation adjustments to Social Security beneﬁts."
Keep in mind that she supported this plan before most of Bush's military expenditures, before the Great Recession, and before the financial bailouts. If that's not enough, Rivlin, who gave roughly $10,000 to Obama's 2008 campaign, was also on the board of Public Agenda Foundation with Peter Peterson, the private equity kingpin who has devoted literally billions to destroying Social Security during his lifetime. Public Agenda has organized research and events to refine elite strategies for pushing deficit reduction, including entitlement reform. From a recent Public Agenda forum titled Trillions of Reasons to Get Serious About Our Fiscal Future:
"Panelists agreed that the key word when talking about reducing the deficit should be 'sacrifice' and not just for the wealthy, a message to which most Americans might respond negatively."
That's three out of three votes for "sacrifice," and we haven't even gotten to Obama's other Republican pick, David Cote, who is CEO of Honeywell, a major defense contractor with millions in profits at stake in maintaining our out-of-control military budget. Cote is also a former executive at GE, another big military contractor, and director of JPMorgan Chase. Obama has named Cote, who supported the stimulus bill, as one of his favorite CEOs. He is additionally a senior adviser to KKR, the infamous leveraged buyout firm, and a member of the Business Roundtable, a powerful association of CEOs that has spent millions fighting Social Security.
Obama's fifth pick is Ann Fudge, a major campaign bundler who already spends a bit of time around tables with the American banking elite. Fudge was chairman of the board of advertising firm Young & Rubicam Brands, which includes former Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz, until 2006. She's now on the boards of Brookings and Rockefeller Foundation, both teeming with top Wall Street elites (including Prince, Parsons, Gupta, Hutchins, Johnson, Rubenstein and Wolstencroft, to name a few), as well as GE and Novartis Pharmaceuticals. With her extensive marketing experience, perhaps she'll be the one who figures out how to sell the commission's "sacrifices" to the public.
Bruce Reed, whom Bowles and Simpson recently named as the commission’s executive director, can help Fudge brainstorm slogans. Reed is CEO of the corporatist Democratic Leadership Council (previously chaired by Joe Lieberman for six years, and now by Hamilton Project advisory board member and Blue Dog Harold Ford, Jr), is very tight with Rahm Emmanuel (they wrote a book together), and coined the phrase “end welfare as we know it.” Any other social program Reed would like to end as we know it?