They don’t look like killers, do they? And they’re not. Not in any of the ways we usually think of killers: Ted Bundy, Norman Bates, Hannibal Lecter, drug kingpins, mob enforcers, or barroom brawlers gone out of control.
They are, however, de facto members of the Let Them Eat Catfood And Die class, whether they intended to be or not.
[i couldn’t get the photo to post, you can see it here]
The serious, thoughtful-looking gentleman on the left is Pete Peterson, a gazillionaire who wants the US to "balance the federal budget" and "reduce the federal deficit" by cutting government spending on social programs, programs like Medicare and Social Security.
The concerned, intelligent-looking gentleman on the right is Elliot Fisher, one of the principals involved in producing the Dartmouth Atlas, which is a fascinating set of publications, but which are basically bad science being used to justify cutting Medicare spending on the very sickest old folks.
And now, thanks to their converging ideologies, they are two of the "top leaders" to be featured at the April 28th "National Fiscal Summit" put on by the Peter G Peterson Foundation.
We bloggers, otoh, don’t have $billion$ to throw at our leaders and policy makers, but we do have sheer numbers, and connectivity, and outrage. If like a lot of us, you are outraged that people who have been lucky [sometimes very lucky] in life are bent on shredding the safety net that the rest of us depend on, have we got a counter-summit for you. It’s free, it’s open to the public, and it’s highly recommended:
“The Fiscal Sustainability Teach-In Counter-conference will be the important event in Washington on April 28,” said Professor Galbraith. “Unlike the other meeting, this one will feature important work by honest scholars. It deserves at least equal attention, and very much more respect.”
We’ve got the bare bones to go forward, but we’re still in need of help with our funding. The room is reserved, the speakers all have their plane tickets, and maybe we’ll even even be able to provide them with free coffee. But if you’d like to see videos on the web later on, or read transcripts, or look at PowerPoint presentations, or … and if you’ve got a few dollars to spare, we’re still accepting donations, even on the eve of what we hope is only our first conference.
With your help, we might even be able to give them a free lunch to go along with that free coffee.