John Carney Brings the Pete Peterson Entitlement Destruction Circus to Town

Filed in National by on January 23, 2013

These events don’t seem to be on Representative Carney’s website yet (or I just bypassed them), but he is holding two Town Meetings to talk about the deficit. From his Facebook page:

Want to discuss ways of reducing the federal deficit? I’m hosting two town hall meetings, in coordination with the Concord Coalition, on January 31st to get your thoughts and ideas. We’ll be at Wesley College in Dover from 1 – 2:30 and at Delaware Tech’s Stanton campus from 6:30 – 8:00. These meetings are open to the public, but seating is limited, so please RSVP by calling (302) 691-7333 or (877) 899-7872.

First, I’m stunned that he isn’t holding a Town Meeting about boosting employment. ONCE AGAIN we see Representative Carney getting focused on something that still isn’t the first priority of Americans. Second, this Concord Coalition does claim to be nonpartisan, but keep in mind that one of its founders is none other than Pete Peterson, the man who has spent almost a half of a billion dollars of his own money to destroy Social Security and Medicare. Of course, Peterson and his groups (including the sham that is Fix the Debt) never quite see their way past cutting back on New Deal commitments to get to deficit (or debt — I never understand which they are trying to get to) as their preferred solutions to the US money problems. I haven’t seen them advocating cutting back on the DOD, or maybe cutting back on the funds available to local law enforcement for arming themselves to the teeth. I certainly never see any of them talk about making sure that corporations actually pay their fair share of taxes — eliminating their loopholes and even their subsidies. Or how about growing the economy as a way to reduce deficits?

But hey, I don’t know what is on the agenda of Carney’s meeting, other than it it being supported by a Pete Peterson stalking horse. It is (according to the poster on Facebook) an “interactive exercise, developed by the non-partisan Concord Coalition, that lets you make decisions about the priorities and challenges of the Federal budget.” Which means that it could be a live exercise of something like this book tries to accomplish (and the group that supported this book has Pete Peterson as an Honorary Board Member). If it is, it could be a useful exercise in demonstrating just how difficult the budget problem is.

Still, it would be worth it to go in order to challenge the idea that in order to solve the budget problem, everyone has to give up something. Even the people who have spent their lives paying into Social Security and Medicare. And I’d like to know what Carney plans to tell the seniors he speaks to why they need to live with more cutbacks than Lockheed Martin will.

Let us know if you go. And if you can’t go, let us know what you’d ask Representative Carney in this Town Meeting in the comments.

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (38)

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  1. bamboozer says:

    Carney’s seems on his way to total DINO at this point, the responses I’ve received from his office on a variety of issues might as well have come from the Republicans. I’m going to call today and see if I can get in, should be interesting. If I don’t get thrown out.

  2. Jason330 says:

    It is one thing to be a dupe, but it is unconscionable to be a witless dupe. Right now I am hoping that Carney is aware of his paymasters intentions.

  3. cassandra_m says:

    Thanks for linking to that, puck. Once I read it again, I remembered where I’d seen this idea before. So I wonder what the point is? This isn’t even meant to be a genuine conversation on budget management. So way to contribute to the dysfunction, Representative Carney.

  4. puck says:

    In the time since that last meeting, Carney’s contribution has been to vote for a balanced budget amendment.

  5. Jason330 says:

    “Carney expressed dismay and sympathy for all the corporate money “stranded” offshore because corporations weren’t willing to pay US taxes on it. Apparently rescuing this money with lower taxes is a big topic in Congress.”


  6. cassandra_m says:

    For anyone thinking about going to this thing, here is an interesting budget control idea:

    Ending Corporate Tax Dodging Would Cut Deficit By Twice As Much As Hiking the Medicare Age

    Rather than making health care more expensive for seniors, here’s a progressive deficit reduction idea. Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office said we could raise $114 billion over ten years — twice as much as raising the Medicare age — by limiting corporate tax deferrals.

  7. puck says:

    These people really, really want to raise the Social Security eligibility age. They need a forceful reminder that is not what we want at all. Also, kthey aren’t willing at all to discuss raising the Social Security wage cap. Or drug price negotiation. Try to attend if you are willing to break format and talk about those things. Otherwise the teabaggers, LaRouchies, and retired frequent talk show callers will own the show.

  8. I have now concluded that the entire Delaware congressional delegation is in the cult-like thrall of the CCC–Concord Coalition Cult.

    Their list of directors is a Who’s Who of blue-dog D’s/ faux-moderate R’s/political has-beens/legislators-to-K Street lobbyists, including the (dead) Warren Rudman, Sam Nunn (is he still alive?), Mike Castle, Evan Bayh, Charlie Stenholm, Charles Robb, George Voinovich, and the like:

    What else could you possibly call them besides a cult? Sort-of a cross between Scientology and Amway with lotsa green eyeshades tossed in. Obsessed about ‘saving’ Social Security. Oh, and talking toothlessly and truthlessly about civility and bipartisanship.

    Not sure if Chris Coons has undergone the Ritual of Indoctrination yet, but I understand that his purple robes are on order. Just think of it: the ‘c”s alone would have Carney, Carper, Castle and Coons. With Jack Markell not far behind.

    Any Democrat who embraces this Concord Coalition nonsense is not a real Democrat in any sense of the word. They stand for the repudiation of Democratic principles. These guys all need Democratic challengers. Because these guys are phony Democrats.

  9. BTW, this is Big News. John Carney has officially aligned himself with the ‘non-partisan’ Concord Coalition. Need I remind him or anyone else that ‘non-partisan’ does not mean neutral? The ‘non-partisan’ Caesar Rodney Institute will suffice to illustrate my point.

    And the Concord Coalition is obsessed with weakening Social Security. Obsessed with it. Which, you will recall, is why Tom Carper was so depressed when the so-called fiscal cliff didn’t give him his long-anticipated chance to screw with Social Security.

    Here’s an excerpt from the Concord Coalition’s mission statement:

    “The Concord Coalition is a non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public about the causes and consequences of federal budget deficits, the long-term challenges facing America’s unsustainable entitlement programs, and how to build a sound foundation for economic growth.”

    As with the Caesar Rodney Institute, the word ‘educating’ is synonymous with the word ‘propagandizing’ or ‘misleading’.

    The Concord Coalition’s mission is John Carney’s mission. Which is why he should not be our congressperson.

  10. puck says:

    Why Social Security? It’s simple. It’s the last healthy revenue stream in America to tap for financing tax cuts on the rich. And don’t kid yourself; the rich got plenty of tax cuts in the fiscal cliff deal.

  11. jim center says:

    just called Carney’s DC office and asked why he was so concerned about the deficit. I reminded the aide taking the call that Cheney once said ,”deficits don’t matter”. There was a lot of back and forth on bipartisanship and I shot that meme down real quick. He talked about making SS “better” by working across the aisle. I let him know really quick that the other side does not want to “fix” SS, they want to eliminate it!
    I also noted that in my iPhone contacts list, Carney shows up just before Carper and Castle and that I did not want my representative to be anywhere near either of them (ideologically)

  12. puck says:

    Let them know that Social Security does not impact the deficit. Also let them know the deficit is already shrinking at the fastest pace since after WWII.

  13. cassandra_m says:

    Openly aligning with a group of people who specifically want to dismantle SS and Medicare makes it fair to ask Carney why he is so eager to help the GP to destroy these programs. If there is bipartisanship here, it is the Theater of Bipartsanship — in that this is something that the GOP will vote for, so Carney can see his way clear to joining them. Not because there is good policy here, but because he can wave the bipartsan flag AND tell the people who write him checks that more taxpayer funds are on the way.

    Good for jim center who called to tell him NO. More of us should call and tell Carney that you think Congress should stop messing around with Pete Peterson and get to the work we sent him there for.

  14. cassandra_m says:

    Unfortunately, you have to register to see this, but Martin Wolf of the FT writes that America’s Fiscal Policy is not in Crisis.

    The US confronts huge challenges, at home and abroad. Its fiscal position is not one of them. This is a highly controversial statement. If one judged by the debate in Washington, one would conclude that the federal government is close to bankruptcy. This view is false. Yes, the US does confront fiscal challenges in the long term. But these are largely caused by the soaring costs of its inefficient healthcare. Yes, the US is engaged in a fierce debate on fiscal policy. But this is due to philosophical disputes over the role of the state. Yes, the US has been running large fiscal deficits in the short run. But these are a result of the financial crisis.

    The whole thing is worthwhile.

  15. Geezer says:

    “Apparently rescuing this money [overseas corporate profits] with lower taxes is a big topic in Congress.”

    Show Carney this:

    “In assessing the 2004 tax holiday, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reports that most of the largest beneficiaries of the holiday actually cut jobs in 2005-06 – despite overall economy-wide job growth in those years – and many used the repatriated funds simply to repurchase stock or pay dividends. In assessing the 2004 tax holiday, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reports that most of the largest beneficiaries of the holiday actually cut jobs in 2005-06 – despite overall economy-wide job growth in those years – and many used the repatriated funds simply to repurchase stock or pay dividends.”

  16. Young Cobain says:

    Did I miss something? Is accepting an invite to a town hall an endorsement? You guys should really have your own town halls and set up debate forums. Invite these guys so that you can attack them personally.

  17. Jason330 says:

    From his Facebook page…”I’m hosting two town hall meetings, in coordination with the Concord Coalition.”

    That’s an endorsement. Or, is the Congressman’s office so disorganized that it does not know when he is holding a town hall and when he is simply visiting one?

  18. cassandra m says:

    Apparently you did miss something. Because there are quite alot of issues of interest to Delawareans, and as puck noted above, he has already done this. And it wasn’t really a Town Hall. It would be nice to go to a Town Hall where Carney might talk about some leadership on expanding employment for example — rather than giving a group of people hell bent on dismantling SS and Medicare (but not their own corporate subsidies) a platform.

  19. puck says:

    If it’s the same workshop format as last time, calling it a “town hall” is false advertising. None of the guided topics address pertinent issues. If you want to communicate with the Congressman you will have to break format.

    By the way, I also got an unannounced telephone town hall from Carney a few weeks ago, but my question didn’t come up.

    Carney has no shortage of ineffectual activities purporting to be constituent input.

  20. cassandra_m says:

    A letter from Rep. Carney showed in in my mailbox this AM:

    January 25, 2013

    Fellow Delawarean,

    Do you have ideas for addressing the nation’s budget challenges that you want to share with me and members of our community?

    On Thursday, January 31st, I’m hosting two interactive town hall meetings to discuss options for putting the nation back on a strong fiscal path. The meetings will take place at Wesley College in Dover at 1:00 p.m. and on Delaware Tech’s Stanton Campus at 6:30 p.m.

    I am also pleased to announce that Jeff Thiebert, Northeast Regional Director for the Concord Coalition, will help facilitate the discussion. The Concord Coalition is a non-partisan organization that advocates for responsible fiscal policy. Jeff will review spending in the current federal budget, and allow every participant to put forward their own budget proposal which reflects their ideas and priorities.

    The Dover meeting will be from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. at the H.B. DuPont College Center on Wesley College’s campus, 120 North State Street.

    The Wilmington meeting will be from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Delaware Tech Stanton Campus Conference Center, 400 Stanton Christiana Rd.
    These meetings are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to my office at (302) 691-7333 or (877) 899-7872.

    I’m eager to hear your input on how to reduce the federal debt, and I hope to see many of you at these meetings on January 31st.

  21. So. John Carney brings a propagandist to Delaware to discuss ‘options for putting the nation back on a strong fiscal path’.

    Wouldn’t it have been more fiscally responsible and equally pointless to just bring in “Professor Stapleford”?

    Would’ve saved the cost of a hotel room, at least.

    Calling all credible Democrats…

  22. puck says:

    The game of the workshop is to display worst-case projections for fifty years, then to ask participants to come up with a budget that reduces the deficit NEXT YEAR (aka “austerity”). We can’t cut our way to prosperity.

    In the long term the best way to fix the deficit is to reverse the growth in income inequality and make investments in people and infrastructure. The growth of income inequality is preventing a jobs-based recovery and restoration of the middle class. What’s the use of balancing the budget if all the wealth is going to the top 1%?

    As far as income inequality goes, the cliff deal didn’t even budge the needle.

  23. Here is a bio of Jeff Thiebert:

    You’ll note that he is not even listed as an expert on fiscal issues. He’s the National Grassroots Outreach Director for the Concord Coalition. In other words, a recruiter/evangelist. Plus he’s a graduate of a pretty sketchy law school, George Mason, which has proven to be fertile recruiting grounds for conservative judges.

    This is who ‘Democrat’ John Carney is bringing to Delaware and, BTW, giving him false billing.

    BTW, Princeton Review ranks George Mason #4 in having the most conservative law students. Here’s a profile of just one of them:



    This university is nothing but a propaganda arm for the Koch Brothers. No wonder John Carney is enthralled.

    Here’s an excerpt:

    ” The big exception has been George Mason University, a public university in Virginia which has received more than $30 million from Koch over the past 20 years. At George Mason, Koch’s foundation has underwritten the Mercatus Center, whose faculty study “how institutions affect the freedom to prosper.”

    When President George W. Bush identified 23 regulations he wanted to eliminate, 14 had been initially suggested by Mercatus scholars. In a New Yorker profile of the Koch brothers in August, Rob Stein, a Democratic strategist, called Mercatus “ground zero for deregulation policy in Washington.”

  25. geezer says:

    Sorta like Eleanor Craig’s sinecure in the UD’s economics department, just on a much broader scale.

  26. Jason330 says:

    Is it me or does Carney look absolutely pitiful in this? He comes off like a straight up patsy.

    The only problem is that the opposition party can’t oppose it or even level a mild criticism of it.

  27. puck says:

    In the June 2011 workshop, when I brought up the (unlisted) solution of fixing Social Security by raising the wage cap, it was as though I had farted.

  28. mediawatch says:

    Jason — Carney, like Carper, is but a fifth columnist within the Democratic party. We are his/their opposition, but it has taken too long to realize it.

  29. cassandra_m says:

    So is there a progressive version of the non-partisan Concord Coalition?

  30. puck says:

    Yes – Candidate Obama (not President Obama).

  31. cassandra_m says:

    You’d be wrong about that, but I suppose we are all used to you and your dead horse.

  32. Jason330 says:

    That horse is so flat from beatings that is looks more like a horse rug than a horse.

  33. puck says:

    Well, you asked.

    Actually a progressive anti-deficit organization would be aimed at jobs and income inequality, not austerity (although there would be some spending cuts but not much). It would look nothing like the Concord Coalition. More and more the goal has to be to expand the middle class, not to reduce the deficit (although that will follow).

  34. cassandra_m says:

    I know what a progressive budget organization would look like, I am looking for any existing candidates for one. I want to send that info on to Rep. Carney to ask that he bring these guys (if they exist) to town too.

  35. puck says:

    I”m not sure anybody has it quite right. If we had a functioning liberal wing, a true compromise with that wing might produce something close.

  36. cassandra_m says:

    Thank you very much, Anon! That was just what I was looking for.