February 4th, 2009
12:59 PM ET
6 years ago

Fiscal conservatives begin push over entitlements

(CNN) – As the Senate debates spending measures in President Obama’s stimulus bill, a non-partisan group launched a million-dollar ad campaign Wednesday to urge the new administration to create a task force to tackle rising entitlements costs.

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, an institution dedicated to fighting wasteful government spending, printed ads in the Washington Post and Roll Call on Wednesday calling the current financial crisis “just the tip of the iceberg.”

“We must also focus on a much larger yet less visible threat: the $56 trillion in liabilities and unfunded retirement and health care obligations (that’s $483,000 per U.S. household), and the dangerous reliance on foreign lenders, that threaten our ship of state,” says the ad.

The group is asking Obama to appoint a bipartisan task force to deal with the current financial crisis and to fix structural problems with the economy overall. Congressional Democrats like Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee and Republicans like Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio and Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia will join the group’s president and CEO David Walker for a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday to talk about the mission and ad campaign.

A spokeswoman for the foundation said the group is planning to spend a minimum of a million dollars on the ad campaign launched Wednesday, which will include an ad in the New York Times this week as well as television spots in the near future.


Filed under: stimulus package
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. bsmith171

    eliminate MEDICAID!

    February 4, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  2. Bob in Pa

    Yes, Kill the spending in DC !

    February 4, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. gt

    go blue dogs help america get out of this mess

    February 4, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Dont blame me

    We need a STIMULUS package NOT a one filled with PORK.

    The democRATs are to blame for this!!! I'm sure a few republicans too, but whe the CBO which is controlled by the democrats state that only 3% of the stimulus will be enacted before 2011, why isn't someone doing something???

    Obama stated to that American people that this bill would have NO PORK. I guess Obama LIED.

    Yes, CHANGE we can believe in.

    February 4, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. momma

    Where were these people when George Bush was president?

    February 4, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. NY republican

    Great but if the entitlements are cut won't that offend the Democrat power base? How ever will they keep on with run away unfunded spending without a "mandate" from the people?

    February 4, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Dave S.

    FISCAL CONSERVATIVES still exist in today's GOP??? Could've fooled me!

    February 4, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. Hope

    First things first, pass the stimulus bill then move onto entitlements, this is the third week of this presidency.

    February 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Gary

    No one should be "entitled" to anything. If the country pays all its bils and then wants to be generous and help the poor or the elderly then we should but if we are running record deficits we have to say enough is enough and stop promising free stuff to people. Every adult needs to work 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, no exceptions! Until we get this concept and enculturate it into our people we will fail. Tax money is for roads, police and fire not for paying lazy people to sit around watching television.

    February 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Bill Crotty

    First executive order would be to put all Congresspersons pension and health plans back in to the Social Security\ Medicare System. They will get "fully " funded real fast.

    February 4, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Lesley

    I fully support this idea. But fiscal conservatives spending more than a million dollars on an ad campaign doesn't sound fiscally conservative to me. Foundations could certainly find more worthy causes to fund with their millions than advertising. Supporting school programs or putting money into local communities would be good alternatives.

    February 4, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Mari

    AGAIN (pardon the 'yelling' ) I ASK..........

    WHERE WERE THESE SO-CALLED-'FISCAL' CONSERVATIVES WHEN BUSH WAS SPENDING OUR NATION INTO BANKRUPTCY??????

    WHERE WERE THESE SO-CALLED-'FISCAL'-CONSERVATIVES WHEN BUSH WAS...... TRIPLING...... OUR NATIONAL DEBT?????

    HYPOCRITES!

    February 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. NEL E BELL

    OK, YOU WANT TO TALK CUTTING ENTITLEMENTS, LET START WITH THE POLITICIANS ENTITLEMENTS, NO MORE FREE HEALTH COVERAGE FOR LIFE, NO MORE NO DEBATE PAY RAISES, NO MORE PLUM JOBS AS LOBBISTS AFTER YOUR CITIZENS VOTE YOU OUT OF OFFICE, AND ACROSS THE BOARD CUT OF ALL ENTITLEMENTS FOR SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE PAID FOR BY THE PEOPLE. ONCE THAT IS DONE THEN WE WILL ENTERTAIN SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICAID ETC.

    February 4, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    (CNN please post this comment. I took an oath to "Protect, Defend, and Support the Constitution of the United States of America," and I am trying to do that with my comments.)

    Has the The Peter G. Peterson Foundation read the Contitution of the United State of America, the job description and duties of the Three Branches of the Government and it is the law of the USA.

    Article I, Section Eight, Clause One, states that "Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

    Some of the "entiltlements" are requried under the Constitution, eg Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, helping people get into affordable housing and unemployment.

    Roman's 13 tells us to "obey the laws of the land" and "to pay our taxes that are due."

    February 4, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. Matthew Truth

    Baraks guys just admitted on MSNBC that they should NOT have let the House write the bill. They said they should have written it themselves or stood over and monitored the reps….

    Well Dems now what do you say.

    Watch GIBBS press report today he is going to go over all of it.

    Poor little nancy pelosi must be upset. wah wah wah. Everything all of you Dems have just wriiten is completely wrong.

    February 4, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Wanda

    Perhaps this should be filled with some in the Government who have seen the waste and have no vested interest in gaining power or funds for their respective agency!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Lush Limprick the new RNC chairman.

    You have a couple of years to put the team together.

    It will take at least 2 years to get us out of the current mess left by the repub "fiscal conservatives"!

    February 4, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Matthew Truth

    Robert Gibbs is the worst press secretary.

    The guy stumbles through every comment and refuses to answer any questions of substance. Pretty funny. I dont think he will last too long. Barak and Michelle need someone who can think faster on his feet.

    February 4, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    Oh yes, lets not forget the hidden debt! Let’s study that to, not do anything but just study it.
    Boy I'm sure not some smart college person, but I think maybe we need to cut spending, not continue to increase it with bailout after bailout.
    What does this say we have 56 TRILLION dollars in debt not counted, along with 2.7 TRILLION from last year, and the projected debt for 2009 to be somewhere around 6 TRILLION, Hmmm that adds up to a new whopper of nearly 65 TRILLION dollars of debt, how many generations of Americans will have to live as slaves to pay this off?

    February 4, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Joan Grady

    The stimulus package should have E-Verify in it. It would give legal middle class Americans a chance to find jobs that illegal immigrants took using undocumented papers.Legal Americans are loosing their jobs, their American dream to work and take care of their families. This is the fastest and best way to get legal Americans jobs.
    Joan Grady

    February 4, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. Margaret Graham

    Since so many products we use ar petroeum based, why not ask Exxon and others to help bail out he auto industry?

    February 4, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  22. Karen

    Social security IS an entitlement., as is health care. Those of us who've paid into SS our entire lives–not necessarily voluntarily–are entitled to the benefits promised us. The fact that the government put the money into the general fund and raided it systematically does not mean we should not receive that which we funded through our payroll taxes. This campaign is more Republican ideology of robbing the average person while the 1% at the top live very well. We must stand up to them! Stop fighting useless wars, stop being the aggressor world-wide. Stop funding Halliburton and Blackwater–among other corporations benefiting from our military policies.
    The US spends the least amount of money of nations in our category on its own people. Spend OUR money at home on us! It's quite simple.

    February 4, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Gregory Leftwich 92009

    I might recommend you demonstrate your respect for the new President.

    Not wise to go running an ad BEFORE you have met with him and bounced the fundamental idea off his team.

    Otherwise you run the risk of your ideas getting marginalized as just another political stunt.

    This is management 101 guys.

    February 4, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Deborah

    Thank God for Fiscal Conservatives!

    We may climb out of this mess yet!

    February 4, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Terry

    The relationship of Conservatism to the American middle-class is like the relationship of an abusive husband to his wife. When Conservatism is in power, they ransack the treasury, run up the deficit, lower taxes on themselves, bribe each other, accept bribes from each other, use the federal budget like an ATM machine, and hog up all the rewards and benefits for themselves.

    Then, when we throw them out, they say, "Come on! Let me back in. I'll be good! I'll balance the budget. I'll show fiscal restraint. Oh, come on! You can trust me this time."

    Like a foolish wife, we let them back in "one more time" and we get slapped around again.

    February 4, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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