February 4th, 2009
12:59 PM ET
14 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. John

    Rising "entitlement" costs?

    Will anyone study the rising costs of the "entitlement" mindset among Wall Street elites?

    February 4, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Just a Candid Observer

    Just so you all know "Fiscal conservative" is not always a repub. George Bush was NOT a fiscal conservative. He was very liberal in his spending.

    We need to watch our money and make sure we only spend it on what is needed. I have a budget and when I have to decide if I want to spend money feeding my kids or watering my lawn I can't borrow money all the time to do both. The lawn dies until things improve. Get rid of the non-essencial crud and get the country what it needs.

    February 4, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Ray Fisher

    First, they should suggest merging all federal health care systems into Medicare, closing facility infrastructures as hospitals, clnics, offices, etc... and issue Medicare cards to military, VA, Medicaid, to begin a universal health care system. It would save $billions immediately!!!

    February 4, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. al in memphis

    A country that invest in its people protects it's future.

    If we study the success cases of the 70's and 80's, you are likely to find that the investment of a few hundred dollars in food and education help produce some of your current professions. Those professionals are now paying a few thousands dollars in taxes.

    That the mindset we need in DC.

    February 4, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. Jack Bishop

    This is one of many Democrats who believe we must get a handle on entitlements. We can start by raising the earned income limits on Social Security. bump it up to 275,000 a year and the problem with this one goes away.
    Tax cuts for companies that move jobs offshore is an entitlement. Too many think its not. Entitlements like no bid contracts for KBR and
    the drug companies fall into entitlements.
    The stimulus package before Congress has now less than 1% of so
    called wasteful spending. Some writers seem to believe its the Democrats fault. They forget the Republican Revolution started in 1994 and for the last several years they had total control of government. Oh well they continue to listen to Rush and the new leader of the GOP. JOE the FAKE PLUMBER.

    February 4, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. payback

    I put this to the people on the right. Who was incharge of congress from 1994-2006? If you answered, republicans. You are correct. Now, who had the power to stop wastful spending? republicans! you are correct. Now, that they are no longer in control. Now, they claim to be the ones. Who can't get us out of this mess, if given a chance. Please, give a break. .............

    February 4, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Lori

    And when George Bush was President, these people were where? Give me a break. Let our President do his job!

    February 4, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. Kathy S. Cloughn

    As a retired administrator of large federal programs at the state level I am always amazed at how a person's perspective changes when they are in need. Then they want the government to do everything. Guess it depends on your individual circumstances. If you are opposed to entitlements I hope you never are in need. Bet Wall St. never thought it would need welfare payments!

    February 4, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Robin

    I love how the fiscal conservatives didn't fight the bank bailouts, but now that there's a new sheriff in town and he wants to spend money that would actually help real people, they are up in arms. Good grief!

    February 4, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. Rorschach

    Speaking of entitlements, one huge drain on the economy was partially addressed today: a limit on wretchedly excessive compensation for execs. Sure, it'll be hard for the places that sell $35,000 toilets but they'll find another product to sell.

    February 4, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Locke

    I have to echo others: Where were these geniuses when the Bush administration was squandering our surplus, expanding governement at a record clip, enslaving us to foreign investment, and trampling on our rights to boot? Jeez, what timing.
    Ain't conservatism great when you have someone in office who will actually listen and act? Didn't work for crap with dumb-butt Bush, crooked Cheney and his cronies in office.

    February 4, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    If you don't want to give us any entitlements then don't take our money in taxes/social security.

    February 4, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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