Friday, March 11, 2005

The Strategy Group's Pete Giangreco [D] fires back.

Democratic political campaign consultant Pete Giangreco thinks my report [See blog entry immediately below] about his statements at the New Trier Democratic Organization event a few weeks ago and about Democratic positions on Social Security, in general, are a bit unfair.

Pete doesn’t quibble with the accuracy of my quote from his talk, but Pete argues my statements, in terms of context and otherwise, were unfair. Pete says this is--

“Because Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy wiped out the Democratic solution to the problems with Social Security, which was to use a portion of the five trillion dollar Clinton budget surplus to shore up Social Security.

Now that Bush has created a nearly five trillion dollar deficit, Bush wants to make it worse by borrowing two trillion dollars more to finance a privatization scheme that won't make Social Security any more solvent.

We Democrats don't need to help Bush wreck Social Security any more than he already has.

Bipartisan commission to make modest changes to strengthen Social Security? Yes.

Consider privatization in any form? Hell NO-- we won't blow another hole in Social Security.”

And, in response, I state: a primary question that needs to be answered is what caused and is causing the problem with social security and the federal deficits? Was it the tax cuts which many economists and others would argue were necessary to stimulate and grow the economy—which growth ultimately results in more, not less, tax revenue for social security and other public programs?

Were the deficits also caused, in significant part, by an increase in defense spending, partly reflecting the increased federal government emphasis on anti-terrorism and partly reflecting the decision to take military action in Iraq. And, were those decisions appropriate national responses to changed circumstances?
Finally, is the problem in social security also being caused by a dramatic change, over time, in such factors as the number of people working and contributing per social security recipient? And, will personal accounts help address the social security solvency issue, contrary to Pete Giangreco’s beliefs.

Pete and I will be taping an episode of “Public Affairs,” this Sunday afternoon discussing Social Security, the State budget deficit, state ethics and campaign contribution issues—as well as other national and state issues, including one of Giangreco's current clients-- Governor Rod Blagojevich-- and his performance. So, if you have questions for me to ask Pete, please email them to me. And, if you have questions for Pete Giangreco to ask me, please email them to Pete directly or to me and I will pass them on Pete.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at