Tales from the Trail

Peterson Foundation launches OweNo campaign on U.S. debt

While the ads are humorous, the subject is serious.

Fictional presidential candidate Hugh Jidette (pronounced huge debt) will soon be making a pitch for more U.S. debt held by foreign countries in television ads that willCALIFORNIA-PROTESTS/ be appearing across the country.

The tongue-in-cheek spots are actually trying to drive home to the American public the consequences of failing to tackle huge debt increases facing the United States if lawmakers fail to balance the annual budget and continue to run deficits.

The nation’s debt now stands at $13.7 trillion and will hit the statutory credit limit of $14.3 trillion in the spring. At that point Congress must vote to raise the credit limit to keep the country from going into default.

The $6 million “OweNo”  ad campaign is sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, an organization devoted to getting lawmakers to act on the long-term fiscal imbalances facing the United States. The foundation was established by Peter Peterson,  an investment banker who served in the Nixon administration. 

Lawmakers will have to make politically unpopular decisions to cut spending and raise revenues to put the country’s long-term accounts into better balance, Peterson said at a news conference.

Peter Peterson says Republicans and business need to step up

Peter Peterson knows a little something about Republicans, Wall Street, and American business. He’s a former Commerce Secretary under Republican President Richard Nixon, a former New York Federal Reserve chairman and a former chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers.

And what he sees right now is that Republicans and business are not stepping up to the plate.

BUSH/“One of the things that troubles me about the position of the Republicans is they’ve also been the party of  ‘yes,’ not just the party of  ’no’,” he said in an interview with Reuters Insider TV.