Facing Up: Paying Our Nation's Debt and Saving Our Children's Future

Facing Up: Paying Our Nation's Debt and Saving Our Children's Future

by Peter G. Peterson

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this austere blueprint for balancing the federal budget by the year 2000, Peterson--chairman of the Blackstone Group (a New York investment bank), chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Secretary of Commerce under Nixon--advocates withholding, on a sliding scale, a portion of Social Security and Medicare benefits from families with an income above roughly $35,000. He also urges increases in taxability of entitlement benefits, higher taxes on the very wealthy, cuts in military spending, sharing ``peacekeeping'' costs with our allies, and a 50-cent per gallon increase in the federal gasoline tax. To cut spiraling healthcare costs, Peterson would encourage or require people to join HMOs; patients would directly pay for a bigger share of their medical bills as a means to discourage casual use of medical services. With Senators Rudman and Tsongas, Peterson founded the Concord Coalition, a group devoted to ``getting the American middle class to take responsibility for America's future.'' First serial to the Atlantic and New York Review of Books; Fortune Book Club alternate; author tour. (Nov.)
Ray Olson
If at times this argument and proposal for balancing the federal budget and eliminating the federal deficit sounds familiar, it's because Peterson is president of the Concord Coalition, the fiscal responsibility organization whose principal spokesmen are former Senators Warren Rudman and Paul Tsongas. Yes, this is very largely the 1992 dark horse Democrat's program made concrete and specific. Like Tsongas, Peterson's the son of a Greek immigrant (ne Petropoulos) who succeeded in this country and ensured the launching of his children's careers through hard work and cheerful frugality. With filial loyalty, Peterson valorizes those qualities and demonstrates--via citations from Jefferson, Hamilton, and Lincoln--how deeply they undergird the republic. Present mature generations must, he avers, guarantee their successors' future by learning to choose again, between such things as a public carte blanche for high-tech medicine to prolong the lives of the old and severely disabled on the one hand and--what is much cheaper and much more socially beneficial in the long run--preventive medicine for children and expectant and young mothers on the other; or, in a very different arena, between aircraft carriers and land-based strike forces. There are many other choices, much forthright cost-accounting and ledger-balancing, and even more appealing to family and community spirit in Peterson's blueprint for national solvency, an effort that ought to further energize at least the public conversation on federal budget reform--if not the presidential viability of a candidate who decides to run on Peterson's platform.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st Touchstone ed
Product dimensions:
6.69(w) x 9.45(h) x (d)

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