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The Triumph Of Pete Peterson

Here's the beginning of NPR's report on the Peterson-funded fiscal summit yesterday: 

American Political heavyweights gathered in Washington today. They met to tackle the biggest problem facing the nation: the massive public debt.

The financier Pete Peterson, in a genuine act of public spiritedness, has spent huge sums of his fortune to persuade elites and the public that the public debt is the biggest crisis facing the public. This is, of course, a matter of opinion. I'd call mass unemployment, an enormous social and economic crisis which is causing acute suffering and the effects of which will last for decades, the biggest problem facing the nation. (Of course, for those with a college education, unemployment is no longer a crisis, so it's not surprising this would rank lower on their priority list.) I'd rank climate change -- which, unlike debt, is irreversible -- second, and the debt third.

Now, that's just my opinion. Peterson is entitled to disagree. The difference is that he has millions of dollars to throw around convincing people to share his opinion, and he's been so successful at it that news reporters now state his opinion as if it were a matter of settled fact.