The Government Pays More Money to Peter Peterson and Other Rich Investment Bankers than to Poor Chidren

The NYT had another blogpost complaining that the government pays more money to rich investment bankers like Peter Peterson than it does to poor children. Actually, the column didn't mention how much money rich investment bankers get from the government in the form of interest payments on the government bonds that most of them hold, instead it complained about the money that retirees collect in the form of Social Security and Medicare payments.

Of course, it would be foolish to compare the money that rich investment bankers get in interest payments on money they have lent to the government with the pure transfer payments that the government makes to ensure that poor children have a decent chance in life. But, it is also foolish to compare the retirement benefits that seniors have largely paid for during their working life, through Social Security and Medicare taxes, with the pure transfer payments that the government makes to ensure that poor children have a decent chance in life.

But, rich investment bankers like Peter Peterson have the money to ensure that the first sort of stupid comparison (money going to rich people as interest and money going to poor children) doesn't appear in serious news outlets and that the second sort of stupid comparison does.

--Dean Baker

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