Richard Nixon's commerce secretary, Pete Peterson, slipped an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend with a reference to "tax aversion syndrome": "Some have tax aversion syndrome—they have never met a tax increase they didn't do everything in their power to block." The Journal's subheadline captured the spirit of the article: "Higher taxes and reduced entitlement benefits for the well-off are the only solutions."
Mr. Peterson is a champion at sounding the alarm over the federal fiscal imbalance, but you almost never see him utter a peep about state and local budget problems, which are driven in part by the "defined benefit" pension plans for public employees. Mr. Peterson made a huge personal fortune selling public pension managers on investing those pension funds with the Blackstone Group. We covered some of this in the review of Mr. Peterson's book.