Peter G. Peterson Commits $1 Billion Toward Solving America's Most Significant Economic Challenges

Peterson Launches Foundation to Target 'Undeniable, Unsustainable and

Untouchable' Threats to the Nation's Future and to future Generations of


U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker to Serve as President and Chief

Executive of the Foundation

Feb 15, 2008, 00:00 ET from The Peter G. Peterson Foundation

    NEW YORK, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a move to address the
 most critical sustainability challenges that threaten America's future,
 Peter G. Peterson today announced the formation of the Peter G. Peterson
 Foundation, and his commitment to fund at least $1 billion over the next
 several years toward addressing these challenges.
     The targets of the effort will be the most substantial economic, fiscal
 and other sustainability challenges of our current age, including: the
 explosive growth of Federal entitlement programs; unaffordable healthcare
 costs; unprecedented trade and budget deficits along with abysmally low
 savings rates, and the associated skyrocketing foreign debt; unsustainable
 and gluttonous energy consumption; an uncompetitive educational system; and
 the threat to our collective future from the proliferation of nuclear
 warfare materials.
     "I have been around a very long time, and I have never seen so many
 simultaneous challenges that I would describe as undeniable, unsustainable
 and virtually untouchable politically," said Mr. Peterson, Senior Chairman
 of The Blackstone Group and former U.S. Commerce Secretary. "We've reached
 the make or break point in American history. These problems have reached
 tidal proportions and festered for more than two decades due to political
 irresponsibility -- now is the time to put politics aside and put the
 country first, and begin to solve these problems with courage and clarity.
 This is the moment in our history when we do what is necessary to remain a
 first class country."
     Leading the new foundation as President and CEO will be David M.
 Walker, 56, who has served as Comptroller General of the United States for
 the last nine plus years, during which he has headed the U.S. Government
 Accountability Office (GAO) and has been in effect the USA's chief
 accountability officer. Mr. Walker will work directly with Mr. Peterson and
 the Directors of the Foundation in setting the Foundation's goals and
 priorities as well as running the organization's day-to-day activities.
     "Dave Walker is an ideal choice to lead this foundation because he has
 tremendous focus, credibility and insight. He has a track record of
 commitment to these issues and is leaving a front row seat at the center of
 our government, where he acquired an insider's knowledge of and perspective
 on America's long-term fiscal and other challenges and the factors that
 influence them," said Peterson. "Dave fully understands the stakes for our
 future, and I am confident he will serve as a powerful, credible,
 non-partisan and no-nonsense voice of reason on behalf of the Foundation
 and our mission."
     The Peterson Foundation will focus on drawing attention to and solving
 the most critical social, economic and environmental problems that threaten
 the nation's economy and imperil the American way of life for future
 generations. The Foundation will seek innovative means to advance its
 agenda, relying on both traditional and non-traditional platforms to spread
 its message and call Americans to action. When fully staffed, the
 Foundation will engage or employ policy advocates, field educators, and
 digital media professionals in order to mobilize key constituencies and
 develop programs to support its agenda. Critical to the Foundation's
 efforts will be engaging and activating young Americans and their parents,
 the business community and the media.
     The Foundation will finance efforts to raise public awareness and
 understanding, as well as develop and implement sensible policy solutions.
 The Foundation today announced the first two recipients of grants will be:
 The Concord Coalition for the Fiscal Wake-up Tour and Sam Nunn's Nuclear
 Threat Initiative (in partnership with Warren Buffett). A number of other
 grant possibilities are currently being considered.
     Peterson believes the nation's political leadership has fallen prey to
 short-term thinking and lacks the courage to clearly spell out the
 difficulties, contributing to a state of denial. "If Americans are told the
 truth, and if they feel the required sacrifices for our common future are
 fairly shared, I have enormous faith that they will respond with a
 commitment to identify and implement the right solutions," Mr. Peterson
     The Peter G. Peterson Foundation
     The mission of The Peterson Foundation is to enhance the public
 understanding of the nature and urgency of selected key sustainability
 challenges that threaten America's future, to propose sensible and workable
 solutions to address these challenges and to build public will to do
 something about them.

SOURCE The Peter G. Peterson Foundation