Third Way: Think Tank Advocating for Federal Pension Cuts, Adjustments to Social Security Has Deep, Conflicting Ties to Wall Street

It seems that the theme of the day is how to cut programs that will not affect the lifestyles of the wealthy. The United States is not “broke,” the country has a tax system and can collect more revenue.  Despite having extremely costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the search is on for tough cuts on vital services. Two such proposals involve increasing the contributions that only federal employees pay (about 5%), not other pension participants (in particular Members of Congress). The other involves adjustments to Social Security (raising the retirement age, et al., anything except just raising the cap on FICA).

These devastating proposals are coming from a think tank called Third Way. I had never heard of them, but they are having a outsized voice on policy. Indeed, there are former staffers from the Obama Administration and major Democratic party donors in it.  As a result, I decided to find out who is funding such an organization. I discovered with few exceptions that the organization is governed by wealthy scions of Wall Street. [This post does not cover the staff of the group.]

As the reader can imagine, the tough medicine the group is prescribing will not apply to anyone in the Third Way group. I find this reprehensible at best, unacceptable at the worst.

Third Way Board of Trustees




John Vogelstein Chairman New Providence Asset Management LLC; Lazard Freres & Co.; Warburg Pincus LLC
Bernard Schwartz Chairman-emeritus BLS Investments LLC; Loral Space and Communications Inc.
David Heller Vice Chairman Goldman Sachs
Dwight Anderson Member Ospraie Management L.P.
Georgette Bennett Member Tannenbaum Center of Interreligious Understanding
William Budinger Member Aspen Institute; Rodel Inc.
Jonathan Cowan Member Americans for Gun Safety, et al.
Lewis Culman Member Cullman Ventures Inc.
John Dyson Member Millbrook Capital Management
Robert Dyson Member Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corp.
Brian Frank Member MSD Capital L.P.
Michael B. Goldberg Member Kelso & Company
Peter Joseph Member Palladium
General Claudia Kennedy (retired) Member First Star
Derek Kirkland Member Morgan Stanley
Ronald Klain Member Case Holdings; Staffer with Vice President Joe Biden; Revolution LLC
Reynold Levy Member Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Daniel Loeb Member Third Point LLC
Thurgood Marshall, Jr. Member Bingham McCutchen (lobbyist)
Susan McCue Member Message-Global LLC
Herbert Miler Member The Mills Corporation
Michael Novogratz Member Fortress Investment Group LLC
Andrew Parmentier Member Height Analytics
David Roberts Member Angelo, Gordon & Co.
Howard Rossman Member Mesirow Advanced Strategies Inc; Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc.
Tim Sweeney Member Gill Foundation
Ted Trimpa Member Hogan Lovells LLP
Barbara Manfrey Vogelstein Member Retired from venture capital industry
Joseph Zimlich Member Bohemian Companies