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K Street Files: Ad Blitz Against Debt Load

A conservative-leaning think tank launched a $3 million-plus advertising blitz Tuesday to highlight the hefty price tag of Democrats’ legislative agenda.[IMGCAP(1)]The Employment Policies Institute, a vocal opponent of a national minimum wage, is underwriting the campaign. The organization began airing its first anti-deficit television ad this week on cable news stations, a spot that plays on the familiar morning routine once again taking place for grade-schoolers across the country this week: the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. “I pledge allegiance to America’s debt. And to the Chinese government that lends us money,— the classroom booms in the new 30-second TV spot. “And to the interest, for which we pay. Compoundable, with higher taxes and lower pay, until the day we die.—The group is also placing print advertisements on Tuesday in the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Times, the Washington Examiner, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Executive Director Richard Berman said his group is prepared to spend as much as $5 million on the yearlong campaign. He said the primary focus of the ad run is to educate the public about the practical consequences of deficit spending — borrowing money through the U.S. Treasury from China and other countries to pay our bills. “A lot of people have talked about the deficit and the debt, but we’ve decided that it’s just not getting through,— Berman said. “We’re trying to get people to understand the enormity of this because when people hear about millions or trillions or billions, they’re just big numbers.—“People just don’t understand what a trillion dollars is,— he added. K Street Move. Shahira Knight, a lobbyist with the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, is joining the in-house team at Fidelity, according to several sources familiar with the move. Knight, a former aide to then-House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), could not be reached for comment.Before joining SIFMA, Knight was a lobbyist at the c2 Group.

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