Peter J. Ferrara

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Peter Joseph Ferrara heads the Social Security Project of the Free Enterprise Fund, which supports the Bush administration's effort to privatize Social Security.


Ferrara was born April 26, 1955. He graduated from Harvard College (B.A., 1976) and from Harvard Law School (J.D., 1979).

While at Harvard Law School, Ferrara was encouraged by Cato Institute founder Edward H. Crane to develop his nascent ideas about Social Security privatization, according to the Washington Post. Ferrara had caught Crane's ieda with a paper that "suggested converting the government-run Social Security program into a web of private investments."

Ferrara and Crane diligently worked at pushing Social Security privatization into the mainstream conservative agenda. But with success, came division. "As Crane, Ferrara and the business interests that have become the effort's primary financial supporters are at each other's throats over how to structure and promote the accounts," the Post writes. "Ed Crane and I don't talk anymore," Ferrara told the Post. "Cato wants to get rid of the entire Social Security system, and I don't."[1]


  • 1979-81: associate attorney with the firm of Cravath, Swain & Moore
  • 1981-82: Office of Policy Development at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • 1982-83: Office of Policy Development at the White House
  • 1983-84: associate attorney with the firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge
  • 1984: Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation [2] [3]
  • 1987-91: associate professor of law at George Mason University School of Law
  • 1992-93: Associate deputy attorney general
  • 1995-2000: general counsel and chief economist at Americans for Tax Reform

Other Positions

Current Positions:

Pundit Payola

Peter Ferrara, a "senior policy adviser" at the conservative Institute for Policy Innovation, admitted that he "took money" from Jack Abramoff "to write op-ed pieces boosting the lobbyist's clients. 'I do that all the time,' Ferrara [said]. 'I've done that in the past, and I'll do it in the future'," Eamon Javers reported December 16, 2005, in Business Week. Ferrara said "he doesn't see a conflict of interest in taking undisclosed money to write op-ed pieces because his columns never violated his ideological principles."

"Ferrara wouldn't say which publications have published pieces for which Abramoff paid him," Javers wrote. "But a review of his work shows that he wrote articles for The Washington Times that were favorable to the Choctaw Indians and the Mariana Islands. He also wrote a 1998 book called The Choctaw Revolution: Lessons for Federal Indian Policy. Ferrara says the tribe paid him directly for his work on the book, which was published by the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and is still available for sale on"

For background, see the Abramoff-Reed Indian Gambling Scandal.


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