Ferrara took money from erstwhile lobbyistJack Abramoff to write op-ed pieces favorable to Abramoff clients. (Ferrara did not disclose which pieces he was paid to write, but Business Week noted that he wrote favorable articles in the Washington Times about the Northern Marianas Islands and the Choctaw Indian tribe, both Abramoff clients.) Ferrara argued those writings were entirely consistent with his independently held views, remained unrepentant, and intended to pursue the practice in the future: "I do that all the time. I've done that in the past, and I'll do it in the future."
Ferrara was a senior policy adviser at the Institute for Policy Innovation. In April 2011, Ferrara became senior fellow for entitlement and budget policy at The Heartland Institute. Concurrently, he serves as general counsel for the American Civil Rights Union and policy director of the Carleson Center for Welfare Reform.
In 1987, The New York Times published an op-ed by Ferrara in which he advocated capping the Social Security payroll tax. The newspaper also interviewed Ferrara that year about a proposal by Secretary of Health and Human Services Otis R. Bowen to expand Medicare; Ferrara criticized the program for "a lot of gaps in medical coverage for the elderly" and found "no basis for just expanding Medicare to take over coverage that private sector provides now." The George W. Bush administration championed Ferrara's plan to privatize Social Security.
National Review magazine published his essay "What Is An American?" in its September 25, 2001 issue, after the September 11 attacks. In the essay, he claims that "there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan", although census numbers show Afghanistan has roughly ten to fifteen times as many Muslims as the United States. The essay was reproduced in a chain e-mail claiming that an Australian dentist wrote it. Ferrara, reflecting on that essay in 2007, still stood by it and supported "more selective immigration so that the U.S. gets a 'better-educated class of Mexican immigrants.'"
America's Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb (2011)
Stop the Raid: Social Security the Biggest Rip Off in History (with Denison Smith) (2008)
Common Cents, Common Dreams: A layman's guide to social security privatization (ISBN 1882577760) (September 1999)
The Choctaw Revolution: Lessons for Federal Indian Policy (ISBN 096658340X) (September 1, 1998)
Religion and the Constitution: A reinterpretation (1983)
Social Security: The Inherent Contradiction (1980)
^ abBirnbaum, Jeffrey H. (February 22, 2005). "Private-Account Concept Grew From Obscure Roots". The Washington Post. p. A1. "Twenty-five years ago, Peter J. Ferrara was a Harvard Law School student with what he called "the craziest idea in the world." In a paper he wrote before graduating, he suggested converting the government-run Social Security program into a web of private investments...the proposal by the 24-year-old Ferrara began an improbable journey from the fringes of public policy into the mainstream." Ferrara graduated from the law school in 1979, according to his ACRU biography
^ abcStern, Seth (Summer 2005). "26 Years Later". Harvard Law Bulletin. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
^Javers, Eamon (December 16, 2005). "Op-Eds for Sale". Business Week. Retrieved July 14, 2009. "...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."