Alan Greenspan thinks Bush has been fiscally irresponsible. According to the New York Times:
Alan Greenspan, who was chairman of the Federal Reserve for nearly two decades, in a long-awaited memoir, is harshly critical of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the Republican-controlled Congress, as abandoning their party’s principles on spending and deficits.
In the 500-page book, “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,” Mr. Greenspan describes the Bush administration as so captive to its own political operation that it paid little attention to fiscal discipline, and he described Mr. Bush’s first two Treasury secretaries, Paul H. O’Neill and John W. Snow, as essentially powerless.
But let’s review what he had to say about Bush’s tax cuts, in 2001.
According to CNN Money:
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan gave his broadest endorsement of tax cuts to date Thursday, while also indicating that the U.S. economy has slowed dramatically, raising investors’ hopes that further interest rate reductions are on the horizon.
In testimony to the Senate Budget Committee, Greenspan declined to comment on President Bush’s $1.6 trillion, 10-year tax cut plan, saying a decision on the size of a cut was best left up to Congress and the political process. But the Fed chairman’s backing of tax cuts as economically sound likely will provide a boost to the new administration’s proposals.
Anyone paying attention, at the time, remembers that supposed deficit hawk Greenspan’s tacit endorsement of Bush’s tax cuts made a huge difference in helping get them passed. And when those tax cuts resulted in the largest federal deficits in human history?
As this February, 2004 New York Times article makes clear:
Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, told lawmakers on Wednesday that Congress should rein in the federal deficit through reductions in spending — including cuts in entitlement programs like Social Security — rather than through tax increases.
”The crucial issue out here is the rate of growth of productivity and the rate of growth of the economy, and what history does tell us is that keeping tax rates down will tend to maximize that,” Mr. Greenspan told members of the House Budget Committee.
That was music to the ears of President Bush and many Republicans, who want to extend permanently more than $1.7 trillion worth of tax cuts even as they face a deficit that could exceed $500 billion this year.
But Mr. Greenspan touched off a furor by calling on Congress to trim Social Security and Medicare benefits in the future, provoking criticism from Democrats and causing heartburn among some Republicans.
Rob from the poor and the middle class to give to the rich.
As tomorrow’s Times article continues:
Mr. Bush, he writes, was never willing to contain spending or veto bills that drove the country into deeper and deeper deficits, as Congress abandoned rules that required that the cost of tax cuts be offset by savings elsewhere. “The Republicans in Congress lost their way,” writes Mr. Greenspan, a self-described “libertarian Republican.”
If one were to call him a lying sack of shit, one would not be inaccurate. It wasn’t the spending that exploded the deficit, it was the tax cuts that he had concluded would be no fiscal problem. Tax cuts for the wealthy. Would it surprise anyone to learn that Alan Greenspan is a very wealthy man?