Greenspan Says Bush's Economics Driven by Politics
No shit Sherlock!
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan criticized President George W. Bush for pursuing an economic agenda driven by politics rather than sound policy, with little concern for future consequences.Sorry Alan but everything was driven by politics in the Bush administration - remember Terri Schiavo.
Soon after Bush took office, Greenspan wrote in a new book, it became evident that the Treasury secretary and White House economists would play secondary roles in decisions on taxes and other issues. In addition, officials with whom he had worked in the administration of President Gerald Ford changed after Bush brought them back to Washington, he said he found.
``The Bush administration turned out to be very different from the reincarnation of the Ford administration that I had imagined. Now, the political operation was far more dominant,'' Greenspan, 81, wrote in ``The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World.''
So who was Big Al's favorite president?
Greenspan Is Critical Of Bush in Memoir
Former Fed Chairman Has Praise for Clinton
While condemning Democrats, too, for rampant federal spending, he offers Bill Clinton an exemption. The former president emerges as the political hero of "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World," Greenspan's 531-page memoir, which is being published Monday.And about those tax cuts!
Greenspan, who had an eight-year alliance with Clinton and Democratic Treasury secretaries in the 1990s, praises Clinton's mind and his tough anti-deficit policies, calling the former president's 1993 economic plan "an act of political courage."
During Clinton's first weeks as president, Greenspan went to the Oval Office and explained the danger of not confronting the federal deficit. Unless the deficits were cut, there could be "a financial crisis," Greenspan told the president. "The hard truth was that Reagan had borrowed from Clinton, and Clinton was having to pay it back. I was impressed that he did not seem to be trying to fudge reality to the extent politicians ordinarily do. He was forcing himself to live in the real world."
Dealing with a budget surplus in his second term, Clinton proposed devoting the extra money to "save Social Security first." Greenspan writes, "I played no role in finding the answer, but I had to admire the one Clinton and his policymakers came up with."
Greenspan interviewed Clinton for the book and clearly admires him. "President Clinton's old-fashioned attitude toward debt might have had a more lasting effect on the nation's priorities. Instead, his influence was diluted by the uproar about Monica Lewinsky." When he first heard and read details of the Clinton-Lewinsky encounters, Greenspan writes, "I was incredulous. 'There is no way these stories could be correct,' I told my friends. 'No way.' " Later, when it was verified, Greenspan says, "I wondered how the president could take such a risk. It seemed so alien to the Bill Clinton I knew, and made me feel disappointed and sad."
Greenspan saved his harshest analysis for the current president. Soon after Bush took office in 2001, the president set about implementing a campaign promise to cut taxes, a policy Greenspan said he believed at the time wasn't well conceived.Well at least he can take some responsibility.
``Little value was placed on rigorous economic policy debate or the weighing of long-term consequences,'' he wrote.
In 2001 testimony before Congress, Greenspan was widely interpreted to have endorsed Bush's proposed tax cuts. In the book, he characterized his testimony as politically careless and said his words were misinterpreted.