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Tuesday, September 18, 2007
posted by Devon Murphy | 12:43 AM | permalink
The Washington Post has excerpts from Alan Greenspan's memiors, published today:

Alan Greenspan, who served as Federal Reserve chairman for 18 years and was the leading Republican economist for the past three decades, levels unusually harsh criticism at President Bush and the Republican Party in his new book, arguing that Bush abandoned the central conservative principle of fiscal restraint.
But he expresses deep disappointment with Bush. "My biggest frustration remained the president's unwillingness to wield his veto against out-of-control spending," Greenspan writes. "Not exercising the veto power became a hallmark of the Bush presidency. . . . To my mind, Bush's collaborate-don't-confront approach was a major mistake."

Greenspan accuses the Republicans who presided over the party's majority in the House until last year of being too eager to tolerate excessive federal spending in exchange for political opportunity. The Republicans, he says, deserved to lose control of the Senate and House in last year's elections. "The Republicans in Congress lost their way," Greenspan writes. "They swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither."
Greenspan says, " 'Deficits don't matter,' to my chagrin became part of the Republicans' rhetoric."

He argues that "deficits must matter" and that uncontrolled government spending and borrowing can produce high inflation "and economic devastation."

When Bush and Cheney won the 2000 election, Greenspan writes, "I thought we had a golden opportunity to advance the ideals of effective, fiscally conservative government and free markets. . . . I was soon to see my old friends veer off to unexpected directions."

He says, "Little value was placed on rigorous economic policy debate or the weighing of long-term consequences." The large, anticipated federal budget surpluses that were the basis for Bush's initial $1.35 trillion tax cut "were gone six to nine months after George W. Bush took office." So Bush's goals "were no longer entirely appropriate. He continued to pursue his presidential campaign promises nonetheless."
Though cautious about the coming decades, Greenspan ultimately shows a flash of hope at the end of his memoir. "Adaptation is in our nature," he writes, "a fact that leads me to be deeply optimistic about our future."

This criticism of President Bush's fiscal irresponsibility with regards to spending cuts applies even more deeply to Rudy Giuliani's tenure as Mayor of NYC. It is nothing short of breathtaking to see the booming prosperity of the 1990's squandered, with city debt rising by over 60% ($16 billion) during Rudy's term in office.

Governor Mitt Romney remains as the only leading candidate who is a champion of cutting taxes AND of the central conservative principles to which we owe our future success as a party, and as a country.
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