Greenspan: toady or hypocrite

Categories: General Archive

Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan told Congress today that the budget was on an "unsustainable path" that could cause the economy "to stagnate or worse," due to a deficit that has "risen noticeably" as a percentage of G.D.P. since 2001.

Yet it was Greenspan who provided the crucial support necessary to get the Bush tax cuts enacted in 2001, on the now absurd premise that we didn't want to resolve the budget deficits too quickly! Once those cuts cleaved government spending to the point where lawmakers once again began siphoning money from the Social Security trust fund, it was Greenspan who proposed reduced benefits and other cost-saving measures for social security. And it was also Greenspan who endorsed Bush's "personal accounts" for social security, while acknowledging that they would not help reduce the deficit. (In fact, it would significantly add to the mountain of red ink.)

Even as he issues dire warnings about the implications of policies for which he has been a vital advocate, Greenspan "did not address specific ways to balance the budget," according to  today's online edition of the New York Times. "But he has leaned toward cutting spending rather than raising taxes." 

There is no question that Greenspan's actions have been hypocritical, especially with respect to social security. But it is hard to call the man himself a hypocrite when it is clear that the only abiding belief and principle that he holds dear is holding on to his job by toadying to the policies of whatever president holds office. That's his primary agenda, and the reason why he should have zero credibility. Taxpayers deserve better.  


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