Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 21, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

ALAN GREENSPAN....I see that Alan Greenspan has yet again testified that budget deficits are out of control. Yet again he urged Congress to do something about it. And yet again he refused to acknowledge that Republican tax cuts on billionaires are making the problem ever worse.

Even the most hard nosed conservative acknowledges that Social Security privatization would make the budget deficit worse for at least the next couple of decades. Medicare reform even if undertaken seriously would have little impact for years. Nor is the defense budget going to be cut or interest on the national debt going to go down. Welfare has already been reformed. That takes care of about 80% of the budget right there.

In other words, "pay-as-you-go budgeting policies," which affect only the small portion of the budget left over, would have a minuscule impact on the budget even if everyone took them seriously. This is something Alan Greenspan knows perfectly well.

And yet, given a choice between extolling PAYGO, which might save $20-30 billion per year at the outside, and expressing skepticism over repealing the estate tax on billionaires, which will cost the treasury upwards of $100 billion per year, which does he choose?

Do I even have to tell you the answer? Of course not. As Harry Reid put it so pungently last month, the 21st century version of Alan Greenspan is a hack. Greenspan proved him right yet again today.

Kevin Drum 1:07 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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