Alan Greenspan

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.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation