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Greenspan Hits Republicans From the Left and From the Right?

It's hard to know what to think about Greenspan's memoirs which come out tomorrow. All we have are clips from the publisher which are designed to be controversial -- after all they gave him an $8 million advance, they have books to sell. It is clear however, the publisher has chosen to play up the fact the Greenspan criticizes Bush and the Republicans.

While the left is sure to try to make points, most of his criticism, or the criticisms we've seen so far, have been for the Republicans not being fiscally conservative enough. He hits them from the right. Frankly as a fiscal conservative myself, he has a point. Greenspan slams Bush not for mismanagement of the economy per se, he approved of the Bush tax cuts, but for not vetoing spending.

It is a great irony that Clinton, with the Gingrich revolution to contend with, had to control spending while Bush, with the "lazy Republicans" (as I call them) could spend like there was no tomorrow. Greenspan, rightfully in my mind, calls it like he sees it.

"The Republicans in Congress lost their way," Greenspan writes. "They swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither."

If you're a true conservative who isn't living in denial, you have to swallow hard and admit he is right. "Republicans in Congress lost their way" should be on a tee shirt. -- Forget looking for a second Reagan, I'd like a second Newt.

But it is the single sentence we have about the Iraq war that is, so far, the most controversial of the book. "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil," he says.

Sans context, it is a great way to sell books but offers little insight into his thoughts. If he is saying Bushco wanted to steal Iraq's oil, then I'd suggest Andrea Mitchell get him checked for Alzheimer's pronto. If he is saying that Bush felt Saddam posed a threat to the world's oil supply because he was a madman capable of causing great turmoil in the middle East, then that point is worth debating. While many lefties will jump up and down with glee over that single sentence, it is doubtful Greenspan is a closet moonbat.

It is highly more probable that Greenspan was saying something well reasoned but got quoted out of context to sell books.

The only thing we can say for sure about the contents of Greenspan's book is that both sides will try to spin it for a win.


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Comments (12)

Right on, Paul.It ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Right on, Paul.

It should also be noted that probably everything Hugo Chavez has done to consolidate power and deny freedom to his people was done "for oil," since oil is now nearly the sole source of Venezuela's economic activity. Yet we don't hear Mama Moonbat, Hollywood Marxists, and Democrat apologists ever admitting that, do we?

Greenspan's main criticism of Bush's "economic policies" was about his out-of-control, never say never spending policies. Greenspan supported Bush's 2001 tax cut plan and even says in his book that he would have pushed for tax cuts and testified on their behalf even if Al Gore was president.

Since the Democrats will cannonize the parts of Greenspan's book that are critical of Bush's Iraq war policy, it will be interesting to see how they dismiss his suggestions for reducing government spending and allowing the market to have more control over the economy.

If you're a true c... (Below threshold)
Mark L Author Profile Page:
If you're a true conservative who isn't living in denial, you have to swallow hard and admit he is right.

On hardly has to swallow hard. There's a reason the Republicans were sent packing in 2006. The two most important issues to (most) conservatives are: 1) winning the war and 2) managing the economy. Republicans failed on both counts. Iraq is only now starting to look winnable, but it's a bit late in the game for the American people. And don't even get me started on the Medicare expansion under Bush.

After watching Clinton with a Democratic Congress and Bush with a Republican one, I'm more convinced than ever that divided government is best. One party rule is a recipe for corruption.

>After watching Clinton wit... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>After watching Clinton with a Democratic Congress and Bush with a Republican one, I'm more convinced than ever that divided government is best. One party rule is a recipe for corruption.

Heh- Interesting... If you had to pick one party to permanently assign to one branch which would be it?

I was about to make a post saying if I had to pick, I preferred having (real) Republicans in Congress watching the purse strings and a Dem in the WH.... But then I remembered National Security.

This book from the guy who ... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

This book from the guy who pushed ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages for those not familiar, meaning your interest goes up), when interest rates were at all time lows. You could get a 30 year mortgage for under 7% and during many months around 5%. Greenspan pushed for everyone to get an ARM, when the difference in interest rates was never more than 2 points, ie 7% for 30 year, 5% for an ARM.
Was does this mean? People maxed out what they could qualify on at 3%, then 1 to 3 years later in the interest increase anywhere from 1-2 points, and every year after that first increase the rate can go up again. People who barely qualified for the mortgage, all the sudden couldn't make their payments.
Why would you get an ARM that is good for 1 to 3 years when you could get a 5% RATE FOR 30 YEARS? Its not like the interest rate was going to go down to 1 or 2%.

This book from the guy who ... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

This book from the guy who pushed ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages for those not familiar, meaning your interest goes up), when interest rates were at all time lows. You could get a 30 year mortgage for under 7% and during many months around 5%. Greenspan pushed for everyone to get an ARM, when the difference in interest rates was never more than 2 points, ie 7% for 30 years, 5% for an ARM.
Was does this mean? People maxed out what they could qualify on at 3%, then 1 to 3 years later in the interest increase anywhere from 1-2 points, and every year after that first increase the rate can go up again. People who barely qualified for the mortgage, all the sudden couldn't make their payments.
Why would you get an ARM that is good for 1 to 3 years when you could get a 7% RATE FOR 30 YEARS? Its not like the interest rate was going to go down to 1 or 2%.

Heh- Interesting..... (Below threshold)
Mark L Author Profile Page:
Heh- Interesting... If you had to pick one party to permanently assign to one branch which would be it?

Neither. That would have the same effect. From a security perspective, I like having a Republican in the White House. Democrats in Congress, however, don't know how to leave politics at the water's edge.

This does appear to be a bi... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

This does appear to be a bit of ass-covering by Mr. G-span; he did preside over a huge asset bubble in the '90's, but did nothing to curb it.

So the "libertarian" part of his psyche has now taken over, disturbed about gov't spending and the war. Fair enough, but where was he on these issues when the time came for comment?

It's a bit of a kiss and tell, but I suppose Mr. G-span, over the course of his many years in Washington, has become like the other politicians, and when the piling-on is occurring, wish to avail themselves of it to their own benefit--revising history in the the light most favorable to them.

That part is "dissapointing," to be sure.

The Iraq war was about oil?... (Below threshold)
Roy:

The Iraq war was about oil? DUH! If it wasn't for the oil, we'd be living like middle eastern Muslims, banging stones together to keep warm.

The Iranian war is also about oil. It'll become a hot war soon, since we've been ignoring it since 1979, and thanks to that (that means you - Mssrs. Carter, Reagan, GHWB, Clinton, GWB) it'll be a lot worse than the current Iraq one.

If we're going to get techn... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

If we're going to get technical, I do think that the Iraq war was about oil. Not in the sense that America invaded in order to take over the oil or any nonsense like that. Rather, the Middle East receives more attention than other parts of the world (like, say, Darfur) because large oil supplies are there, oil is a hugely important resource, and continued access to that supply is uncertain because of continual political turmoil.

--|PW|--

At last Mr Greenspan comes ... (Below threshold)
crazy:

At last Mr Greenspan comes forward with a text designed to help us decode decades of "Greenspeak" and low and behold we learn he was right about just about everything and everybody else was either not listening to him or doing the wrong thing. Amazing! Who'd have thunk it...another Beltway legend reveals nobody else in town knows anything but him.

Can someone please explain how libertarian Greenspan can justify trying to manage the nation's economy? As I read through the leaks all I see his Mr Greenspan trying to justify his "management" of the nation's economy drifted from one asset-class bubble to the next that he would first create and then puncture.

Here is an excerpt from an ... (Below threshold)
rrita m:

Here is an excerpt from an essay written before the invasion in 2003. William Clark expounds that it wasn't just about oil but oil currency:

"Moreover, immediately following Congress's vote on the Iraq Resolution, we suddenly became informed of North Korea's nuclear program violations. Kim Jong Il is processing uranium in order to produce nuclear weapons this year. (It should be noted that just after coming into office President Bush was informed in January 2001of North Korea's suspected nuclear program). Despite the obvious contradictions, President Bush has not provided a rationale answer as to why Saddam's seemingly dormant WMD program possesses a more imminent threat that North Korea's active nuclear weapons program. Millions of people in the U.S. and around the world are asking the simple question: "Why attack Iraq now?" Well, behind all the propaganda is a simple truth -- one of the core drivers for toppling Saddam is actually the euro currency, the €"

Greenspan must have been a ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Greenspan must have been a pretty good kid but he is now a complete dork




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