9/16/2007

Greenspan Critical of Bush Administration, Has Praise for Bill Clinton

















From The Washington Post:
Greenspan, 81, indirectly criticizes his friend and colleague from the Ford administration, Vice President Cheney. Former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill has quoted Cheney as once saying, "Reagan proved deficits don't matter."

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."

"By the end of last year, Greenspan writes with some bitterness, Washington was "harboring a dysfunctional government. . . . Governance has become dangerously dysfunctional."

"However, he calls Clinton a "risk taker" who had shown a "preference for dealing in facts," and presents Clinton and himself almost as soul mates. "Here was a fellow information hound. . . . We both read books and were curious and thoughtful about the world. . . . I never ceased to be surprised by his fascination with economic detail: the effect of Canadian lumber on housing prices and inflation. . . . He had an eye for the big picture too.""

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob Woodward of the Washington Post has interviewed Alan Greenspan regarding the striking comment in his new memoir that "the Iraq War is largely about oil."

Woodward writes:

“In the interview, Greenspan clarified that sentence in his 531-page book, saying that while securing global oil supplies was "not the administration's motive," he had presented the White House with the case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy.

"I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan said in the interview Saturday, "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential."

He said that in his discussions with President Bush and Vice President Cheney, "I have never heard them basically say, 'We've got to protect the oil supplies of the world,' but that would have been my motive."

Sounds like Greenspan was the one who wanted to go to war for oil, not the Bush Administration. So was the war "largely about oil" only in Alan's mind?

Ink Stained Wretch said...

Anon,

Much of what you say is correct. Greenspan also went on to claim that if not stopped Sadam
would now control the Straight of Hormuz, which would drive oil up to $185/barrel. That sounded
logical unless you look at a map. That move would require Iraq to invade a number of neigboring
countries and I'm not talking about Kuwait. Greenspan may never have heard Chaney talk about the
Iraq war in terms of oil, but that doesn't mean it wasn't his motivation. I don't trust him as
far as I can spit. Don't forget the secret meetings he was involved with to determine this country's
oil policy, no doubt written by oil companies. The transcripts of these meetings are still secret and
have no been released to the public. Why? In short, I wouldn't put on the burden on Greenspan. Chaney
has he oily claw in this no doubt.