Greenspan Criticizes McCain Tax Cut Proposal

Alan Greenspan, nobody's idea of a wild-eyed liberal, tells us that the country can't afford John McCain's proposed tax cuts. At least not without significantly slashing federal spending. That's not likely to happen in a McCain administration, given McCain's devotion to an expensive war in Iraq and the need to ramp up military spending even more to cover the other military ventures McCain is likely to authorize.

McCain has said he would balance the cost of most of his tax cuts with budget reductions, while providing few details beyond eliminating earmarks and other pork-barrel spending, which have totaled about $171 billion since 2001.

How those cuts will cover his proposed $3.3 trillion reduction in tax revenues, McCain hasn't explained. Nor is he willing to say which earmarks he'll cut, or what he'll do about the nation's crumbling infrastructure if he intends to slash domestic spending.

The answer is obvious: higher deficits, a continuation of the Republican legacy. McCain = more of the same.

< Obama On Offense - Against McCain, Not Palin | Saturday Evening Open Thread: Dali's View Of Women >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I would add this (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:17:31 PM EST
    This is the same irresponsible tax policy that George Bush has employed for 4 years that has destroyed the US economy.

    But to hear the hypocrisy of Greenspan, who is a liar and an incompetent, come out and say this burns my butt.

    I agree with using it as TChris has done (and would go further and tie it to Bush) but let's not kid ourselves - Greenspan, like Sully before him, is a mend acious incompetent hypocrite.

    What BTD said....Greenspan's advice (none / 0) (#4)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:25:23 PM EST
    has not helped America one iota...

    What about the richest of the rich? (none / 0) (#21)
    by liberalone on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 08:53:40 PM EST
    Greenspan and Bush Co. have helped an iota of the American populace-- the top 1%.  The rest of us get to pay taxes to make sure this 1% never fails.

    But isn't tax and spending (none / 0) (#5)
    by Polkan on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:28:38 PM EST
    expressly reserved by the Constitution to the Congress, the power of the purse and the budget?

    As you might have noticed (none / 0) (#6)
    by TChris on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:40:01 PM EST
    Congress can't pass a budget that will actually become law unless the president is willing to sign it.

    Even veto-proof majority? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Polkan on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:42:20 PM EST
    I'm not familiar enough with this

    No (none / 0) (#8)
    by TChris on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:45:27 PM EST
    Congress can override, but Democrats won't control 2/3 of each chamber no matter how favorable the election outcome might be.

    Does this mean (none / 0) (#9)
    by Polkan on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:54:15 PM EST
    that a President essentially controls budget and taxes?

    Not entirely. (none / 0) (#11)
    by TChris on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:15:22 PM EST
    The president proposes a budget.  Congress enacts some version of that budget.  The president signs it or vetoes it.  Ideally the two branches work together to make compromises that reflect a mutual agreement about what's best for the country.  But the president has the final say except in the unusual circumstance that enough votes exist to override his veto.  So the reality is that the president exercises a very strong and often controlling influence over budget and tax policy.

    Wow TChris, thanks for this! (none / 0) (#14)
    by Polkan on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:44:22 PM EST
    Thnx, BTD, for pointing out Greenspan's duplicity- (none / 0) (#10)
    by jawbone on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:09:55 PM EST
    which I think it is more than hypocrisy.

    Christopher Buckley was on The Bob Edwards Show today to talk about his new novel, Supreme Courtship, and they also got into current politics.

    Edwards suggested that the Repubs deliberately created large deficits in order to make it next to impossible for Dem presidents, or Dem Congresses, to be able to enact many or any of their programs.

    Buckley laughed and said that he did agree with the "starve the beast" approach, and if took deficits to do it, well.... He then derided Al Gore for saying he would make the monies backing SocSec unavailable to the Congress by putting them in the famous (he sort of snickered while saying it) "lockbox." He contended that Congress would have spent that money on its programs, had Gore been elected.

    No one mentioned that the MCM becomes a budget watchdog when Dems are in charge (and prior to elections, especially if the Dem has a good chance of winning), but tends to ignore deficits and the national debt when Repubs are in power.  I've noticed an increase in the number of opinion pieces on NPR and elsewhere just lately about how terrible the debt/deficit is and how the next prez must do something about that. And that cutting entitlement social programs is a good place to start.

    If Obama wins, we will hear so much about the need to watch spending, cut programs, etc., our heads will be spinning.  Just you wait, 'Enry 'Iggins, just you wait!


    Given the true budget deficit (none / 0) (#12)
    by BrianJ on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:16:12 PM EST
    Which is $667 billion if you look at the amount that the national debt increased between 9/11/2007 and 9/11/2008, and given the long list of companies/ industries that have received or will receive bailouts from Uncle Sam, I think we can say this:

    If Obama gets elected, your taxes will go up.
    If McCain gets elected, your taxes will go up.

    Both candidates' tax plans are utter fantasy, and for Obama to say that he'll reduce taxes for "95% of taxpayers" and remove all elderly people with incomes under $60,000 from the tax rolls is just as irresponsible as McCain's tax plan to further enrich the super-wealthy.

    (For historical data on the debt, visit http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np)


    But..but...but....isn't ending BushCo's cuts for (none / 0) (#15)
    by jawbone on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 07:03:49 PM EST
    the top 5% going to pay for everything?

    Slow and careful exit from Iraq, being replaced in more military in Afghanistan, is not going to do it.

    I have this sick feeling that when people are desperately going to need universal healthcare, it ain't gonna happen. Somehow the Brits implement their plan after the horrors and expenses of WWII, but we'll be told it can't be done. Thank you, BushBoy, Greenspan, lack of regulation of the financial sector. Thanks a lot. NOT.


    I know Warren Buffet endorsed Obama (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by steviez314 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:19:34 PM EST
    A 30-second ad from him would go a long way I think.

    A well respected businessman.  From the McCain generation.  A really rich guy who wants to be taxed more so his secretary can be taxed less.

    It would be the world's most admired investor telling us the economy's in the crapper, and Obama has the best plan to fix it.

    I know he believes it, so why can't the campaign do this?

    Great idea (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:21:35 PM EST
    I wonder if he would do it.

    Greenspan helped the flow of wealth upward. (none / 0) (#13)
    by VicfromOregon on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:43:15 PM EST
    I think he primarily saw his job as tweaking the federal interest rates just enough to allow for a smoother shift of wealth from the middle class to the upper class.  He's the architect of Reagan's Supply-side Economics Plan. If this guy criticizes or supports an economic policy of any candidate, I think we do well to do exactly the opposite of what Greenspan suggests.

    Ah yes, Greenspan (none / 0) (#16)
    by christinep on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 07:49:45 PM EST
    While I agree that the tax cuts do little else than let $ drift upward, it is more than laughable to quote Greenspan. The same Greenspan, some years back, said that if her were a young man, he would take advantage of all the subprime loans, etc. to purchase a home. Those good ole subprime loans.  There certainly is a lot of blame to go around in the housing crisis; but, when the then-head of the Fed supports/pushes for the very problem that we have, you have to wonder about his prognostication abilities (to say the least.)

    Greenspan has NO credibility (none / 0) (#17)
    by Barbara D on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 07:52:57 PM EST
    You seem to forget that Greenspan gave the thumbs up to GWB's tax cuts. He has no credibility as far as I'm concerned; he is simply trying to influence the election. As in most election cycles, both candidates have promised tax cuts and new expenditures that don't add up. He should have criticized both for unrealistic fiscal policy.

    Greenspan should be ashamed of himself (none / 0) (#20)
    by g8grl on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 08:16:50 PM EST
    When interest rates were at historical lows, he told everyone to go out and refinance with variable rate loans.  As though interest rates would never change.  He should be ashamed to show his face.