March 17, 2005

Greenspan Must Go

It has always been just a question of time before US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan would be revealed as a pro-Fascist Bush neo-con stooge. That time is now upon us:
The chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, has admitted he made a mistake in 2001 when he defended President George Bush's tax cuts, which led to the turnaround of a large budget surplus at the end of the Clinton presidency to a budget deficit this year of more than $US400 billion ($506 billion).

Instead of a projected surplus of $US5.6 trillion by 2011, the budget deficit is now expected to be $US4 trillion by that date if the tax cuts become permanent.
Back in 2001, Greenspan was backing Bush's tax cuts for the rich with the ridiculous claim that budget surpluses were too big and that the US foreign debt would be paid off too quickly! Now he is attempting to use the old neo-con "groupthink" defence (who could have guessed there were no WMDs/Al-Quaeda links/limits to US borrowing?).
Under vigorous and often aggressive questioning by Hillary Clinton, Dr Greenspan, looking decidedly uncomfortable, said that, with the benefit of hindsight, he had been mistaken in his view about budget surpluses.

"We were confronted at the time with an almost universal expectation amongst experts that we were dealing with a very large surplus for which there seemed to be no end," he said. "I look back and I would say to you, if confronted with the same evidence we had back then, I would recommend exactly what I recommended then. Turns out we were all wrong".

"Not all of us," snapped Senator Clinton.
You go, girl!

It's like an immature kid maxing out a swathe of new credit cards while boasting to the world about how fast his new car is, how big his new boat is... Sooner or later the credit card companies are going to put a stop on the card and call in the debt, even if it means they themselves make a loss.
The United States' deficit in the broadest measure of international trade soared to an all-time high of $US665.9 billion ($A842.91 billion) in 2004, showing in stark terms the speed with which the country is becoming indebted to the rest of the world.
In this case, the global lenders have to worry that putting a halt to the neo-con adventure could trigger a global recession, if not another Depression. But it's time to put a stop to the game.

Greenspan's "mistake" has cost the US taxpayer around $10 trillion. If that isn't grounds for resignation (if not dismissal) then I don't know what is. A more honourable and less complicit President would put the man in jail.

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