Deficits definitely matter

FORMER Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s memoirs indicate that the Bush administration’s swapping of principle for power and ‘deficits don’t matter’ style disregard for fiscal discipline made it the least impressive of the six under which he served. Indeed, a man who worked closely with half a dozen US presidents, initially as chairman of the council of economic advisers and then for two decades as central bank chief knows what he’s talking about. That is true especially when those at the helm bank on unjustified and illegitimate rationale to unleash inhuman fury disguised in politically correct policy and end up emptying state coffers with nothing to show.

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Published: Mon 17 Sep 2007, 8:36 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:04 AM

But the Bush White House wasting the Clinton years’ budget surpluses irresponsibly is not Greenspan’s biggest grudge against the neocon administration. The former Fed chief admits in pretty clear words that the Iraq venture is “largely about oil”, bolstering what is already widely known. But for the charge to come from someone the stature of Alan Greenspan, and that too at a time when the Iraq-aftermath has prompted even Bush administration insiders to jump ship one after another, further diminishes the already low international opinion about the present occupants of the White House. History will, as it should, be unforgiving of an exercise that impacted millions of lives in the most negative ways imaginable owing to the sole superpower’s power lust.

Again, the White House will have trouble putting the spin on its response on Greenspan’s take, since it cannot be easily rubbished as just another conspiracy theory unworthy of attention. In addition to understanding the truth behind Iraq, it will help ordinary Americans realise how precarious their economic situation has become because of the administration’s reckless expenditure and loose controls over Republican dominated Congressional spending until recently.

Also, it will make clearer how budget deficits are not the only deficits running in red owing to George W Bush and company. The administration’s course has seen loss of face diplomatically, militarily, economically and above all, has turned the US into one of the least trusted nations in the world.

At 81 now, Greenspan has definitely lived a full life. And by jotting down his close personal experience with the world’s power centre at a time of monumental historical importance, he has strengthened and upgraded his legacy from Washington’s money man to a voice of truth internationally.

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