Merry Christmas: Just think of the Campaign to Fix the Debt as economy-wrecking former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's holiday gift to us all
Even at the age of 125, our Alan never tires of public service.
As I've written here numerous times, even now I'm frequently fascinated by how similarly Howie and I have reacted to so many things in the (gasp) 50-plus years we've known each other. The other day it was a wonderful quote from economist Dean Baker which had independently charmed both of us. On the subject of the current oligarchs' crusade to inflict the "chained CPI" on us for calculating cost-of-living-based benefit increases, as a devious way to cut things like Social Security benefits without having to own up to the intent to cut things like Social Security benefits: "Among voters across the political spectrum the chained CPI is a huge loser. It only wins among the DC money crowd."
Howie noted wryly that Dean's "not on Obama's short list to be Treasury Secretary, a position he's given America's worst and most deadly enemies -- the Wall Street predators -- veto power over." I can still get off on this implicit endorsement of Dean for the job, and I still experience a thrill at the thought of the Wall Street crowd waking up to find him installed at Treasury.
Now, for Christmas Eve, Dean offers a post ("Mr. Incompetent, the Economy Wrecker Alan Greenspan, Was Central to the Formation of the Campaign to Fix the Debt") in which he passed on the discovery, buried in a NYT piece on the Campaign to Fix the Debt, "the corporate financed effort to reduce the deficit," that present at the creation of the campaign was none other than . . . our Alan, who Dean says,
will go down in history as the person who has done more damage to the U.S. economy and society that anyone who was not a foreign enemy. In fact the destruction he wreaked through his incompetence would also exceed the damage caused by almost all would-be enemies as well.Dean pays tribute to our Alan's "remarkable feat as Fed chair of ignoring the growth of the $8 trillion housing bubble."
This bubble could not have been easier to see if it had been 500 feet high and lit up with huge neon signs saying "Huge Housing Bubble." But Greenspan insisted the bubble was not there. . . .Now Dean is delighted to find our Alan in the thick of Annie Lowrey's NYT piece:
The Campaign to Fix the Debt started to come together at a salon dinner held in the backyard of Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, in the fall of 2011. An influential group of economic, political and business leaders -- including the former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and Mark Bertolini, the chief executive of the Aetna insurance company -- huddled in a too-small tent in the pouring rain."If we had a political debate that was driven by evidence," Dean writes,
where the accuracy of one's past judgements played any role in the credibility granted their current opinion, then Greenspan would be relegated to the role of ranting fool. His opinions on the economy would be given slightly less credibility than the mumblings of a street drunk.Instead, "The person most responsible for wrecking the economy -- and incidentially adding trillions of dollars to the debt -- was there at the founding of the Campaign to Fix the Debt." To Dean, "This is such an amazing tidbit that it really should have been the lead of the article."
Perhaps this will come up at Dean's Treasury secretary confirmation hearings.