Friday, October 29, 2004

Bu$henomics: "untouched by analysis, history, or evidence." 

Former Nixon administration Commerce Secretary issues S.O.S: Transcript
My name is Pete Peterson. I'm the cofounder and chairman of the Blackstone Group, I chair the Council on Foreign Relations. I've just stepped down as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.


You have tax cuts, and we've become theological about tax cuts. You know, faith directe, more or less untouched by analysis, history, or evidence. And it's morphed into, "Any tax cut, any time." But a long-term tax cut is not a tax cut at all, unless it's accompanied by long-term spending cuts. It's what you'd call a deferred tax increase on the future, which is our children.


So we become a new oxymoron: the Big Government conservative. So my party has, in a sense, lost its moorings in recent years.

He [George W. Bush]'s a charming person. There were about a dozen of us, largely fat cats from Wall Street, and I said, "Well, sir, if you're elected president, there's a moral issue and a philosophical issue." And he said, "What's this moral point?" And I told him about the German theologian, Bonhoeffer, who said that the ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world it leaves to its children. And I said, "Sir, as I look at these fat cats around this table, I wonder about the morality of what we're doing here -- because while we're getting tax cuts, our kids are going to get huge tax increases, because of our largesse.

Well, you could see that I'd hit him in the solar plexus, or somewhere else, and I said, "I don't think tax cuts are immoral." He was somewhat shaken or irritated by my comment. And I said, "Sir, I didn't say tax cuts were immoral. I said tax cuts for people like us, before you've solved the costs you're going to be passing on to your kids, is in my judgment immoral. But you could just tell by his steely response that tax cuts are part of the theology.

I'm goin' with the "somewhere else" for purely aesthetic reasons.


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