Friday, August 20, 2010

A Dilemma

Reagan proved deficits don't matter.
Richard "Dick" Cheney


Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill was told "deficits don't matter" when he warned of a looming fiscal crisis. O'Neill, fired in a shakeup of Bush's economic team in December 2002, raised objections to a new round of tax cuts and said the president balked at his more aggressive plan to combat corporate crime after a string of accounting scandals because of opposition from "the corporate crowd," a key constituency.

O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due." A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.

Source: Adam Entous, Reuters, on AOL News Jan 11, 2004


The question seems simple. Either deficits matter or they don't. Here's the dilemma:

If deficits do matter, then Reagan was wrong, and the Republicans were lying then.

If deficits don't matter, then the Republicans are lying now.

An interesting problem, I think.

So, Mr. Cheney, do you still beat your wife? I'm waiting....

Very Truly Yours,




Cricket said...

For the record:

Personally, I think that deficits do matter, but not in the way that the Republicans would like you to believe. Reagan was wrong. The Republicans were lying both then and now.

This interpretation seems to cover the facts best. It also allows for the likelihood that both parties are lying about the deficit in different ways. Even if you are lying, it does not follow that I am telling the truth, right?

It's time for both Republicans and Democrats to join the Whigs, Federalists, Bull Moose Party, and all the rest. Support campaign finance reform.

Suldog said...

My guess is that Mr. Reagan and Mr. Cheney meant that deficits don't matter when it comes to pulling votes. More's the shame, though - on us.