’08 candidates oddly quiet on Greenspan economic review
Usually it is former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan who is mum, but he’s all talk this week trying to sell his memoirs and instead the people who want to be president — and thus inherit the wobbly economy — are the quiet ones.
Only one of the top candidates’ campaigns, Republican Mitt Romney, offered reaction to Greenspan’s criticism that tax cuts and spending on military and prescription drug benefits under the Bush administration were not appropriate with growing deficits.
The former Fed chief said in a Reuters interview that the chances of a recession had now risen from one-third to “somewhat less than 50 (percent)”. He also offered in a Wall Street Journal interview some criticism of Democrats, particularly for their reticence about free trade.
Romney, the former Republican Massachusetts governor, has pledged to cap non-military discretionary spending at inflation minus 1 percent.
“He has consistently and repeatedly pointed out that Republicans have to start acting like Republicans again on fiscal issues, and that means we have to take a stand against wasteful spending and challenge the Washington mindset,” his spokesman Kevin Madden said.
The campaign for Republican Fred Thompson did not respond to a request for comment, but said a former Bush administration economic aide, Larry Lindsey, would serve as a senior economic adviser to his campaign.
Representatives for Republican Rudy Giuliani and Democrat Barack Obama declined to comment while the campaigns for Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Edwards did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Greenspan’s observations.
Photo credit: Jim Young; Bush and Greenspan share a laugh in early 2006