Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Greenspan takes Bush to task

The former Fed chief says the GOP failed to rein in spending.

September 15, 2007|Bob Woodward | Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Alan Greenspan, who served as Federal Reserve chairman for 18 years and was the leading Republican economist for the last three decades, levels harsh criticism at President Bush and the GOP in his new book, arguing that Bush abandoned the conservative principle of fiscal restraint.

Though condemning Democrats too for rampant federal spending, he exempts President Clinton from the criticism. Clinton emerges as the political hero of "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World," Greenspan's 531-page memoir, being published Monday.

Greenspan had an eight-year alliance with Clinton and Clinton's Democratic Treasury secretaries. The memoir praises Clinton's mind and anti-deficit policies, calling his 1993 economic plan "an act of political courage."

Greenspan expresses deep disappointment with Bush: "My biggest frustration remained the president's unwillingness to wield his veto against out-of- control spending. Not exercising the veto power became a hallmark of the Bush presidency. . . . To my mind, Bush's collaborate-don't-confront approach was a major mistake."

Greenspan accuses the Republicans who presided over the party's majority in the House until last year of being too eager to tolerate excessive federal spending in exchange for political opportunity. The Republicans, he says, deserved to lose control of the Senate and House in last year's elections. "They swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither."

When Bush and Cheney won the 2000 election, Greenspan writes, "I thought we had a golden opportunity. . . . I was soon to see my old friends veer off to unexpected directions."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|