Vice President Dick Cheney declares that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s criticism of President Bush’s economic and budget policies is “off the mark.”
In his new book “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,” Greenspan bashes Bush for not responsibly handling the nation’s spending and racking up big budget deficits, saying he and Congress’ former GOP leaders abandoned the party’s conservative principles favoring small government.
But in an opinion piece in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, Cheney defends the Bush administration’s handling of the economy, saying the tax cuts Bush put through early in his first term helped the U.S. recover from the effects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Noting that the U.S. lost nearly 1 million jobs in the 3 1/2 months following the attacks, Cheney writes: “The combined effects of recession and national emergency could have been devastating for America’s economy. Yet President Bush’s tax cuts . . . resulted in a shallower recession, a faster recovery, and a platform for growth that remains sturdy to this day.”
Cheney also points out that the economic growth spurred by the tax cuts has led to sharply increased federal tax receipts, including a 12 percent rise in fiscal 2006.
As for government spending, Cheney asserts that Bush “has steadily reduced the annual rate of growth in non-security discretionary spending . . . and this year’s increase will actually be lower than the rate of inflation for the third year in a row.”
Cheney writes that despite the need to commit significant resources to the military and for intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security, the administration has managed to bring this year’s projected deficit to a level well below its historical average over the past four decades.
Referring to Greenspan as “a great chairman” and “longtime friend,” Cheney concludes that “it’s in a spirit of friendship that I offer him these gentle reminders of the Bush record.”
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