Say It Aint So, Big Al,
The Little Lad Lamented ...
(This dispatch comes to Bad Attitudes from a Washington insider. As is the case with all
real insiders, he prefers not to jeopardize his position by using his correct name. He has
chosen Theodore Metcalf as his nom de smear.)
With todays headlines about Big Al Greenspan going in the tank for Bush
on tax cuts, I suddenly realized something that had hitherto not been clear:
Alan Greenspan intends to die in office.
Clinton has long maintained that Greenspan in the historic early 1993 meeting
basically told Clinton that Clinton had to bring down the deficit or
Greenspan would jam up the interest rates. Greenspan then came out in favor
of Clintons deficit reduction plan, giving Clinton some cover to ram
through his budget on a party-line vote.
Now it becomes clear that Greenspan is not in the business of intimidating
and bending presidents to his will, as the media has long maintained. In
fact, the opposite is true: In 1993, Clinton must already have wanted to cut
the deficit (probably Bob Rubins idea), and Clinton simply let Greenspan
sense that if he wanted to be reappointed, he had to abandon
support for a big tax cut. Greenspan then complied, and Clinton put him back in.
Now the same story is playing out: Bush in meeting with Greenspan
about ten days ago clearly signalled that he would not be a
candidate for reappointment unless he backed a tax cut. Greenspan then took
about a week to get his notes in order and reorder his patter from black to
white. (He also had to educate his staff and other Fed governors on the new
rationale for reversing course). Then he took his show on the road: Tax Cut
Ive heard Big Al loves the parties, etc. Must be true, since
he obviously has no interest in fiscal policy.
Interest rates will be zooming, of course--the question is just how soon. I
hope that Katie and I can lock in a mortgage at a good rate before the thing
blows up. As a matter of fact, any smart homeowner should be considering
remortgaging to the hilt at a fixed rate, preferably with an assignable
mortage so you can sell the debt at a profit when you sell the house.