Wow. I saw a diary on this earlier in the day and couldn't quite believe it. The diarist - I can't recall who - was reporting on something seen on TV, so I thought perhaps s/he misheard. I'm sorry to have doubted you, mystery diarist - to have doubted and Harry Reid!
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan generally gets accolades for his public pronouncements. Yesterday he got a brickbat from Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who blasted Greenspan as "one of the biggest political hacks we have here in Washington."
Reid ripped Greenspan during an interview on CNN's "Inside Politics." He said the Fed chairman has given President Bush a pass on deficits that have built up in the past four years and should be challenging Republicans on their fiscal policies, rather than promoting Bush's plan to introduce personal accounts into Social Security.
"I'm not a big Greenspan fan -- Alan Greenspan fan," Reid said when asked about the Fed chairman's testimony this week urging Congress to deal quickly with the financial problems facing Social Security and Medicare. "I voted against him the last two times. I think he's one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington."
Reid said that when Bill Clinton was president, Democrats had confronted the deficit problem by enacting a tax increase in 1993, which helped bring about a balanced budget and strong economic growth later in the decade.
"Why doesn't he respond to the Republicans and tell them the big problem here is the debt that this administration is created?" he said. "We had a $7 trillion-dollar surplus when Bush took office. Now we have a $3 or $4 trillion-dollar deficit. That's, in fact, what Greenspan should be telling people." (Emphasis added.)
Wow again. It wasn't long ago when many of us were worried that Reid would be too timid as minority leader. He's done a lot to show that view to be incorrect, and now he's taking on one of the political establishment's most sacred cows, his Royal Highness Alan Greenspan. Good for Reid! "The Maestro" has used his lofty perch as Fed Chair to help push through some of the worst parts of the radical GOP agenda, particularly tax cuts. It's about time someone took him down a notch.
(Thanks to Devilstower for the WaPo link.)