The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

One Wonders: What Was The Context Of Cheney’s Deficit Remark?

Posted on | December 28, 2011 | 12 Comments

by Smitty

Ran across this last night, emphasis mine:

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill was told “deficits don’t matter” when he warned of a looming fiscal crisis.
O’Neill, fired in a shakeup of Bush’s economic team in December 2002, raised objections to a new round of tax cuts and said the president balked at his more aggressive plan to combat corporate crime after a string of accounting scandals because of opposition from “the corporate crowd,” a key constituency.
O’Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter,” he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: “We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due.” A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.
The vice president’s office had no immediate comment, but John Snow, who replaced O’Neill, insisted that deficits “do matter” to the administration.

Source: [X-ref O’Neill] Adam Entous, Reuters, on AOL News Jan 11, 2004


12 Responses to “One Wonders: What Was The Context Of Cheney’s Deficit Remark?”

  1. EBL
    December 28th, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    Whatever it was, I am sure Karl Rove is to blame. 

  2. EBL
    December 28th, 2011 @ 11:09 am

    This is a very interesting article you might all check out and ponder.  

  3. republicanmother
    December 28th, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    Deficits don’t matter, because they will just print more money.

  4. Paul Sand
    December 28th, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    I can tell from the “Look Inside” feature at Amazon that this remark is discussed around page 310-311 of Cheney’s memoir, but Amazon won’t show me the whole thing.

  5. Finrod Felagund
    December 28th, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

    I think if Dick Cheney was asked about this now, he’d amend his comment to read something like ‘Deficits don’t matter, unless some jackwagon deliberately runs up the deficit to provide slush fund money to his political allies’, aka the Stimulus.

  6. smitty
    December 28th, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

    Which is bunk. While an acute deficit may occur for any number of transient reasons, chronic deficits are made of pure FAIL.

  7. Finrod Felagund
    December 28th, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    I agree, actually; we should have done more to reduce the deficit before now.  But I don’t think that Cheney ever anticipated anything as mind-numbingly stupid as the stimulus when he was talking about the deficit.  Until the Democrats took over Congress and started spending money like a meth addict on LSD, the deficit had been declining.  Then Mr. Teleprompter took office and the problem quickly got exponentially worse.

  8. Finrod Felagund
    December 28th, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

    Hm, I got Cheney’s memoir as a Christmas present, if I remember I’ll look up what he says tonight from home.

  9. Adjoran
    December 28th, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    I’d wait to see Cheney’s explanation before going off half-cocked.

    O’Neill was no great shakes and got fired.  Relying on disgruntled former employees is usually not the path to Pure Truth.

  10. Multimedia Group
    December 28th, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    Is this headline supposed to read: “One Wonders:”?

  11. smitty
    December 28th, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

    Why, yes. Thanks for the prod.

  12. Quartermaster
    December 29th, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    Frankly, only the Rubes should be shocked about that. We’ve known for years about the Wall Street crowd and their rapacity and mendacity. The Wall Street crowd is the real establishment of both parties.