Benjamin Kirby Responds to My Post
Benjamin Kirby answers my questions about the Clinton administration's economic team. Kirby was a low level staffer in the Clinton administration. Kirby has a great story about Mickey Kantor that may or may not be true. If true it confirms my suspicion that Kantor one of dumbest people in the administration.
Unfortunately, Kirby couldn't answer my question about Robert Rubin's and Joseph Stiglitz's working relationship. Stiglitz's is more progressive than the neoliberal Rubin. Where Rubin and Stiglitz disagreed is on the size of the deficit reduction package in 1993. Former Clinton administratin Council of Economic Advisers, Laura Tyson, reviewed both Rubin's and Stiglitz's books and weighs their differences. What is interesting is the pro-business Rubin supported vetoing welfare reform (Rubin supports government and private sector anti-poverty programs.) and Stiglitz helped create "third way" neoliberal economic policy theory. Rubin's and Stiglitz's debates were more about policy and both of them could make excellent arguments to counter each other and Kirby should have been in the room with a tape recorder.
These days Stiglitz is calling the Obama economic team incompetent or in the pocket of the banks. Rubin said that while he was at Citigroup "virtually nobody" saw the financial collapse coming. Guess which one is keeping a lower profile.
Agree or disagree with Rubin or Stiglitz they are both smarter than you will ever be. Both are better than former Bush amdinistration economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey. Only a true hack like Lindsey would argue that it wasn't the stimulus, but TARP (the bank bailout) and the FDIC that kept unemployment from rising to 15.7 percent. Lindsey advised President George W. Bush that the tax cuts would pay for themselves. One area that Rubin and Stiglitz agree on is that the surplus should have been used to pay off borrowed debt.