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The Tally Ho

Friday, March 04, 2005

Reid on Greenspan and other random stuff.

First off, let me again say how much I like Sen. Reid as majority leader. In todays Washington Post Dan Balz reports that Mr. Reid referred to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan as "one of the biggest political hacks we have here in Washington," and considers Mr. Greenspan "arrogant." It continues
"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 [has] 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."

Peter Wallsten of the LA Times writes about how the newly elected Democratic Governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer, is vocal about not drinking BushCo cool-aid on Social Security reform
A no-nonsense rancher and wheat farmer who took office six weeks ago in a Republican state, Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer likened the president's pitch to a magic show trick featuring a rabbit in a hat.

He also compared it to a bull auction hawking lousy studs.

"I was watching the governors around the room," said Schweitzer, comparing the group to potential livestock buyers who assess the wares and express their intentions with head-nods or nose-crinkles.

"I was seeing more of this," he said, crinkling his nose as if detecting a foul odor, "than I was of this," he said, nodding his head. "I didn't see a lot of buyers in the room."

Such harsh words were surprising coming from Schweitzer, who was elected after building a public image as a non-ideological problem-solver; he even chose a Republican running mate.

His comments were another sign of the growing frustration with the White House among state chief executives of both parties as they enter the last day of the National Governors Assn.'s winter meeting today.

The governors are hoping to persuade Bush to roll back at least a portion of his proposed Medicaid cuts, which would total $60 billion over 10 years. Many states are struggling with the soaring costs of giving healthcare to the poor, and they told Bush during a private session Monday that their Medicaid budgets were surpassing those for education and other needs.


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