During a pre-recorded commentary aired on CBS’s Sunday Morning show, right-leaning actor and economist Ben Stein - also a CBS contributor - blamed "excessive tax cuts" enacted by former President Bush and congressional Republicans for "starting the problem" of the current federal budget deficit, and advocated raising taxes on the wealthy in addition to "major spending cuts" and changes in Medicare and Social Security to get the deficit under control. Stein: "The Republicans who started the problem with excessive tax cuts in the Bush years will have to agree to raise taxes at least upon the truly rich of whom there are plenty."
And, while ignoring the presence of a Republican Congress that helped restrain spending growth during the Clinton administration, and the spike in tax revenue fueled by an unsustainable tech bubble, Stein concluded his commentary praising former President Bill Clinton and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin as "grown-ups," awarding them credit for the balanced budget of the late 1990s.
Stein: "The grown-ups like Bill Clinton and Robert Rubin - his Treasury Secretary who actually balanced the budget - left the federal fiscal scene more than 10 years ago. Now it's time to live within our means. No more voodoo economics. We can do it. The first step is back through the looking glass into reality. We've got to do it."
"You had me convinced - yes, he was. But you had me convinced that Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers and some of these people are all going to be in the Cabinet. We'd be better off if they were," Imus said.
Don't expect Bill Clinton's former labor secretary Robert Reich to ever do so, for in an article published at Salon Thursday, the UC-Berkeley professor claimed "every major policy that led to this collapse occurred under George W.'s watch."
Not only that, but the man who recently told Congress that jobs created by the economic stimulus package shouldn't only go to "white male construction workers" also declared, "Angry right-wing populism lurks just below the surface of the terrible American economy, ready to be launched not only at Obama but also at liberals, intellectuals, gays, blacks, Jews, the mainstream media, coastal elites, crypto socialists, and any other potential target of paranoid opportunity."
Readers are warned to proceed with caution before going any further, for Reich was loaded for conservatives and wasn't taking prisoners:
There's an N-Word you apparently write at your own risk if you're in the establishment media. It's "nationalization."
The Associated Press's Stephen Bernard, with the help of old reliables Jeannine Aversa and Martin Crutsinger, blew through almost 800 words (link is dynamic; 12:49 p.m. version is saved here for future reference, is now authored by Crutsinger, and is longer than what I originally read) about the deal between Uncle Sam and Citigroup, under which the government could end up with a 36% ownership stake -- almost certainly enough, as Citi's largest shareholder, to impose its will -- without mentioning the term.
Another precious tidbit is in the story's second-last paragraph (bold is mine):
Last month, Robert Rubin, a former Treasury Secretary who was a longtime Citigroup board member, and Win Bischoff, most recently chairman at Citigroup, both announced their retirement from the company.
"A" former Treasury Secretary?
Gee, until recently he was known as Democratic Treasury Secretary under Democrat Bill Clinton.
Joe Conason's column should be as chilling to conservatives as it is meant to be comforting to liberals. His message: don't be distracted by the centrist-seeming appointments Pres.-elect Obama has made to his economic team. He remains as committed as ever to his radical agenda.
Conason's commentary appears this morning at Rasmussen Reports. Key lines [emphasis added]:
[W]hen liberals point to Summers and other members of the Obama team, crying betrayal, they misunderstand the strategy behind those appointments. The most important thing to remember about the president-elect as he prepares to govern is that he takes the long view -- and that he knows how to make a reasonable case for radical change. He has not taken one step back from the commitments he articulated during his campaign.
You might know Barack Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate, a hyper-partisan who toed the Harry Reid line an amazing 97% of the time. But Andrea Mitchell sees in Obama a bipartisan president in the making. Appearing on Morning Joe today, Mitchell came close to speaking of an Obama presidency as a given, just managing to curb her enthusiasm. And wait till you see the people she cited as evidence of Obama's bipartisan proclivity.