Any Democrat who still offers praise for Alan Greenspan after his latest propaganda supporting the Bush attack on Social Security should be dumped by the party and voters alike.
Greenspan has always been a Republican agent at the Federal Reserve, even in the Clinton years, but his support for private Social Security funds, and his latest warning that cuts in benefits for retirees need to be considered are both scientifically unjustified and unsupported, and politically craven, especially coming from a man who himself is already collecting the maximum Social Security benefit and who stands to walk away with a $100,000/year federal pension on top of that when he finally retires as Reserve Board chairman.
Democrats in Congress have largely gone along with the charade that the reserve board chairman is above politics and that his deliberately chimerical statements on interest rates and fiscal and monetary policy are received wisdom.
In fact, Greenspan contributed mightily to the collapse of the stock market following the popping of the Internet bubble, by failing to act to limit stock speculation in the mid and late 1990s–something he could have easily done without even touching interest rates, by simply increasing margin requirements on investors.
His pronouncements on the financial stability of the Social Security system are no more prescient or sound than his economic forecasting skills, which have been repeatedly found wanting.
It is probably worth remembering that when Greenspan left his private career as owner of a pension management firm, Townsend Greenspan, and went into government service, he left a company run into the ground because of his poor investment advice and market forecasting abilities. By the time he left, Townsend Greenspan had lost all its clients, who had all sought more capable advisers with better records.
American workers should remember all this when they read news reports quoting Greenspan as saying that the Social Security system cannot be expected to pay promised benefits to future retirees.
DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org