Two More Deficit Chickenhawks Come Out of the Closet

My buddy Joe Weisenthal picked up on some recent comments from Robert Rubin (Clinton’s Treasury Secretary and Handmaiden to the Gods of Banking Deregulation) and Paul O’Neill (a short-lived Bush Treasury Secretary).  The gentlemen have come out against more stimulus yet both are in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts.

This is the logical equivalent of being against chocolate but endorsing Godiva.

Rubin told CNN that although the economy was “going to have slow and bumpy growth, a major second stimulus” might create uncertainty and undermine confidence. This while recommending the White House leave tax cuts (that he calls middle class tax cuts) in place.

The problem here is that the Bush tax cuts are a stimulus in-and-of themselves, and an ongoing one at that.  And they have not done anyone any favors, taking a view from 30,000 feet.  I’m all for low taxes as stimulus, but only if targeted to where they will be shown to benefit the economy.  Business spending, hiring, innovation, expansion, etc – not just a “here ya go, thanks for supporting my campaign!”

The Rubins and O’Neills of the world aren’t against stimulus and deficit spending per se, they are just against the type of stimulus and deficit spending that they disagree with:

Unemployment benefit extensions (so people can eat and live indoors) = no good.

Lowered taxes on households earning a quarter of a million bucks a year = perfectly acceptable (regardless of the fact that these are deficit-negative as well).

My own position here is a non-political one:  Low taxes are great…IF THEY’RE PAID FOR BY INCREASED ECONOMIC ACTIVITY OR INVESTMENT.  I’m also all for more stimulus…ONLY IF IT’S APPLIED IN AN ACCOUNTABLE, TARGETED AND PROPITIOUS FASHION.

Obama and Bush each created and presided over atrocious stimulus plans, nothing they’ve attempted has yielded any lasting tangible effects.  They’ve both managed to spend a ton of money and please absolutely no one except the most crisis-culpable segment of the economy – the financial industry.

Stimulus is fine, but let’s actually stimulate something.  And the newly-minted Deficit Chickenhawks, many of whom were instrumental in the inflation of our debt balloon, need not comment.  We’ve all had just about enough of their “insights”.


Robert Rubin Warns Against Destabilizing Effects of Another Stimulus (Clusterstock)

US Economy Improving, More Stimulus Isn’t the Answer (Bloomberg)

This content, which contains security-related opinions and/or information, is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in any manner as professional advice, or an endorsement of any practices, products or services. There can be no guarantees or assurances that the views expressed here will be applicable for any particular facts or circumstances, and should not be relied upon in any manner. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment.

The commentary in this “post” (including any related blog, podcasts, videos, and social media) reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints, and analyses of the Ritholtz Wealth Management employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded the views of Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC. or its respective affiliates or as a description of advisory services provided by Ritholtz Wealth Management or performance returns of any Ritholtz Wealth Management Investments client.

References to any securities or digital assets, or performance data, are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others.

Wealthcast Media, an affiliate of Ritholtz Wealth Management, receives payment from various entities for advertisements in affiliated podcasts, blogs and emails. Inclusion of such advertisements does not constitute or imply endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation thereof, or any affiliation therewith, by the Content Creator or by Ritholtz Wealth Management or any of its employees. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. For additional advertisement disclaimers see here:

Please see disclosures here.

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web
  1. click here commented on Sep 14

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More Information here on that Topic: […]

  2. EatVerts commented on Sep 22

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More Information here on that Topic: […]

  3. Are Bitcoins safe? commented on Sep 25

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 30930 more Info to that Topic: […]

  4. bitcoin evolution review commented on Sep 29

    … [Trackback]

    […] Here you will find 87109 additional Info to that Topic: […]

  5. orangeville real estate agents commented on Oct 16

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More on on that Topic: […]

  6. replicas Best Cartier Watch Replicas commented on Dec 08

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Information here on that Topic: […]

  7. 메이저놀이터 commented on Dec 24

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More Info here to that Topic: […]

  8. Regression Testing Solutions commented on Jan 16

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on that Topic: […]