Friday, June 3, 2011

Glenn Hubbard's family

Mark Blyth sent a nice letter  (subscription required) to the Financial Times.  You must remember that "Give it your Best Shot" Hubbard (of Inside Job fame) was the Chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisors, and a cheerleader of tax cuts for the very wealthy.  Hubbard had written an op-ed in the FT (no need to read it, since it's really bad) saying that public debt is out of control.  Of course he is still against taxes for the wealthy.  First Mark gets correctly the point that public debt is not analogous to private debt and lectures the economist (that should have known this):
"the Hubbard family does not issue its own script, owe itself money, borrow other people’s savings with their own paper, or allow new entrants into the family on the basis of skills and contribution to taxes."
Then he points out that:
"the blame for the current predicament lies in the “discretionary spending binge of the past decade”, which would be the cost of bailing the banks that he argued should be less regulated, and the unfunded tax cuts which he championed. Odd then that having cut into revenue so drastically Professor Hubbard resists raising it through taxes, especially on the top 1 per cent, who, even if we were to double their share “would not right the fiscal ship”. Perhaps, but since they made off with 20 years of gains, and got their assets bailed, I’d just feel a bit more part of the family if they did."

Here is another case of a Republican economist caught between the logic of the problem at hand and their bizarre solutions.  Before anybody complains, I'm not to worried about the size of debt, or the fact that is growing, but I'm in favor of higher taxes for the rich.

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