What Dick Cheney Really Thinks About Deficits

It's good of Dick Cheney to tell the world (via Larry Kudlow) what he really thinks about deficits:

Well, I think the budgets he submitted are way out of whack. I think what it does not only to the short-term deficit but long-term debt situation is very objectionable. [...] We're at a point now where to look at the levels of spending that are being contemplated, six hundred and some billion dollars, for example, in unfunded planning with respect to their medical reforms, somebody's got to pay for that in some fashion.

Which is a perfectly fine sentiment. But it's really just fish in a barrel to point out that this is the exact opposite of what Cheney was saying in 2002 (with similarities right down to the budget figure):

Shortly before he was fired, [Treasury Secretary Paul O'neill] confronted Cheney about the Administration's latest proposal to cut taxes by another six hundred and seventy-four billion dollars over ten years, pointing out that the country was "moving toward a fiscal crisis." The Vice-President stopped him. "Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said. "We won the midterms. This is our due."

That's from John Cassidy's retelling of the famous scene from Ron Suskind's The Price of Loyalty. Nice to see Obama getting his due.

Presented by

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. More

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism, an economics blog that was recently published in book form by Simon and Schuster. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. He is also on Twitter.

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