Tuesday, November 02, 2010

David Stockman On CNBC's Noon Program Today

David Faber's noontime CNBC program featured as its main guest former Reagan budget director David Stockman.

It's not hard to see why Faber's management wanted Stockman on today. I'm old enough to recall that the the one-time Reagan administration member went over the hill on his boss' tax cuts, publicly calling them misguided, and much worse.

He hasn't changed his tune in twenty-some years. Throughout the interview, Stockman swore that 'you can't cut your way to growth,' decried a Republican House as unable to grapple with the 'real issues,' and dismissed the electorate's concern over recent spending and legislation as 'yesterday's problems.'

Must be nice to be able to be so smug about problems yet to be solved. Stockman didn't present any empirical evidence for his personal views on taxes and spending.

Trouble is, Stockman was largely discredited by the economic boom brought about by Reagan's tax cuts and slowing of spending growth. That latter phenomenon wasn't an absolute 'spending cut,' but it was a substantial reduction in the rate of growth of spending on various entitlements and discretionary budget items.

I find it noteworthy that Faber didn't invite, instead of Stockman, now out of government for nearly three decades, someone like Mitch Daniels, a much more recent OMB director, and current governor of Indiana. Daniels wasn't even invited for a sort of pro-con debate with Stockman.

It goes to show how desperate CNBC was to find a figure with the correct, though aged, credentials, to mount his soapbox and spout the network's familiar politically liberal line.

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