Glenn Hubbard saying "personnel is policy" makes me realize irony, satire, self-awareness & shame all must've died in same massive car crash
— billmon (@billmon1) July 27, 2013
Via Billmon, Glenn Hubbard shares his
Penthouse White House fantasies with the Economist:
“DON’T blame me, I voted Romney,” proclaims a T-shirt popular among Republicans. Another gag, popular in the conservative blogosphere, begins: “They told me that if I voted for Romney…” and then adds the horror of the week. For example: “They told me that if I voted for Romney, Detroit would go bankrupt. And they were right!” All this is nearly as much fun as obstructing Barack Obama in the House of Representatives.
But what if Mitt Romney had won in 2012? America would now be nearly 200 days into his first term in the White House. It is worth pondering how different things might look…
Romney aides wince at the comparison, but their 200-day plans sound like a Bain turn-around for America’s economy: a co-ordinated series of shocks aimed at impressing investors, but likely to startle and anger many ordinary folk. Democrats would have scorned it as a wish-list for bosses and billionaires. But Mr Romney believed his reforms would work, and work fast. Benefits would follow swiftly, in the form of private investment and job creation: persuading the wider public to trust in President Romney’s competence, if not to love him.
Team Romney’s 200-day plans included immediate, 5% cuts to public spending excluding security and social payments (though more money for defence), a weakening of the rules that Republicans say favour trade unions, a squeeze on public-sector jobs and pay, and a global push for free trade. Mr Romney would also have proposed lower income- and corporate-tax rates, offset by closing loopholes. Abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency, a conservative dream, was not on the cards. But “personnel is policy”, notes Glenn Hubbard, Mr Romney’s chief economic adviser. Those chosen to regulate energy and tackle climate change would have weighed costs against benefits minutely. A long-term squeeze on welfare and health spending was a priority: wholesale immigration reform was not…
A Romney win would have shown that America is a centre-right country, says Lanhee Chen, Mr Romney’s chief policy adviser; enough Democrats would have got the message and co-operated with him. That belief—in a conservative America—unites the Republicans’ quarrelsome tribe. Conservatives do not accept that re-election gave Mr Obama a mandate for very much. They see him as a huckster who bribed and talked some of America’s least-informed voters into backing him. (More politely, a Romney aide calls Mr Obama “extremely gifted, as a campaigner”.) His last election behind him, Mr Obama now looks to Republicans like a huckster out of fresh patter, peddling ideas far from the mainstream. That is why they defy him without fear, and embrace gridlock in Congress as a badge of honour….
From Glenn Hubbard’s Wikipedia page:
… Hubbard was interviewed in Charles Ferguson’s Oscar-winning documentary film, Inside Job (2010), discussing his advocacy, as chief economic advisor to the Bush Administration, of deregulation. Ferguson argues that deregulation led to the 2008 international banking crisis sparked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch. In the interview, Ferguson asks Hubbard to enumerate the firms from whom he receives outside income as an advisory board member in the context of possible conflict of interest. Hubbard, hitherto cooperative, declines to answer and threatens to end the interview with the remark, “You have three more minutes; give it your best shot.” After the release of the film, Columbia ramped up ongoing efforts to strengthen and clarify their conflict of interest disclosure requirements… One of his consulting contracts was examined in a deposition in 2012. His work for Countrywide Financial for $1200/h’r, attesting that the lender’s loans were no worse than a control group of mortgages and not fraudulent, was examined by an attorney for MBIA. MBIA was suing Countrywide over its mortgage practices…