Paul O'Neill Spills: They Expected No WMDs and "Deficits Don't Matter" Said Bush Regime
The Bush administration's graceless way of ejecting those for whom it has no use looks like it's starting to catch up with them. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, who was spat out December of 2002, has turned over 19,000 documents to Ron Suskind, the author of the new Bush expose "the Price of Loyalty" and given an interview to Time Magazine. Already publicized has been O'Neill's characterization of Bush as "disengaged" in cabinet meetings, "like a blind man in a room full of deaf people,"(in a 60 Minutes interview airing this very evening) as well as his brief mention that maybe they ought to give some of the tax cuts to the middle class as well as the rich, whom even he seemed to think were getting too much, an idea Dick Cheney--increasingly emerging in this picture as every bit the vicious puppet master he's long been suspected to be--shot down.
And today this item from that hit the news:
In excerpts from a new book chronicling his rocky two-year tenure and an interview with Time magazine, O'Neill said Bush balked at his more aggressive plan to combat corporate crime after a string of accounting scandals because of opposition from "the corporate crowd," a key constituency. O'Neill, fired in a shake-up of Bush's economic team in December 2002, also said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) that growing budget deficits -- expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone -- posed a threat to the U.S. economy. Cheney cut him off, according to the interview posted on the Time Web site on Sunday. "Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due." A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.
Of course deficits didn't matter to Reagan because he wasn't the one who was left with the bill--the rest of us were, remember? And the American people bore down, erased the debt, and produced a surplus, which Bush, Delay and Cheney then yanked and gave away to the rich, who in turn have begun channeling it overseas rather than producing jobs here in America as the trickle-down lie would have you believe--because there's nothing to stop them doing so. (And now Bush is talking about giving legal jobs to illegal aliens--anything but to Americans?)
If O'Neill is correct, then Cheney has been doing no more than providing a pipeline from our tax dollars to the wealthiest pigs in the electorate. But then, some of us already knew that. Too bad this, like every other outrage I've been tracking in this blog, will most likely fade within 2 news cycles. The Bush administration knows that they only have to wait out revelations like this a bit before the public gets bored and forgets. It's happened successfully so many times in the last few years, but most of you have probably given up trying to keep track. And it is tiring.
But there's more too:
O'Neill charged that Bush entered office in January 2001 intent on invading Iraq and was in search of a way to go about it. "In the 23 months I was there, I never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of weapons of mass destruction," O'Neill, who sat on the National Security Council, told Time.
Of course, the GOP attack machine has already begun to respond:
Republican Rep. Mark Foley of Florida accused O'Neill of taking "a Shakespearean approach to advance his career and his book sales. Not since Julius Caesar have I seen such a blatant stab in the back. Et tu, Mr. O'Neill?"
Poor guy should read more. Brutus stabbed Caesar right in front, to his face, and declared openly he had done so to the Roman citizens. And did so, at least in his view, to prevent a dictatorship. (Of course, all the act did was assure one, but...)
Labels: cheney, politics