Quotations from Chairman Al:
On the 2006 Election Results:
The Republicans in Congress lost their way. They swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither. They deserved to lose.
I don't think the Democrats won. It was the Republicans who lost. The Democrats came to power in the Congress because they were the only party left standing.
On the War in Iraq:
I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.
On George W. Bush:
From my brief acquaintance, it was my impression that he was his own man [not a pawn of Dick Cheney or others].
There is a remedy for legislative excess, it's called a presidential veto.
My biggest frustration remained the president's unwillingness to wield his veto against out-of-control spending.
Not exercising the veto power became a hallmark of the Bush presidency
To my mind, Bush's collaborate-don't-confront approach was a major mistake.
On the Bush tax cuts:
Little value was placed on rigorous economic policy debate or the weighing of long-term consequences.
[The anticipated budget surpluses used to justify Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut] were gone six to nine months after George W. Bush took office.... He continued to pursue his presidential campaign promises nonetheless.
'Deficits don't matter,' to my chagrin became part of the Republicans' rhetoric.
On Bill Clinton:
[Showed a] preference for dealing in facts.... Here was a fellow information hound.... We both read books and were curious and thoughtful about the world. . . . I never ceased to be surprised by his fascination with economic detail: the effect of Canadian lumber on housing prices and inflation.... He had an eye for the big picture too.
On Clinton's response to an unasked-for dose of reality:
The hard truth was that Reagan had borrowed from Clinton, and Clinton was having to pay it back. I was impressed that he did not seem to be trying to fudge reality to the extent politicians ordinarily do. He was forcing himself to live in the real world. [Greenspan delivered (and received) that message within a month of Clinton's inauguration.]
On Clinton's 1993 economic plan [tax increase]:
an act of political courage
On the Lewinsky Affair:
I was incredulous. 'There is no way these stories could be correct,' I told my friends. 'No way.' Later, when it was verified, I wondered how the president could take such a risk. It seemed so alien to the Bill Clinton I knew, and made me feel disappointed and sad.
On the current state of our federal government:
Governance has become dangerously dysfunctional.