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The Politics of O'Neill

January 13, 2004

The line from both left and right is that Paul O'Neill's falling out with the Bush administration was over tax cuts. The truth is far more complicated, as  Ilana Mercer documented after he was dismissed. It might be that he simply told the truth too often. He famously raised the prospect that aid to Brazil could end up in a Swiss bank account. Of Enron, he dismissed the failure as part of the market process. He expressed doubt about currency interventions: "is not possible any more to actually fool the markets for very long." He blasted welfare programs. (pointer from  LRC blog)


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