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Sprinting with Blinders On

Which candidate is concerned about financial reality during the home stretch of campaign '04?

12:00 AM, Sep 28, 2004 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
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Meanwhile, with Greenspan's term due to expire in January 2006, both the Bush and Kerry teams are starting to compile lists of possible successors. Most of the Democrats' advisors prefer Bob Rubin, whose success as Clinton's Treasury secretary and ability to calm the markets during troubled times would be great assets to a Kerry administration. But since Rubin's wife is famously loath to leave New York, and he didn't much enjoy commuting from Washington, it is less than certain that he would accept an appointment. Rubin's refusal would make economist Larry Summers, currently Harvard president and formerly Rubin's successor at the Treasury, Kerry's likely choice.

Bush's advisors have made Summers' former teacher, Harvard professor Martin Feldstein, their first choice. Although Greenspan will be a tough act to follow, monetary policy would be in good hands were any of these three to occupy the chairman's seat. Which is more than one can say about the state of fiscal policy in the hands of either presidential candidate, both of whom prefer spending to deficit-reduction.

Irwin M. Stelzer is director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute, a columnist for the Sunday Times (London), a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, and a contributing writer to The Daily Standard.