He couldn’t have done this a year ago? Or 18 years ago?
He was arguably the most powerful man in Washington for more than 18 years, but former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan waited until retirement to finally come out in favor of a gas tax. Writes Daniel Gross in the NYT:
As a rule, Mr. Greenspan, a Republican by temperament and background who was reappointed twice by Bill Clinton, adhered closely to Republican orthodoxy on taxes: the lower the better. Mr. Greenspan was hardly a proponent of raising taxes on energy to encourage conservation, a policy prescription generally associated with the politicians and economists of the left.
Until now. In late September, as he spoke to a group of business executives in Massachusetts, a question was posed as to whether he’d like to see an increase in the federal gasoline tax, which has stood at 18.4 cents a gallon since 1993. “Yes, I would,” Mr. Greenspan responded with atypical clarity. “That’s the way to get consumption down. It’s a national security issue.”
Want to bet Ben Bernanke will wait until retirement before he comes to the same sage conclusion?