Mr. Greenspan writes that when President Bush chose Dick Cheney as vice president and Paul O'Neill as treasury secretary -- both colleagues from the Gerald Ford administration, during which Mr. Greenspan was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers -- he "indulged in a bit of fantasy" that this would be the government that would have resulted if Mr. Ford hadn't lost to Jimmy Carter in 1976. But Mr. Greenspan discovered that in the Bush White House, the "political operation was far more dominant" than in Mr. Ford's. "Little value was placed on rigorous economic policy debate or the weighing of long-term consequences," he writes.
You can read the whole post here.
This is a case where Greenspan is exactly right - the fact the Republicans strayed from their limited government principles, created a situation where they deserved to lose.
I admit I hadn't really looked at the President Ford connection before, but perhaps Greenspan is right, I'd have to concede. If President Ford would have won in 1976, perhaps this is what the economic world might have looked like.
On the other hand, the entire course of the economy would have been different - perhaps we wouldn't have had the double-digit inflation of the Carter era, President Reagan might not have been elected in 1980 (perhaps Nelson Rockefeller or Bob Dole would have been elected in his place), taxes might have been continually high, the economy might have been more stagnant if Mr. Greenspan was not appointed to replace Paul Voelker as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Heck, a whole host of things could have/would have happened if President Ford won in 1976. However, he didn't and we are now dealing with what we have - still a growing economy bigger than anyone would have imagined in 1976, despite Congress and the President borrowing and spending more.
Let's hope the fiscally conservative Republicans can get their backbone again and get the spending back under control.