How Selfish is Robert Rubin?

Robert Kuttner has nothing

nice to say about Robert Rubin, and that makes Brad

DeLong angry.

I think DeLong is right, here. Kuttner does seem to be saying, in DeLong’s words,

that "Rubin is a devious, self-interested plutocrat" – whereas

in fact Rubin is a straightforward and transparent plutocrat who raised taxes

on his own class (the rich) and who also engineered economic and financial policies

which made his own class even richer.

First and foremost, Rubin is a fiscal hawk, and he wanted to increase government

revenues in order to balance the budget. You can do that the hard way –

by raising taxes – or you can do that the really hard way, by

raising taxes in such a way as to encourage growth, thereby increasing not only

the tax rate that the rich pay, but also the income on which they are paying

taxes. Rubin chose the second path, with great economic and fiscal success.

Yes, he made a lot of money as a consequence. That’s a good thing. It meant

that he, and thousands like him, paid even more in taxes.

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