Robert Kuttner has nothing
nice to say about Robert Rubin, and that makes Brad
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.