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More from Paul O'Neill

January 11, 2004 3:21 PM

Time Magazine has more on Paul O'Neill's insider account of the Bush White House:


If anyone would listen to him, Paul O'Neill thought, Dick Cheney would. The two had served together during the Ford Administration, and now as the Treasury Secretary fought a losing battle against another round of tax cuts, he figured that his longtime colleague would give him a hearing.

O'Neill had been preaching that a fiscal crisis was looming and more tax cuts would exacerbate it. But others in the White House saw a chance to capitalize on the historic Republican congressional gains in the 2002 elections. Surely, Cheney would not be so smug. He would hear O'Neill out. In an economic meeting in the Vice President's office, O'Neill started pitching, describing how the numbers showed that growing budget deficits threatened the economy. Cheney cut him off. "Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said. O'Neill was too dumbfounded to respond. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms. This is our due."

A month later, Paul O'Neill was fired, ending the rocky two-year tenure of Bush's first Treasury Secretary.

More from the archive in Bush, Economy, Lies and Deceit.

More from Paul O'Neill (01.11.2004)

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