Rangel vs. Cheney

Congressman Charles Rangel and Vice President are having a spitting contest:

WASHINGTON – Rep. Charles Rangel yesterday blasted Dick Cheney as a “son of a bitch” after the vice president said the Harlem lawmaker would raise taxes and destroy the economy if Democrats take control of the House.

The bitter war of words escalated to the point where the bombastic Rangel even questioned whether the tightly wound Cheney needed professional treatment – and mocked him for accidentally shooting his hunting buddy ealier this year.

Cheney fired the first shot when he predicted that Rangel – who is poised to chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee if the Democrats seize the House next week – wouldn’t continue “a single one” of President Bush’s tax cuts.

“I think that would be bad for the economy,” Cheney said on CNBC News. “I don’t know if the stock market would like it.”

He then got in a major hit, saying on the Fox News Channel, “Charlie doesn’t understand how the economy works.”

I sincerely wish that rather than taking partisan sides on this more people were arguing the merits. I suspect they’re both right.

After looking at Mr. Rangel’s official biography, I see nothing that suggests that he understands “how the economy works”. As best as I can tell the last time he worked in the private sector was more than 40 years ago. A lot has changed since then.  Has he ever taken an economics course?

As for Mr. Cheney I have no doubt that he’s an SOB. Over the years I’ve known a half dozen or so CEO’s of Fortune 1000 companies. All were SOB’s, frequently charming ones.

I think that Cheney’s point is the more important and really should receive serious consideration. I’ve made the point before that we need a lot more people in Washington who are something other than lawyers or government workers of one type or another.

6 comments… add one
  • Mr. Cheney’s business experience derives from a company that lives largely on government contracts.

    Mr. Rangel, I suspect, knows an awful lot more about the economics of running a small business in a tough environment like his Harlem district. And I think he may have a useful perspective on how the minimum wage affects working people. How does the economy work? Badly if you’re a minimally educated working man or woman, or a recent immigrant, or a small business owner crushed by health care costs.

    Did Mr. Cheney learn anything about that economy while lobbying for fat government contracts for Halliburton?

  • Cheney’s business experience is a different though interesting subject than that of the exchange between Rangel and Cheney or the subject of this post, MT. As you suggest I wouldn’t be surprised if Cheney’s knowledge of the workings of the economy is somewhat skewed.

    Frankly, I doubt that that Mr. Rangel knows much about the workings of the economy beyond the complaints of his constituents. I’d welcome evidence or confirmation of actual knowledge beyond speculation.

    I have no doubt, as I noted in the body of the post, that Rangel’s assertion that Cheney is an SOB is correct.

  • Mate, you’re being a gullible idiot.

    People who go into government are seeking rents or power (if one can differentiate the two). Business experience such as your VP as a rent-seeker (which is clearly what he has been) has fuck all to do with non rent seking private sector activity. Your desire is nothing more gullible theoretical naivete.

  • I’m not defending Cheney, Lounsbury, nor am I comparing Rangel’s and Cheney’s knowledge of the operation of the economy. As I noted above, I suspect you’re right about both of them.

    My point is that I wish the merits of both of the men’s claims were being examined since I think that they’re both right i.e. that Rangel knows little about the way the economy works and that Cheney is an SOB.

  • Barnabusq Link

    So Cheney makes a political statement that is arguably a reasonable one, i.e. that Rangel would allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, and Rangel responds with a personal attack and YOU find that acceptable. A little biased aren’t we? Cheney’s comments were part of healthy political debate, Rangel’s were not.

  • Politics ain’t beanbag, Barnabus, and SOB is pretty mild. Cheney himself has said worse on the floor of the Senate.

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