cover image Neoconomy: George Bush's Revolutionary Gamble with America's Future

Neoconomy: George Bush's Revolutionary Gamble with America's Future

Daniel Altman. PublicAffairs, $26.95 (290pp) ISBN 978-1-58648-229-9

The tag line on Altman's press bio says that, in addition to being a Harvard-trained academic and columnist for the Economist and the New York Times, Altman""uncovered $4 billion in loans hidden on Enron's balance sheets"" in 2002. The man who broke open that case here examines the driving forces of the""neoconomy"" with clarity, force and a sense of mission. According to Altman, Bush's tax cuts, which were billed as a quick fix to overcome recession, serve goals driven by so-called neoconservatives: eliminating taxes on inherited wealth, investments and corporations. Altman offers a critical blow-by-blow of the hows and seeming whys of these""revolutionary"" cuts as they unfolded in 2001 and 2002. Anyone with or without a job knows that the cuts ushered in an economic world full of""uncertainty."" The main value of this book is its analysis of the rhetorical mechanics by which the cuts happened, the players in the process and the parts of government (and industry) they represent. While he tries not to take sides, Altman warns that, aside from any short term economic improvement, there are certain to be""Casualties of the Revolution."" With careful and clear number crunching, a modulated and inviting tone and a judicious presentation of historical precedent, Altman gives the lay of the post-revolutionary land.