Robert Rubin encounters critics among House Democrats:
Dems Bite Rubin's Hand, by William Greider, The Nation: Robert Rubin, the reigning guru on economic policy for the Democratic party, got a stiff surprise when he appeared today before the closed caucus meeting of House Democrats. A bunch of Democrats, including several of the new freshmen, challenged the former Treasury secretary--instead of listening reverently to Rubin's standard pitch for free trade and balanced budgets.
David Sirota had a source inside the caucus and reports on the blowback. Indiana freshman Rep. Joe Donnelly told about the Delphi employees in his district whose wages have been broken from $21 to $9 an hour, their pension obligations dumped on the government and jobs shipped offshore-- thanks to Rubin's "free trade" system. "What do you say to that?" Donnelly asked.
New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell unloaded on Rubin, linking the loss of America's manufacturing base to national security. Freshman Rep. Nancy Boyda of Kansas reportedly tore into NAFTA... Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur recalled the US trade deficit was $70 billion when Rubinomics was launched in 1993 and $370 billion at the end of the Clinton presidency (it is now $700 billion and rising).
I have no details on Robert Rubin's responses except that another source ... says Rubin begged off the negative questions by observing that the trade issue is "complicated." One House member reportedly growled that trade may be complicated, but losing your job is not complicated. ...