Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hell's Puppets

Zach Goldfarb's Washington Post article on Timothy Geithner confirmed what many have suspected about Geithner: he is a thrall of the financial sector and is willing to throw American workers under the bus to prove his devotion to the rentier class. Take a look at some of these revelatory gems:

"Even before the president had been inaugurated, Geithner had been urging him to set a target for the budget deficit that would require shrinking its size to 3 percent of the U.S. economy. At that level, the national debt would eventually become manageable.

“From the earliest moments of the administration and even before, he clearly had a big focus on long-term deficit reduction and making clear, not just to the markets but for the entire economy, that the government is living within its means,” Goolsbee said in an interview.

The economic team went round and round. Geithner would hold his views close, but occasionally he would get frustrated. Once, as Romer pressed for more stimulus spending, Geithner snapped. Stimulus, he told Romer, was “sugar,” and its effect was fleeting. The administration, he urged, needed to focus on long-term economic growth, and the first step was reining in the debt".

"In the summer of 2009, Geithner was asked by a television interviewer whether tax hikes would be needed to rein in the nation’s debt. Geithner responded it was too early to tell, an early hint of the priority he put on cutting the deficit.

Political strategists at the White House were mortified. Obama had promised not to raise taxes on the middle class. This had been a centerpiece of his election campaign. At a White House briefing a day after Geithner’s remarks, he was publicly chided by Obama’s top spokesman for engaging in a “hypothetical.”

But Geithner already had the president’s ear. Privately, Obama offered reassurance. “I’d have said the same thing,” Obama told him, according to two people familiar with the conversation".


Matt Franko said...

I dont think Geithner has been trained in economics at all, and apparently he has somehow become the most influential economic policy adviser to the US President.

OUT: J Bernstein, C Romer, A Goolsbee, ...

IN: Geithner?

David said...

We know Geithner is a puppet but that article tries to make him look like Gary Cooper, standing firm when all his friends abandon him and fixing that evil debt in his steely gaze. I don't think that guy takes a piss without first getting permission from Goldman. It's easy to "stand up" to people when you have 800 lb. gorillas behind you.

Detroit Dan said...

Well spoken, David. At least your perspective seems reasonable to me...

beowulf said...

"Geithner has assured lawmakers that the administration recognizes the dangers posed by mounting debt, including possible erosion of investor confidence in the United States, and is taking deficit reduction seriously."

Way to talk up your book, Tim. Geez, what a disturbing story. “'Plan beats no plan',” Geithner would say." Other than serial killers, who talks like this?