Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was on ABC’s ‘This Week’ program Sunday morning. During the interview, Geithner talked about the economy, health care, the TARP, and the overall health of the financial system. The full interview can be seen here. This video is just a portion of the entire interview:
First, I’d like to note that Stephanopoulos asks the following question right off the bat:
Tim Geithner, a lot of good news out there this week. But, the bad news is the consumers are still real scared. Even though their income went way up, their spending went way down. What more can the Administration do if anything to encourage spending to go back up?
Did I miss all of the good news out there? In a preview of the show, the only supposed good news listed is, “The government’s first estimate of economic activity in the second quarter showed the economy shrank by 1%. Better than expectations and far better than the 6.4% percent contraction in the first quarter.” That’s “a lot” of good news? Again, the media represents bad news as good, and doesn’t even refer to what the data that’s ‘good’ is.
Furthermore, I wish Stephanopoulos would tell me who he’s referring to, when he says, “their income went way up”. To my knowledge, the unemployment rate is expected to continue to increase, likely to over 10% (as reported by the government). So, we know that there are more people out there today than on this date last month who aren’t earning an income at all. Sure, a minimum wage increase has raised the wages of some workers in the past month, but considering fewer than 3.0% of wage earners earn at or below the minimum wage level, and most of those workers are under the age of 25, I certainly fail to see exactly which consumers have had increases in income. Of course, any increases in income would presumably be paid in dollars that have less purchasing power than they had previously. According to MeausringWorth.com’s ‘Relative Value of the U.S. Dollar’ calculator, $7.25 from 2008 (the most recent year with data available) would be worth only $6.20 in 2003 (just 5 years ago!) when calculating value by using the Consumer Price Index.
Those are just the issues I have with the question. Geithner hasn’t even begun to answer yet! How is it possible to get real information from the officials in Washington, when the media panders and propagandizes the stance of Administration?
During the interview, Geithner made sure to mention multiple times that the administration is “going to do what is necessary to bring growth back on track.” Apparently, what is necessary leaves the door open for a reversal of the Obama campaign promise of no tax increases on those earning $250,000 and less. Geithner skirted the question on whether raising taxes on the middle-class would be necessary or not.
“We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically, and that’s going to require some very hard choices.”
Of course, it’s even harder to understand exactly how Geithner expects the budget deficit to decrease very dramatically, when the Congressional Budget Office has repeatedly shown policies of the Obama administration and the spend ’til the cows come home congress will only work to harm the economy and increase deficits more.
Mr. Geithner, if you’re truly interested in dramatically cutting the deficit and returning confidence to the American consumer, the solution is simple. Return to the principles our Founders taught us. Give us sound money and have respect for our Constitution by not allowing the Federal Reserve to control the monetary policy of this country.Published in