The World According To Geithner

Atrios says Geithner is awful. He cites to Americablog's writeup about this WaPo writeup on how Geithner is the head honcho for the Obama economy:

Geithner has [. . .] quietly gained influence, which he has used to press President Obama to curb the nation’s soaring debt even at the expense of spending that might more directly spur employment.

His success at driving the agenda signals his status as the president’s closest economic counselor. [. . .] Geithner’s efforts inside the White House have shaped how Obama confronts this defining moment. [. . .] The policies molded by Geithner — and the balance they strike between slashing the deficit and supporting the economic recovery — could also ultimately determine whether Obama will win a second term.

[. . .] Geithner says Obama must tackle the deficit now if he wants the government to be in a position to support the economy in the future and to continue to protect the elderly and the poor. “It’s been my view for some time that unless he played a major role in shaping and negotiating the broad fiscal framework . . . we would be left without the capacity to do a whole range of things that are really important,” Geithner [. . .] said. [. . .] “I have been a consistent advocate of him doing that early and often.”

[. . .] 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.

Obama has made his bed with Geithner, and we have to suffer for it. We'll see if Obama has to suffer come next November. Oh btw, in this long article, the number of words written about the housing crisis? Zero.

Speaking for me only

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    Suffer? (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:02:05 AM EST
    Obama has made his bed with Geithner, and we have to suffer for it. We'll see if Obama has to suffer come next November.

    If I am not mistaken, you have already announced your support for Obama's reelection.

    He's not going to suffer.

    We are.

    My vote will decide the election (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:05:18 AM EST
    I'm sure.

    I'm like Kevin Costner in that movie.


    Well, it depends (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by sj on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:56:02 AM EST
    on how many other "yous" are out there who will vote for him no matter what.  And no matter how much you criticize.  If there are more "yous" than "mes", he might pull it off.  

    I expect him not to bother pandering to me so, shading my eyes, I expect I know what my actions will be in a year and a half.  Just as you know now what you will do in a year and a half.  Regardless of how much he (or Geithner as his proxy) disappoints you.


    Don't understand this comment (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:01:12 AM EST
    I'll ask you a question though, are you recommending I vote for a Republican? Not vote? Write myself in?

    And in your mind, what would my doing so accomplish?


    If your one vote will not turn the election... (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Dadler on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:18:00 AM EST
    ...which you rightly admit, and which we all realize our measly single votes won't accomplish this, then somebody not voting out of principle is making a statement equally as political as you casting a grudging vote for a guy you think is truly destructive economically.

    I begrudge no one their vote (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:21:04 AM EST
    I'm not sure why my vote is being begrudged.

    I don't think it's begrudging (none / 0) (#42)
    by Dadler on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:42:38 AM EST
    I was just offering an answer strictly confined to non-voting as a statement.  Choosing to, say, vote for an even more batsh*t crazy R as a protest, that's a tad different.  Listen, the SCOTUS appointments alone will probably get my vote.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#92)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 03:06:25 PM EST
    Obama's appointments really paid off when they ruled warrants are optional to search a home if the officer has a hunch.

    If thats all they got to scare us into voting against the majority of our interests again and again...well, I've been off the Brand D/R train awhile now, don't know what you lot are waiting for.

    Also-Ran in '12!


    Vote for a Republican? (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by sj on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:14:54 PM EST
    Good heavens, no.  Unless you support that Republican.  If I'm recommending anything it's that you vote your conscience, which I already know you will.

    I will, as well.  But my conscience isn't saying the same thing yours is.  At least not at this point in time (and truthfully, not in the foreseeable future).

    What I'm saying is that, out of disappointed Democrats, if more vote as you plan (Obama right or wrong) than as I plan (NOT against my own interests), or choose not to vote at all, he may win.  

    WRT What would it accomplish?  What does your one single vote in support of Obama accomplish?  Nothing on its own.  

    Sometimes to me, it seems that you're giving your vote away way too cheaply.  Then I remember that you're focussed on the Supreme Court.  And that ain't nuthin, so okay.  But that club stopped working on me a while ago.  


    It's (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:20:48 AM EST
    just that by announcing that you will vote for Obama anyway, you are implicitly urging others to do you.

    You have a blog and you are an influential person.

    How can we hope to influence Obama to change his course if he will suffer no penalty for not doing so?


    Actually (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:22:41 AM EST
    I am warning that a lot of folks are not thinking about their vote the way I do.

    To the degree that anyone pays attention to me, and they don't, then the message I think I am sending is that Obama is putting his political life in danger because a ton of folks are NOT like me.


    Not really ... (none / 0) (#91)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:58:40 PM EST
    you're just playing into the "Obama could be in trouble" meme.  This is needed to help fundraising.  Not to mention the "over-coming challenges" scenario.

    Obama will be re-elected easily.  No serious institutional part of this country is backing anyone else.  Really .... they're not.


    Why Urge For Obama Votes? (none / 0) (#104)
    by norris morris on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:28:38 PM EST
    Why? There is no incentive for Obama to be anything but a tepid, non confrontational administrator acting  Repub lite.

    Geithner is awful and Obama is out of touch with we commonors.  He is so sure  we'll take this crap rather than allow a Republican administration
    no matter how he falls short.

    Obama has not put up a real fight for anything, and as far as women's rights they were thrown under the bus by the likes of Democrats Stupak and Nelson who started the right wing surge against Planned Parenthood. Because of these Democrats women are now severly limited as to accessability regarding abortions. Abortions are now limited to women who are connected or have means.

    The surge in back alley abortions will be huge with certain negative physical results and formerly  preventable deaths will increase.

     Women were  trashed and Obama avoided the crucial issue that shredded  hard won RoevWade.   Rights were severly damaged and not a word about our conservative Dems who were playing to their base.

    In fact the Council Of Catholic Bishops was permitted to address the ant-abortion issues ala Stupak in the House with a phony excuse that "prohited Federal money for abortion".

     Federal money for abortion has been prohibited as settled law since the Henry hyde amendment of '93.    Where were Pelosi and Obama? This was an entirely phony premise designed to further limit Choice and availability to abortions which have now become a nightmare.

    If we don't hold Obama responsible for Geithner and all the rest, then what are we doing?  We  lose our rights by default of our own courage.

    We are in a financial sewer and the bold and necessary steps have not been taken nor has the housing fiasco been dealt with effectively. Banks and Wall St will be running the next election as they continue to bleed us and are allowed to get away with it.

    Obama has to know that there are many like me who will not vote for him unless there is a sharp turn. I'm waiting.


    LOL... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:22:27 AM EST
    if only we were so lucky...you'd score us more bones than a cemetary if you were "Swing Vote" Kevin Costner:)

    Speaking of Costner..."It's a crime Bill, pure and simple".


    Ha. "More bones than a cemetary." (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:44:45 AM EST
    Is that a local expression?

    Local style... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:03:43 AM EST
    but I think I mighta just made it up, or I picked it up somewheres unconciously.

    BTD (none / 0) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:23:59 AM EST
    But that isn't the point, you ask if he will suffer, then someone points out he won't suffer from you.  The one man vote is pretty weak tea.

    Should he suffer or not ?


    I'm selfish (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:27:50 AM EST
    I'm trying to limit my own suffering.

    By 2016 (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:17:07 PM EST
    By 2016 Geithner-conomics will be entrenched in the Democratic brand.  Do you think destroying the Democratic brand and ensuring 12+ more years of Republicans is good for limiting your suffering?

    This is something (none / 0) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:21:25 PM EST
    I'm really thinking about. We are going to have four more years of supply side economics regardless of who wins in '12. If you let the GOP take the hit on it, it might be better long term.

    We lose either way. (none / 0) (#105)
    by norris morris on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:41:15 PM EST
    The truth.

    We lose with Obama. The country continues to slide along with no effective diagnosis or prognosis.

    Economic Advisors like academic idiots re: the departed Goolsbee....and being led by Wall St ala Geithner,certainly insure that we lose.

    With the Repubs we will lose. So where are we? Where are the demonstrations and the political action that leads to real change?

    We blog and blog.  Nothing gets done. The Dems are let off the hook.  We need to shape and demand change through real political action and meaningful revolt against the kind of dreck that passes for leadership.  But the Right has accomplished the fear in most liberals and centrists to avoid demonstration lest they be branded as "socialsist lefties" and worse.

    We are in no man/woman's land.


    maybe voters need (none / 0) (#47)
    by observed on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:58:38 AM EST
    To think in longer terms. 4 more yrs of o'stupid ...what will that get us in 2016?

    I guess whether we make him (none / 0) (#39)
    by Radix on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:31:20 AM EST
    suffer or not depends on what our cost is. It's true, Obama's policies haven't been great for the average Joe. The Republican policies,which are being floated, would have doomed us, however.

    I think you missed (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:46:05 AM EST
    the point of this article. On the economy, Obama listens only to Tim Geithner. Tim Geithner is a free marketeer austerian who believes that the government should stay out of the economy, except to help rich bankers, and slash spending and taxes and that will allow the free market to save us all.

    This policy is wrong-headed and is no different from the policy advocated by the GOP. The policies being implemented right now by the Democrat Barack Obama are dooming us. There is no 'lesser of two evils' choice any more. There is only the choice between two identical evils.


    I used to think that (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by smott on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:12:31 PM EST
    But now I wonder if we'd had a GOP prez and appalling policies BUT with a unified resisting Dem Congress, how much worse off we would really have been compared to:

    A 2% less horrible prez/policies, with a compliant Dem Congress signing off on everything.

    Yes, I am bitter and jaded.


    A GOP (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:20:29 PM EST
    president would probably pay plenty of lip service to the notion of balancing the budget, then do the exact opposite. After all Eisenhower was the last GOP president to balance a budget and no president has balanced the budget during the fiat currency era other than the Democrat Bill Clinton.

    Moreover, congress would go along with it. Republicans would grumble a bit but they always go along with their own president. They never challenged Bush or Reagan on their deficits. Democrats would go along with it because they never really oppose anything, and wouldn't want to be out-stimulused by the GOP anyway.

    The GOP wouldn't spend the money on the kinds of things that liberals like, but it would at least spend the money on something to stimulate the economy somewhat. I really don't think a GOP president could be any worse for the economy than Barack Obama is.


    I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by CST on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:38:06 PM EST
    when was the last time you saw a "unified resisting Dem Congress"?

    That's not exactly how I remember the Bush years.  Not even the last two.

    Frankly, I think the concept is a pipe dream no matter what party the president is in.


    The last time there was a (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 04:28:59 PM EST
    "unified resisting Dem Congress" was when they shot down Bush's attack on SS. IIRC that was in 2005. They hung together and shot down the Republicans lies that SS was in crisis. Did a darn good job only to have Obama come along and start promoting the same lies that SS was in crisis.

    hmm (none / 0) (#96)
    by CST on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 04:44:56 PM EST
    that was about stopping bad legislation, not passing good legislation.

    In the event that Obama actually attempts to privatize social security I have little doubt that the house dems would revolt.  But for the constant screaming I've heard about that since 2008, nothing has actually been done.

    You can't really complain about the fact that house Dems aren't opposing legislation that doesn't exist.

    Let me put it another way, is there any specific piece of legislation that has been passed under Obama, that would not have been passed under a Republican president due to Dem opposition?

    I think the obvious answer to that is no.  YMMV.

    Absent that one stand up vote on social security, the rest of Bush's term was pretty grim.


    Don't think I complained (5.00 / 0) (#98)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:25:38 PM EST
    about the House Dems. I did complain about Obama adopting the Republican theme of SS being in crisis. It was a lie when Bush and the Republicans were promoting it and it is a lie now that Obama is making that claim.

    my point was (none / 0) (#99)
    by CST on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 09:57:34 AM EST
    things are not better with a Republican President and a "unified Dem congress" because the Dems in congress are unable to effectively stop a right-wing agenda, nevermind promote a liberal one.


    "President Obama said Wednesday the nation's Social Security system is "not in crisis" and doesn't need "any newfangled schemes" to keep it solvent for the next generation."

    One time in 2007 he referred to the "social security crisis" - every other time he's talked about it or been asked directly he has said it is "not in crisis".  Since that was 4 years ago, it really doesn't qualify as "now Obama is making that claim".


    Okay, we all know what Obama says is not (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 10:24:16 AM EST
    always indicative of what he does, nor is what he has said in the past any kind of guarantee that he won't do something 180 degrees in the other direction.

    So, with that in mind, how do you feel about the latest idea that's being floated to, um "stimulate" the economy?

    Meanwhile, the White House has built on the comments from Obama with a counter-offer: an employer-side payroll tax holiday. Currently, the employee side of the payroll tax has been shaved for 2011 from 6.2% to 4.2%, with the theory that employees will spend the money. But this latest proposal would cut the employer contribution to the payroll tax, which funds Social Security and disability insurance. All money would be repaid to the Social Security trust fund through general revenues.

    In an analysis released shortly after the December 2010 tax-cut deal, Deutsche Bank Securities economists Joseph LaVorgna, Carl Riccadonna and Brett Ryan estimated that the employee payroll tax cut would boost gross domestic product this year by an additional 0.7 percentage points.
    Targeting the employer side of the payroll tax could both attract Republican support and spur job growth, said Christina Romer, who was Obama's first chairman of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers.

    "A cut in the employer side of the payroll tax could absolutely help accelerate job creation," Romer, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, said in an interview. "In addition to the usual beneficial effect on demand, this tax cut would make hiring less expensive."


    The payroll tax cut in question may (or may not) be better than nothing, and their macroeconomic impact would depend on size. The two-point reduction in the employee side of the payroll tax from December 2010 cost roughly $112 billion. It was effectively a two percent raise on the first $100,000 of income. The employer-side would cost the government a similar amount if it were, say, two points, but it's unclear where that money would go. Would businesses pocket it or use it as an incentive to hire more? Economists think the latter, but given all the other inducements tried I'm skeptical. It's just as possible that the money will go to keeping people hired, not hiring anyone new. That's not a bad thing but it won't necessarily improve the employment situation.

    There's also the danger of continually cannibalizing the payroll tax cut and threatening the Social Security Trust Fund, even if there are assurances that the trust fund would be repaid out of general revenue. Once these reductions start they're very hard to stop.

    Is this really all they can come up with, over and over and over - cut taxes?  And is going after payroll taxes really the way to go, considering that it would seem to put Social Security in some jeopardy?  And do you really trust what Obama's saying, or do we have to wonder if his public comments are - as usual - all geared toward the politics of it, and the looming 2012 election, and designed to portray him as a protector/defender of Social Security, even as his administration is floating ideas that are likely to undermine it?


    no (none / 0) (#101)
    by CST on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 10:25:10 AM EST
    I don't think Obama has a secret plot to destroy social security.

    I didn't say he had a plot to destroy (5.00 / 0) (#102)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 10:55:33 AM EST
    Social Security, but he can be making policy decisions and pushing for ways to stimulate the economy that could have the effect of undermining it.  And, in an atmosphere where there is already a fair amount of support for "fixing" it, I think something like a plan to cut the employer side of the payroll tax can move things in a dangerous direction.

    When there are so many other options for stimulating the economy, why in the name of all that is good and holy would someone who keeps saying Social Security isn't a problem come up with ideas that could make it one?

    Do you have an answer for that?


    I think he's grasping for straws (none / 0) (#103)
    by CST on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 11:07:09 AM EST
    on how to help the economy, and not doing a very good job of it.

    I don't think this is going to be a long term problem or solution for social security.  And I certainly don't think there will be any major changes under his watch.  

    Maybe you didn't say it, but the comment I originally replied to more or less did say that he's actively trying to destroy it, with rhetoric or otherwise, and that's been a constant meme around here for the last few years.


    Both Doom Us (none / 0) (#106)
    by norris morris on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:48:26 PM EST
    We are in a situation where both Obama and the Dem leadership have failed miserably.

    Certainly the GOP will fail us as well.

    A no win situation.  Obama has no incentive to be  an innovator of courage and ceativity who will invest himself in a real fight. Exelon the Nuclear reactor providors are huge backers. These reactors surround Chicago, and they are old buddies. Other backers ala Geithner are the Banks and Wall St.

    Except I see not a glimmer of competence from this group of terrified and lazy Dems. Economic leadership?  MIA.


    A long term plan... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:02:44 AM EST
    for a sustainable economy with quality jobs and opportunities for small business entrepeneurs sounds great...beats throw money at it band-aids that just prolong our demise...but I suspect Geithner is just talking about long term growth for grifters and banksters, which is bad news for the rest for us.

    Actually, I think that they would (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:27:42 AM EST
    have done a lot more good by throwing money at stuff.  Only about $400 billion in the stimulus was actual cash pushed out the door - and some portion of that spending was then taken out of the regular spending bill - so that makes it less cash money going out.  Then there were the tax credits that most people couldn't take advantage of and  there is the $44 billion still sitting at Treasury not being spent to help homeowners.  Of course, there are also the austerity cuts from the anti-deficit crowd further diminishing the cash flow and the super rich who get to keep more cash safely in the bank and out of circulation...

    The reality is that those cliche plans sound like more tax credits to me.  When they start talking about filling planes full of billions in cash that they plan to drop over this country, that when I will think that they are serious about doing something meaningful.  All the rest of this stuff has turned out to be nothing more than a game of bait and switch.


    I'll take a stimulus check... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:50:14 AM EST
    don't get me wrong...and that would help broked*cks today, and the economy at large today...but at what cost ten/twenty/fifty years from now?  I'll be honest with ya, I don't how much our debts and deficit matter...is it all just funny fantasy money?  Is it real, and if so how real?  If it's fantasy I'm inclined to agree...f*ck it, party like its 1999 and give everybody ten grand.  If it is real or semi-real, I don't see how we can keep borrowing like this...and the political reality is defense and tyranny spending is untouchable, and tax increases on the rich will only get us so far...that alone ain't the answer.  And we need to expand the safety net, not shrink it.  We need infrastructure too.  In laymens terms, we're f*cked.

    Slapping a patch on your leaky roof might keep you dry tonight, but in the long run you would have been better off reshingling your whole roof, and stay dry for twenty years.  Higher cost today, savings long term.

    Thats what bugged me about TARP and the cash injections and the floats from the Fed for the grifter set...that was slapping a patch on the roof, an expensive patch, and the b*tch is leaking again already.  Stimulus package...another patch on a sh*tty roof.  

    It was a golden opportunity to reshape our economy into one that serves all Americans as opposed to the top 1-5%.  All we had to do was call the bankster bluff, worse case Uncle Sam could have gotten into the lending business direct to individuals and small business to fill the gap and prevent a depression.


    Suffering Homeowners (none / 0) (#107)
    by norris morris on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 04:50:12 PM EST

    Yep the cliches abound (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:05:48 AM EST
    Wow (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:21:36 AM EST
    this makes 2012 a great year for choices doesn't it? NOT.

    So one way or the other we are going to continue this supply side nonsense for another four years.

    As much as being in a "red" state irritates me to no end sometimes, there is an advantage in situations like this. It won't matter what I do because Obama's not going to carry GA anyway.

    It pretty much won't matter (none / 0) (#60)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:28:51 PM EST
    what I do, either.  Maryland has voted for the Democratic nominee in the last five Presidential elections, so whether I vote Obama or Third Party, Obama will win the state, anyway.  (Most likely.)

    I am in PA (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by smott on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:32:08 PM EST
    ...and it "might" matter.  We are set to go Red for the first time in a long time. Between us, FL, OH, MI....2012 may hinge on those states and with a tanking economy I think Obama has his work cut out for him.

    I would "hate" for PA to go red....but I do not think from a moral perspective I can vote for these policies. Maybe I stay home. Dunno.

    But I am terribly sad and conflicted because I gave up my UK citizenship in 2004 to vote Dem and now all I wish is that I could give my citizenship back so I dont have to choose between Evil and 2% Less Evil.....


    I will vote, (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:57:38 PM EST
    but it is looking increasingly likely that I will vote Third Party (if the Greens come up with anyone halfway decent).  Not that it will make a difference in Maryland, which will probably go Blue again.  But I feel much the same way you do- I am really sick and tired of voting for the "least bad alternative."

    If WE have no where else to go with our votes... (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by Dadler on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:38:21 AM EST
    ...then Obama has nowhere else to get them either.  Seems it's time, long past, to tell the guy, "Look, we're willing to let you lose, we're willing to suffer the consequences, so that SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY HAS A SENTIENT CLUE can follow after that."

    Unless, of course, we REALLY believe that if Obama loses and, say, Romney is Prez, that America will cease to exist the next day, that unemployment will go to 20%, that Pakistani nukes will suddenly fall into terrorist hands, etc.  While I appreciate how whackass nuts the Repubs are, I'm sorry, IMO, the Dems are only one lousy step behind them in that area.  We are truly blind to how far the Dems have moved to the right. And since there is no political freedom without economic freedom, the fact that Obama is such a wingnut collaborator on the economy is a danger of monumental proportion.  Obama is enabling the Koch brothers, for example, to do their dastardly deeds.  O may make a nice speech sorta condemning them, but his POLICIES are what matter and they are a death sentence for our economic future.

    I don't care what it takes to get Obama to understand that HE has nowhere else to turn either, but it must be done now, yesterday.  

    Look (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:00:03 PM EST
    at Obama's history and you will understand a lot. First of all, he designed his own state senate district in IL according to the New Yorker so he really didn't have to compete with anybody. He had no competition for the IL senate seat. Outside of a primary race, he has never lost a race and never been held accountable by the voters on anything he has done. I think he truly thinks that he can do what ever is best for "him" personally not necessarily the country and still get reelected.

    There is no evidence (none / 0) (#64)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:42:26 PM EST
    that Obama is doing whatever is in his best interest personally.  This was a silly accusation when made against Bush and Cheney and it is equally ridiculous when made against Obama.

    Why can't "I think the man's policy is bad" be enough.

    This isn't a movie.  We don't need to concoct Dr. Evil to drive the plot.


    Because (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by mm on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:09:57 PM EST
    Why can't "I think the man's policy is bad" be enough.

    Because that's not how normal human beings react to their political leaders.  Human instinct and emotion always come into play.  Right AngryBlackGuy?


    Ambition is, to a significant degree, (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:22:50 PM EST
    very much about self-interest; people don't generally strive to move up the ladder of success for the purpose of benefiting their employers, but themselves.  When you combine that with the reality that political success at the national level has become a gateway to even greater wealth and stature, you are looking the main reasons why whatever services are rendered during a term of office, they are less and less likely to be to the public's benefit, or the greater good that used to be part of the equation.

    I think it is fair to measure what any politician has delivered to his or her constituents, and to gauge whether the country is better off for their service, against what that politician eventually reaps for him- or herself.

    We have long known that big business and Wall Steet and the wealthy are well-prepared to fight for what they want and need, but the average person, the 98% of the rest of the country, only has the people they elect to speak and fight for them.  So, when I see politicians ignoring or working against the interests of the majority of people in this country, I do not consider that a good job, well done, but acts driven by self-interest.

    I'm aware that by virtue of being the president, all kinds of doors are opened for the future, post-presidency, post-Congress; it comes with the job.  But I am less concerned with what's in it for them, than I am in quality governance and leadership and conscience that has something in it for me, for my family, for our futures.

    Obama's going to land on his feet, on a big pile of money, regardless; that's just a given.  The tragedy for me is that it appears as if he will be leaving in his wake millions of people whose lives have gotten worse, and whose futures look even dimmer.


    I don't think (none / 0) (#71)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:18:08 PM EST
    he's "Dr. Evil" and anytime anyone criticizes Obama's policy you think they are slurping "hateraid" so what else is new.

    Anyway there's only a few reasons that I can come up w/r/t Obama and the economy:

    1. He's truly clueless and in over his head.
    2. He really wants to be like Reagan and be a supply sider.
    3. He really dislikes or lacks empathy for the working and middle class as to what we are going through.

    ABG to the contrary (none / 0) (#75)
    by samsguy18 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:32:57 PM EST
    There is a lot of evidence starting in 1996.....Obama's self serving tactics were well documented here in Illinois by a young reporter named Todd Spivak.  

    Wait til the debt ceiling (none / 0) (#93)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 03:17:05 PM EST
    "negotiations" come to a head, with a reported $2.5 trillion in spending cuts being the talked-about price for raising the ceiling by $2.4 trillion.  


    Let's just do the math on this. The $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction may be able to be back-loaded somehow, so maybe I shouldn't divvy it up into perfect round numbers for each year. But I don't see how you'd do it without some major impact on the 2012 budget that kicks in come October. For the sake of argument, let's say it's $200 billion in the near-term. Heck, let's drop it down to $150 billion.

    Well, that's precisely the kind of sharp fiscal tightening that conservative Republican economist Ben Bernanke warned yesterday would choke off the economy. In fact, it's 50% more than what Republicans demanded out of the 2011 budget. And it's not the only fiscal tightening we're going to see. State and local government cuts have contributed to a reduction of 300,000 public sector jobs over the past year, and layoffs will increase in the third quarter, as 2012 budgets in the states kick in. This is due to two factors: resets to property values reducing overall revenue, and federal stimulus measures running out, which becomes a drag on growth. Stimulus spending peaked sometime last year, and ever since, overall fiscal policy has turned negative. And, you have several tax-related measures, along with extended unemployment benefits, which end in December, and while President Obama wants them extended, it's not clear he'll be able to pull that off.

    The less money spent at the public level, the less jobs in the public sector. Those laid-off workers cannot spend as much money as consumers or contribute to tax receipts. That weakened demand leads to more layoffs in the service sector. This is the downward spiral in which we're caught.

    And what do you bet, as we roll into the end of 2011, that the bone that gets thrown to the masses will be an extension of the payroll tax cut and an extension of unemployment benefits?  And the side bet is whether the Dems will be able to do that without agreeing to even more cuts, and/or whether the decreased revenues going into SS as a result of the payroll tax cut will be the basis for a renewed "discussion" about how we have to DO SOMETHING about Social Security.

    This is "wrong-track" on steroids, and I don't see anyone making any progress in a better direction.


    Aw jeez (none / 0) (#95)
    by sj on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 04:34:27 PM EST
    I hadn't thought of that yet:

    And what do you bet, as we roll into the end of 2011, that the bone that gets thrown to the masses will be an extension of the payroll tax cut and an extension of unemployment benefits?

    Of course it will.  You know that the 2% reduction is not going away.  It was intended to seduce us into underfunding Social Security.  It's not susceptible to a frontal attack until funds come from the general fund.

    And the unemployment benefit extension will be the "plum" we have left after yet another one of O's famous negotiations.  Maybe.  Maybe it will be weakened in its own right.


    Obama has been a disaster for the middle class ! (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by samsguy18 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:56:02 AM EST
    Obama's attitude and the policies of his administration is responsible for this very weak economy. Instead of focusing on jobs and a flailing economy he couldn't resist pushing his healthcare and energy agenda to secure his place in history! It appears to me everytime the economy seems to be moving in the right direction the Brillant One starts emphasizing increasing tax rates. He has created uncertainty and caused fear about the future ! It doesn't matter if your main street ...small business or Big business it affects everyone's well being. His insensitive Blip in the road comment shows his lack of concern and his arrogance !    

    what energy agenda? (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by observed on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:49:19 AM EST
    Not being sarcastic

    The green jobs that our stimulous $$$ (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:12:49 PM EST
    created in China.

    The energy agenda that (none / 0) (#61)
    by Slado on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:31:10 PM EST
    doesn't allow us to drill for oil in the US.

    That forces good dollars towards inefficient expensive energy ventures that we can't afford...windmills and electric cars.

    If we where booming and had 6% growth we could choose to reshape our energy policy.

    But we're not and oil, gas etc... are still much much cheaper and we are wasting money we don't have trying to be green.

    That's what he means.   How many Americans could be digging up oil sand or drilling in Alaska or drilling in the Gulf?  Thousands and thousands upon thousands more could be providing lodging, food and supplies for a booming industry.

    Nope.  Let's build a windmill.


    $1 Gas Tax? (none / 0) (#65)
    by Slado on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:46:08 PM EST
    Great idea

    That will help the economy get moving!


    A gas tax (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:12:54 PM EST
    won't get the economy going, it's true. But drill baby drill is an idiotic policy. Sarah Palin, the idiot who supports the idea, is so fond of it because the state of Alaska derived so much of its revenue from taxing the oil industry there.

    In reality, the amount of untapped oil in the US is so small that even if it were tapped it would have so little effect on world supply that there will be no price change. Oil, including US oil, is sold on the world market, so the world market sets the price. And that means Saudi Arabia really sets the price because it controls so much of the oil on this planet.

    You are essentially advocating for a policy that will do enormous damage to the ecosystem for almost no real gain in supply or drop in price. The smarter move is to leave it in the ground and save the ecosystem, and work on alternative forms of energy. That oil will still be there if we really need it.

    Government fueled investment in alternative energy is the way to go. Saying that involves spending money we don't have is simply false. The US is sovereign in its own currency and has all the money it needs if it wants to spend it.


    There is a place for stimulus "sugar" (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:11:30 PM EST
    It is to give you the energy to get to the next full meal, rather than passing out.

    Warren I am not sure (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by smott on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:26:12 PM EST
    Giethner has "convinced" him of anything from a policy perspective. I never got the sense that he cared a whit about policy. There is no motivation but self-motivation, and that is to get re-elected. Geithner may have convinced him that taking $$ from Wall St and riding it to 2012 is the way to go, that's all.

    But who knows. Just MO.

    Well if he doesn't care about policy (none / 0) (#84)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:08:29 PM EST
    and just leaves it up to Geithner that's pretty much the same thing as being convinced that Geithner is right.

    But I find it hard to believe that a president doesn't care about economic policy since it is well known how much the state of the economy affects the chance of re-election. Some presidents might be intellectually uncurious and have no interest in learning much about the economy, e.g. Bush, and McCain if he had become president, but that doesn't mean they don't care about it. It just means think they already knbow all they need to know and that there are certain 'experts' out there who know how to handle the details and they will follow their advice.

    I don't know what day to day advice Obama was getting from his economics team that lead him to become a deficit hawk who has driven everyone but Geithner away. Fundamentally the Democratic party has absolutely no ideas of its own on how the economy functions and has become completely captured by the neoliberal paradigm. I'm sure they WANT to do things to help average people, but they are convinced time and time again that 'we can't afford it'. Therefore they really believe they are doing the right thing when they slash spending and worry about the deficit, and don't think they should ever be blamed for it. I think they really believe they should be rewarded for doing so by average people. People who want to blame them for these things are just 'idiot liberals' in their view who should be ignored.


    2 Hours ago (5.00 / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:01:51 PM EST
    From John Judis on Tim Geithner's strategy via for the New Republic.  

    And he's pissing them off across the pond (5.00 / 0) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:07:01 PM EST
    too having some selective memory about what his role was in creating this global catastrophe.

    And the Brits don't mince or parse much when you've pissed them off.


    Check out Kuttner's article on (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by observed on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:05:25 PM EST
    debt in the Prospect:

    It's quite relevant.

    Your Wapo link links to here (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:01:01 AM EST

    Fixed (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:04:37 AM EST

    Is there a sustained online petition (none / 0) (#6)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:05:37 AM EST
    anywhere by registered Dems to have Geithner fired or demanding him to resign?

    The guy's a right wing Republican leading Dems over a cliff, careening the bus in & over millions of innocent unemployed bystanders along the way.

    It takes a petition of 1 (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:06:39 AM EST
    The One.

    He loves him some Geithner.

    The cake is baked.


    In the absence of any primary challenge (none / 0) (#9)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:12:24 AM EST
    there must be some avenue for Dems (and I am beyond calling myself one now) & progressives to communicate their utter disgust for Geithner & his policies.

    Tim G will lead to a GOP win in 2012, and the truth is he is probably OK with that.


    There is such an avenue... (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:24:59 AM EST
    an avenue we're all too scared and/or selfish to walk down...it involves pitchforks, not petitions, and all the associated risk to life and limb that entails.

    I wish (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:14:12 AM EST
    But I don't see it.

    We'll see it in Nov 2012 unfortunately (none / 0) (#22)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:41:56 AM EST
    you can;t win with 10% unemployment, impossible.  Especially since the economy will be viewed as Obama's.  Obama failed to assign blame and responsibility for the mess on GOP, which Reagan did so effectively to Dems that 30 years later just being compared with Jimmy Carter sends Dems into rehab.

    With no way for those groups who should be supporting him to effectively register their outrage, Obama will learn things the hard way and the rest of us will all suffer while OBama becomes the first billionaire exPrez.


    Here's an idea. Next time Obama (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:47:09 AM EST
    is supposed to speak about the economy, somebody grabs the mic b/4 he comes on stage.

    Kanye West? (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:28:09 AM EST
    Or maybe Soy Bomb?  Hope you're not suggesting Breitbart:)

    BTD (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:33:24 AM EST
    Live by the Timmy (none / 0) (#10)
    by TJBuff on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:12:28 AM EST
    Die by the Timmy.

    Wow, it just blows me away (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:13:33 AM EST
    that Jeff and I were equating what has happened and staying the course economically to Iraq, and then I find out that Tim Geithner had long ago labeled all this his Iraq.

    And Tim's daughter was wrong. If you were in Iraq, the people that really mattered DID NOT at least understand you were trying to help the country.  They really failed to get that idea beaten into their heads when we kept bombing them, blowing up all of their assets to save some ideals that only existed in our own heads, and killing them.

    Does Geithner say anything about the (none / 0) (#12)
    by observed on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:14:03 AM EST
    need to control military spending?

    Probably (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:15:03 AM EST
    The word "military" is not in the (none / 0) (#15)
    by observed on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:20:07 AM EST

    Don't you (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:22:21 AM EST
    know that someone no matter how much the GOP whines about not having money for this or that, they always find money for some war.

    The idea that we could possibly recover (none / 0) (#20)
    by Slado on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:35:58 AM EST
    without addressing housing is crazy.

    Good point BTD.

    We built too many houses.   Until the excess inventory is absorbed and prices stabilized we will see no real recovery.

    It took decades to create this mess.  It will take years to get out of it.

    Wow (none / 0) (#25)
    by lilburro on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:53:35 AM EST
    whatever Geithner is, he's an idiot politically.  That Obama doesn't see that I find surprising.

    senate jobs bill is ton (none / 0) (#30)
    by observed on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:17:03 AM EST
    Big, says the WH. Stay the course.

    Larry Summers comes out of this (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:39:47 AM EST
    article looking pretty good.  Sorry, Larry.  

    I wish I knew, (none / 0) (#46)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:56:15 AM EST
    I mean really, really knew what Obama's thinking is?

    C'mon, let's face it, Obama is a very intelligent guy. He knows everything that we know. We talk about the White House "Bubble," but I can't believe he isn't up to date on the feelings out here.

    Why can't he explain to us, in a way that doesn't insult our intelligence, what he thinks will happen. He has to have thoughts besides, "we must be patient," or "we knew it would be long and hard."

    What is it? What is the plan he and Timmie have bet the ranch on?

    No plan (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by smott on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:16:22 PM EST
    Other than to get elected/re-elected. Like always since he first started.

    You may argue that he has finally miscalculated... and sucking up to Wall St and getting billions in campaign funds for 2012 may "not" be enough to overcome the tanking economy...

    But I don't think there is much question what he's thinking. Or has always been thinking.


    Yes, of course (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:19:10 PM EST
    the election.....always the election.

    But, my question is, how does a tanking economy help his election?


    They are convinced of their own (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:38:34 PM EST
    invincibility in that White House.  No doubt in my mind that that poll showing Obama losing to Romney was met with total disbelief - and not in the good disbelief way where you think that you better change some things around - but in the bad, dismissive, "impossible" disbelief sense where you keep doing the same thing.  

    His marketers - aka political consultants - are blowing smoke up his bum telling him that he's the greatest thing since sliced bread and can't lose.  They're telling him that a few good speeches will fix the problem and that people will forget that they are under severe economic pressure just because Obama says something that they think is clever and affecting.  I was mulling over all of the different angles to this situation today and all I kept coming back to was the fact that in 2009 they chose to ignore Main Street, jobs and housing.  That is the exact moment that they put the 2012 election in jeopardy.  Everything since has just compounded the situation because there was no unforeseen miracle boost to the economy.  There was no big private sector boom.  The fact that they even thought that that might happen just speaks to the extent to which they are disconnected from reality.  


    Geithner has convinced him (none / 0) (#57)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:24:12 PM EST
    that budget austerity will save the economy.

    From what I read Geithner thinks that (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:29:07 PM EST
    budget austerity will lead to "real growth" instead of something he called "sugar growth".  He isn't much of an economist though.  He doesn't seem to understand what economic growth really is and all the factors involved.  What it isn't? It isn't when you focus on innovating leveraging.....and as far as I can tell that is the only growth he has ever been able to encourage or be responsible for.

    I've given up trying to decipher (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by smott on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:34:48 PM EST
    What Timmy or O really "think" about anything...my sense is that they are only focussed on self-interest... but that's beside the point.

    Sooner or later your intentions don't matter; your results do.

    And their policy results have been pure sh-t for the bottom 98%. Intentions be damned.

    So I think they need to go.


    Here's the real plan (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:36:39 PM EST
    Geithner's policy will assure the happiness of Wall Street and guarantee lots of big money coming in to Obama's re-election war chest. Obama knows that he won't even be able to pretend this time that his campaign is funded by the little guy because the little guy has no money this time around, so he's not even going to worry about it.

    Fair enough (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by smott on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:48:56 PM EST
    Don't disagree.

    Whether billions from Wall St will be enough to carry O to victory in 2012 while 98% are suffering remains to be seen.


    Reading Wiki re Geithner's background, (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:33:49 PM EST
    he wasn't majoring in economics in undergrad.  Grad degree:  international economics, and subsequently a lot of work in that field.  Why did Obama think Geithner was qualified to save our domestic econommy?

    I don't know (none / 0) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:49:08 PM EST
    But he has put his eggs in that basket and he's decided to run the whole race with all the eggs in that crappy basket :)  And when he fails and blows everything up and kills everything, the evidence isn't going to stay out of sight in Iraq.

    And (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:27:15 PM EST
    And Krugman (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:31:03 PM EST
    Everybody is beating the crap out of him now :)

    this is really encouraging (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by CST on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:36:36 PM EST
    I don't think Obama can continue to ignore this.

    Of course, who knows which way he will pivot.  But I think a critical mass of noise is starting to emerge.


    I wish I could agree with you (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:57:59 PM EST
    but I see it as the other way around. The critical mass of noise emerged following the Lehman collapse in Sep 2008 and the early days of the Obama presidency when people believed in Hope & Change and Obama supported stimulus and accountability for the people who created this mess.

    The critical mass began to collapse when it became apparent that the Obama stimulus wasn't going to be big enough, and Obama revealed that his plan was to start small and go bigger later if that should prove necessary. That was a political failure because there was no chance that congress would accept more stimulus later if the first round of stimulus didn't do the job.

    The loss of the House in 2010 was the result of this failure and the Obama presidency has only gone downhill from there. The failure was compounded by his complete refusal to do anything to reform the finance sector, and his abandonment of all efforts to do anything about the housing crisis. (I won't even get into his failures on war and the constitution).

    Now Obama is a complete deficit hawk and every member of his original economic team, except Geithner, has departed. There won't be a pivot, as the pivot already took place when he pivoted from weak supporter of a weak stimulus to deficit hawk.

    I don't know where this is all going to lead but I do not believe for one second that Obama will have a waking up moment where he decides to dump Geithner and try to stimulate the economy as a means to re-election. He's put all his money on the Geithner way of doing things and believes that it will get him re-elected.


    Obama is pursuing the economic (5.00 / 0) (#97)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:13:07 PM EST
    policy that he wants to pursue. As long as it shouts I, Obama, am business friendly and I am pursuing an agenda which will make you even richer, nothing else matters.

    Apparently oculus his main worry (none / 0) (#85)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:24:48 PM EST
    is still global too via this new write up.  It would seem that whether or not our domestic economy does okay revolves around world finance and America being able to corner the financial market :)  Master of the Universe Complex in a HUGE way, it is the only economy he can fathom though.  Seems he knows and understands nothing else.

    It does not (none / 0) (#58)
    by smott on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:24:19 PM EST
    You're quite correct.

    I just think his calculation has been to stick with Wall St and hope he can get away with it. There will be billions to help him obfuscate the matter, do deficit-scare-tactics, make pretty speeches and so on.

    I guess we'll see if harsh reality wins out.


    probably banking (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by observed on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:50:21 PM EST
    On his campaign skills

    His thinking seems to be (none / 0) (#52)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:14:37 PM EST
    that stupidity got us into this mess, so it can get us out of it.