Selling Out. Was This Always The Plan?

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

In case anyone on the left hasn’t noticed, Pres. Barack Obama is not a liberal, progressive or anything that even resembles a left wing politician. He is a neoliberal, or more obvious to some of us on the true left, a right wing corporate conservative. To see him as anything else is a delusion and Tim Geithner is proof. It starts with this Washington Post article:

Geithner finds his footing

By Zachary A. Goldfarb

By early last year, Geithner was beginning to gain the upper hand in a rancorous debate over whether to propose a second economic stimulus program to Congress, beyond the $787 billion package lawmakers had approved in 2009.

Lawrence Summers, then the director of the National Economic Council, and Christina Romer, then the chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, argued that Obama should focus on bringing down the stubbornly high unemployment rate. This was not the time to concentrate on deficits, they said.

Peter Orszag, Obama’s budget director, wanted the president to start proposing ways to bring spending in line with tax revenue.


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.

(emphasis mine)

I’m not an economist but from what I do understand is that you cannot “reign in the debt” without including revenue and JOBS. If the private sector, after all the tax cuts and loop holes, cannot be urged to create JOBS then it must fall to the government to provide the STIMULUS.

A tip of the hat to Jon Walker at FDL who asks, rightly How Does Geithner Still Have a Job?. He concludes:

The most amazing thing about the entire article, of course, isn’t that it shows Geithner has been a destroyer, that should have been clear from his role in the financial melt down and HAMP. Rather it is simply that Geithner can be so constantly wrong yet still keep his job. He defines failing upward.

(emphasis mine)

At Salon, Andrew Leonard notes from the same WP article by Goldfarb, there are some glaring holes in Geitner’s plan:

Geithner was and is the primary architect of the Obama administration’s pivot from the economy to the deficit.

Furthermore, since Geithner now reigns supreme on economic policy, there is zero chance of any change of direction in the next year. All the advocates for greater attention to boosting economic growth and job creation in the short term — Christy Romer, Jared Bernstein, Austan Goolsbee, and even the much-hated-by-progressives Larry Summers — are gone. Geithner is what we’ve got.

Geithner’s stated position is that without long-term action on the deficit, the government will not be able to continue to support social welfare programs.


But the electoral problem for Obama may not hinge on whether or not the president has the actual power to make manifest his will on job creation, but rather on whether he is perceived to be trying. Is he giving it his best shot? Is he making it clear to the general public what constraints have been placed on him by the opposition party and external events?

The answers are no, and no. And judging by Goldfarb’s Geithner profile, the White House is fine with that. It’s going to be a tough platform to run on, if the economy continues to slump as the campaign heats up.

The conclusion by Joe Sudbay at AMERICblog is the truth that the Democrats have not yet faced:

If this nation doesn’t start creating jobs, Obama and Geithner run the risk of losing theirs. And, as the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll showed us yesterday, the numbers on the economy are really ugly:

   By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is pretty seriously on the wrong track, and nine in 10 continue to rate the economy in negative terms. Nearly six in 10 say the economy has not started to recover, regardless of what official statistics may say, and most of those who say it has improved rate the recovery as weak.

The Republicans destroyed the economy. They weren’t held accountable and are not getting the blame. It’s Obama and Geithner’s economy. And, what happens with their economy is going to have a huge impact on the 2012 election.

I’m not optimistic.


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