CBS's Rose Hits Geithner From the Left; Fails To Mention High Unemployment
Charlie Rose omitted mentioning the continuing high unemployment rate as he interviewed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Rose also forwarded a criticism Geithner from the left, that the Cabinet official was "too friendly to the banks, because he knew them from his years at the New York Fed."
The anchor also didn't challenge the Obama administration official's assertion that keeping all of the current tax rates would be a "deeply irresponsible thing to do fiscally and economically now. If you do it, it costs a trillion dollars over ten years - a trillion dollars over ten years, which we don't have and we're not going to go out and borrow from other countries to support in that context."
Strangely, most of Rose's pre-recorded interview with the treasury secretary didn't air until the very last half hour of the morning show. The journalist previewed the segment 40 minutes earlier by playing the clip of Geithner's claim that continuing the ten-year-old tax rates was "deeply irresponsible."
The closest the CBS anchor got to asking the top Obama administration a tough question was during a discussion of the possible "fiscal cliff" at the end of 2012:
GEITHNER: ...I think almost anybody would say that, because the cumulative size of those cuts - tax increases and spending cuts - are very, very large, relative to the economy-
ROSE: Which was the reason they made them in the first place - it would be so painful that people would try to make the agreement, which they didn't do.
GEITHNER: So it would be very damaging to go through it. Now, how damaging depends a little bit on whether people believe it's a very quick, short-term stalemate that's going to get resolved very quickly or they just need a little more time to do that. But it's very hard to know that people would view this as something that Washington is going to be able to heal and repair quickly.
ROSE: And the question then, is why are you optimistic that, this time, you'll have a different result than you did last time?
GEITHNER: Because I don't believe it is tenable to put the country through what we went through last August. I don't think it is possible for us -- and responsible for the elected leaders of the nation, to try to defer these things indefinitely. I think both options are untenable. To defer, I think, is untenable, given how consequential these challenges are, and I also think that -- I think you're seeing people show a little more realism about what's necessary.
Near the end of the segment, Rose brought up former Treasury Department Inspector General Neil Barofsky's criticism of Geithner from the left in his new book, "Bailout":
ROSE: He [Barofsky] raises this question: was Tim Geithner too friendly to the banks? Because he knew them from his years at the New York Fed-
GEITHNER: As you know, I'm deeply offended by that. I find that deeply offensive. You know, it's the result of an urban myth -- significantly. A lot of people thought and wrote in publications of record that I spent my life at Goldman Sachs, rather than as a public servant, which is what I've done with my life. A lot of people thought the Federal Reserve bank in New York was a bank - a private bank - rather than the fire station of the financial system. And people were deeply misled about the basic choices we faced and the alternatives we confront in that context. A lot of people, including many of my critics, said we went out and gave -- and lost trillions of dollars of the American taxpayers' money at that time - deeply misleading; terribly damaging to confidence. And the cost of that has been very damaging to the President, and, I think damaging to the integrity of the basic effort.