The left must think Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is a magician, since they think funds to evade the debt ceiling can be conjured up in the form of a platinum coin.
The left-wing blogosphere has been promoting a loony idea to prevent the GOP from being able to cut spending in debt ceiling negotiations. The idea has gained traction with a Bloomberg News contributor and well-known liberal economist Paul Krugman, and being heavily promoted by sites like Huffington Post. So many people are talking about it that it has a twitter hashtag: #mintthecoin.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich during Tuesday's Republican presidential debate once again went after one of his favorite targets - the media.
In response to a question about the Occupy Wall Street protests, Gingrich said, "Everybody in the media who wants to go after the business community ought to start by going after the politicians who have been at the heart of the sickness which is weakening this country (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
Christina Romer, the former chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers on Friday offered a rather strong opinion concerning the announcement by Standard & Poor's that the credit rating agency downgraded America's debt to AA+.
Appearing on HBO's "Real Time," Romer said we're "pretty darn f--ked" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
David Gregory decided to have a very fair and balanced roundtable discussion at the conclusion of Sunday's "Meet the Press" exclusively with the perilously liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and the equally left-leaning Chuck Todd of NBC News.
With the subject being Newsweek's new cover story about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Todd mysteriously made the case for how slim her chances of winning the GOP presidential nomination were by claiming, "Rush Limbaugh is an incredibly influential figure in the Republican Party, and he could never win the Republican nomination" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Reuters on Thursday issued what it called an "exclusive" report about the Treasury department "secretly" weighing options to avert a default if the debt ceiling isn't raised by August 2nd.
In the piece, the authors shared with readers the amount of tax revenue Treasury projects it will collect in August as well as projected Social Security payments, but conspicuously ignored what the department expects to pay in interest costs on the federal debt:
It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes. In that context, the recent rise in oil prices seems to have turned the Obama administration into true believers (at least rhetorically) when it comes to the best method to keep gas prices down and the American economy growing.
With oil at more than $100 a barrel, the White House announced last week that it was going to increase oil supply by withdrawing 30 million barrels a month from our strategic oil reserves and put that oil into the world market.
Do you think it's conceivable that yet another round of dismal economic news might cause President Obama to finally dig deeply enough in his id to find some hidden humility and consider reversing course? Let's be serious.
Why should he do that when it's much easier — and more profitable politically — to just demonize Republicans?
I’ve written several articles skewering HBO for producing political projects destined to air immediately prior to the 2012 election, where the vast majority of the cast and crew are passionate Barack Obama supporters, and where the content is aimed at the Democrat’s two favorite Republican villains: Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney. So, when I sat down to watch HBO’s Too Big to Fail, I prepared myself for the worst. What I didn’t expect was the big surprise awaiting me.
Too Big to Fail, which premieres on HBO on May 23, 2011, features a star studded cast recounting the events that led to the financial crisis and bailouts by the U.S. government in 2008. It is a mini-series packed into a 98-minute made-for-television movie where several essential characters are quickly introduced and where finance and economics are casually discussed. It may help if one has a baseline of knowledge about the crisis before watching the movie. If one doesn’t know who Henry Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and Timothy Geithner are or what Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, and AIG are, it may prove slightly difficult to follow.
Although the Director, Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, 8 Mile), was limited to telling a very long and complicated story in a very short amount of time, he was able to skillfully pull it off. Perhaps this is because the screenwriter, Peter Gould (Breaking Bad), deftly adapted Andrew Ross Sorkin’s 2009 prize winning New York Times Bestseller, Too Big to Fail.
With what appears to be a devastating election looming for his party, is President Obama attempting to follow in the footsteps of one of his predecessors and moderate toward the center?
Not if choosing Pete Rouse to replace chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is any indication, according to CNBC’s Larry Kudlow. On the Oct. 1 broadcast of “The Call,” CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood predicted Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wasn’t going anywhere, but Obama would take a pro-business tack with the leadership of Department of Commerce. However, Kudlow, citing a “deep political insider,” had a different forecast.
“The Commerce thing is a great idea and you're probably going to be right, but I know that you don't hear this,” Kudlow said. “But I had dinner last night with a deep political insider who told me that Michael Bloomberg is the next Treasury secretary. I heard that. All I'll say is this is a serious insider who said the deal has been done and that Bloomberg is the next Treasury secretary.”
Chris Matthews must really be getting tired of watching the man that used to give him tingles up his leg continue to get crushed in the polls, for on Friday he recommended a serious shakeup in the Obama administration.
First, he want's Defense Secretary Robert Gates to be replaced by Hillary Clinton.
"With her at the Pentagon, he would forge confidence in Middle East policy," said the "Hardball" host.
But the real surprise was Matthews calling for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to either replace Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner or Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While some on the left side of the aisle in Congress are getting all starry-eyed about prospects of more federal stimulus spending, the first round of stimulus under President Barack Obama may have done even less to help the ailing economy than supporters claim.
On MSNBC's July 9 broadcast of "The Daily Rundown," co-hosts Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie interviewed CNBC "Closing Bell" anchor Maria Bartiromo from the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo. And Bartiromo offered her views why the economy didn't spiral out of control any more than it did. She said according to some on Wall Street, it wasn't Obama's $787-billion "stimulus" that included a huge bulk of state government bailout spending, but instead action by the Federal Reserve to put more liquidity in the economy.
"Look, there's no doubt about it - we were close to going off a cliff the weekend at Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, Merrill [Lynch] was sold and AIG acquired by government," Bartiromo said. "You know, I mean I think we were very close and the economy needed stimulus in a big way. It's arguable whether that stimulus that helped the economy was really because of the stimulus plan or really because of the Federal Reserve. I think most people on Wall Street will believe and will tell you that it was really the Fed action in terms of giving greater access to the banks to overnight lending that really, really got us out."
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is admonishing the leaders of other countries attending the G-20 summit in Toronto to keep spending like there's no tomorrow, because if they spend like there's no tomorrow, there will still be a tomorrow. But in the gospel according to Geithner, if they don't spend like there's no tomorrow, there really won't be a tomorrow.
With such blubbery logic, is it any wonder that America's stature with the rest of the world is plummeting?
Earlier this evening, Brent Baker at NewsBusters pointed to an ABC report warning that a second recession might be on the horizon if the G20 nations don't follow the spend-spend-spend recommendations of the Obama administration.
In his attempt to convince the rest of the world of the folly of being fiscally responsible, Geithner has invoked a supposed "lesson" from the 1930s. Back in mid-May, I happened to stumble on the fundamental untruth of his assertion, and will demonstrate it shortly.
The Associated Press's Jeannine Aversa let Geithner's contention pass without challenge in her Saturday report on the summit. Here are the three relevant paragraphs from her report:
Have you seen the new General Motors commercial? In it, CEO Ed Whitacre highlights the taxpayer-funded bailout GM received and then brags: "We have repaid our government loan, in full with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule."
That advertisement (Watch it here) gives the impression that A) GM is financially stable and able to repay its debts B) the government bailout was the right decision. And that was exactly how the Obama administration and network news media celebrated GM's loan repayment of a $6.7 billion government loan.
But the ad is heavy on spin, according to The New York Times and Reason online.
Is the luster finally wearing off the love affair between the White House press corps and President Barack Obama? It is, if CBS White House correspondent Chip Reid's analysis of President Barack Obama's latest Wall Street proposals is anything to go by.
"Well, you know, it's really the same as it's all been," Reid said. "That there's some unease about both of them, but the President has been satisfied with the jobs they've done. Behind the scenes, they both still have a lot of control. They lost this battle to Volcker, but now they're on board on this new plan for Wall Street, although it really sounds more like politics than a real plan because it's hard to believe it would get through."
"You had me convinced - yes, he was. But you had me convinced that Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers and some of these people are all going to be in the Cabinet. We'd be better off if they were," Imus said.
As President Obama's approval rating dips below 50 percent, his devoted followers in the media also appear to be losing that loving feeling.
Over the weekend it was Chris "Tingles Up My Leg" Matthews calling the former object of his affection "Carteresque."
On Tuesday it was Arianna Huffington -- who has spent the entire year pushing for government-run healthcare as well as cap and trade! -- asking an astoundingly dangerous question for such an unashamed minion:
"Will The Unemployment Disaster Be Obama's Katrina?"
Yep. In her recent HuffPost column, Arianna used the K-word (h/t Hot Air):
At first glance it appeared that NBC's Meredith Vieira and David Gregory, on Friday's Today show, did a decent job of recounting all of the struggles the Obama administration is dealing with from unemployment to foreign policy, but ultimately the pair concluded, in every instance, they weren't actual problems, but merely problems of "perception." First up Vieira mentioned Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner being criticized on Capitol Hill for 10.2 percent unemployment, something that Gregory wrote off as simply "a perception problem that the administration has to deal with." Then on Obama's recent trip overseas Vieira queried Gregory: "Speaking about perception problems, President Obama just returned from a eight-day trip overseas to Asia. Some critics are saying that it was a failure, more style and no substance. Is that a fair analysis?" To which Gregory responded the Obama team just needed to do a better job of "winning the perception battle."
The following is a transcript of the segment as it was aired on the November 20, Today show:
About a year ago, then-Senator and Democratic nominee Barack Obama managed to seize control of the issue of taxes from the Republican Party by promising lower taxes for "95 percent of Americans."
But today it's a drastically different situation. Obama's $787-billion stimulus has been passed into law and the administration is taking on higher deficits, which will only increase if a Democrat health care reform bill passes. It looks as though the president's hand will be forced and he will have to raise taxes. That's begs question - where were the media on this a year ago?
CNBC's Erin Burnett asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at a CNBC made-for-television town hall on Sept. 10 if taxes would be raised. Geithner dodged the question, but Burnett interpreted the dodge to mean yes, as she explained on NBC's Sept. 13 "Meet the Press."
A common theme of the new administration and their media minions is that all the problems associated with the economy and the rising budget deficits are George W. Bush's fault.
On Sunday's "This Week," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said (video available here, relevant section at 9:40):
Remember we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. The cumulative consequences of the policies this country pursued over the last 8 years left us with 6 trillion dollars of more debt than we would have had by making a bunch of commitments to cut taxes and add to spending without paying for those.
Sadly, host George Stephanopoulos didn't challenge Geithner on these numbers. Here are the facts:
With the federal government issuing massive amounts of debt and the Federal Reserve purchasing it in the name of keeping interest rates down, questions have arisen about impact on the U.S. dollar.
On June 2, CNBC's "Power Lunch," aired a clip of the network's chief economics reporter, Steve Liesman interviewing Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner. Geithner claimed the Federal Reserve wasn't monetizing the debt the government was accruing. Following that clip, CNBC's Chicago Mercantile Exchange floor reporter Rick Santelli, famous for inspiring the anti-tax-and-spending tea parties, questioned Geithner's denial of debt monetization.
"Well, you know the first part of that question was economists are worried about quantitative easing - are we monetizing?" Santelli said. "And his answer was no, we have a strong independent central bank. Now the latter may be true but it certainly isn't an answer to the question and I put forth, and I'd like feedback everybody - that quantitative easing can't exist without the monetization process. We issue debt; we print the money to buy it. That is monetizing. I can't believe that was his answer."
It's a whole new wrinkle on the old joke about accountants (when asked what 2 + 2 is, he or she replies, "What do you want it to be?").
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the reported results of the financial institution stress tests were negotiated:
Banks Won Concessions on Tests Fed Cut Billions Off Some Initial Capital-Shortfall Estimates; Tempers Flare at Wells
The Federal Reserve significantly scaled back the size of the capital hole facing some of the nation's biggest banks shortly before concluding its stress tests, following two weeks of intense bargaining.
The overall reaction to the stress tests, announced Thursday, has been generally positive. But the haggling between the government and the banks shows the sometimes-tense nature of the negotiations that occurred before the final results were made public.
It's also clear that the negotiations were over clearly non-trivial amounts:
On Monday, the Obama administration announced a plan to cut down on tax evasion by companies employing overseas workers, and with seeming disregard to the obvious hypocrisy, let Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner -- who has tax problems of his own! -- introduce the President to provide the details.
I kid you not!
When media outlets report this announcement and the proposed reforms to the tax code, will they share with readers and viewers the delicious irony inherent in Obama using Geithner as his setup man?
Before answering, consider the following transcript of Geithner's introduction (video embedded right):
Here's a Tea Party Wednesday engine-starter, so to speak.
This past week, while much the world focused on the terrorists in training euphemistically known as "pirates," and the more religious among us attended Holy Week services and celebrated the Resurrection, bean counters and government bureaucrats were trying to figure out just how much a bankruptcy at General Motors could cost the treasury .... Oh, I forgot, the treasury is empty. I should have said "how much future generations will pay for General Motors' current bankruptcy."
In a Sunday night/Monday morning story that 'skillfully' buried the lede, the New York Times's Micheline Maynard and Michael J. de la Merced misdirected readers with talk of a "surgical" bankruptcy, while saving for later paragraphs evidence they have indicating that, if it occurs, it won't be a bankruptcy as you or I understand it. Properly stated, it should be renamed "Operation Make UAW Members Nearly Whole at Taxpayers' Expense."
Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press appears to be almost unique in reporting that, hard as it is to believe (kidding, of course), GM might not actually repay all of the monies "lent" by Uncle Sam.
But back at the Times, though they waited until Paragraph 10 to drop the big number on us, Maynard and de la Merced eventually made it clear that taking a bit of a principal hit on the government's loans might be the least of taxpayers' problems, given the skulduggery (and that is the right word) Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim "Tax Cheat" Geithner have embarked upon:
It came and went - and some might not have even noticed it - despite the seriousness of its use. On April 2, CNBC's Jim Cramer proclaimed the Depression over.
Throughout that day, the "Mad Money" host told viewers of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," CNBC's "Street Signs" and finally on his own program that the Depression was over and that we were on the verge of a bull run for the financial markets.
"We have reached the land of a thousand bull dances - phoney maroney, why? Because the market swallowed its Prozac," Cramer said on CNBC's "Mad Money" April 2. "And right now, right here on this show - I am announcing the Depression over!"
The Washington Post published an extensive investigative piece about Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Friday which was a collaboration with the far-left media outlet ProPublica (h/t Carter Wood).
As NewsBusters executive editor Matt Sheffield and I reported last September, ProPublica was founded by Herb and Marion Sandler, the California billionaires that have contributed millions to liberal causes and entities such as MoveOn.org and the Clinton front-group Center for American Progress.
Readers might recall the Sandlers being lampooned by "Saturday Night Live" last October for having a hand in the financial crisis. NBC later caved to pressure from the couple and edited out any reference to them in the video of the skit posted at the network's website (Pat Dollard still has the full video here).
In October 2007, shortly after the Sandlers announced their new media venture, Slate's Jack Shafer expressed concern: