Posts Tagged ‘infrastructure’

Interview With Tim Geithner, Poster Boy For An Administration That Has No Clue

November 2, 2009

From NBC’s “Meet the Press,” with David Gregory interviewing Treasury Secretary ‘Turbo Tax’ Timothy Geithner.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  You know, what the government did was to step in and make sure we’re providing the tax cuts and investments necessary to arrest the crisis, get credit markets starting to open up again.  And we did that, that plan worked.  But we’ve got a ways to go before…

GREGORY:  But that’s a big question, whether or not–yes, you have growth for the first time in four quarters.  But is any of this growth sustainable without government intervention?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  It will be, it will be.  But what the government has to do in a crisis is to provide a bridge until the economy can repair itself and businesses are confident enough to start to invest again.  And again, you’re starting to see it again.  Businesses now, I think they’ll say–you talk to people across the country, they’ll say that they feel that things are more stable now and for the first time they see orders starting to pick up.  And what’ll happen is they’ll start to invest again, they’ll start to bring people back onto their payroll and this will get more momentum.

GREGORY:  But that happened hasn’t yet–hasn’t happened yet.  We’ll get into that a little bit more in just a minute.

The question about consumer spending that really drove the market down on Friday, it’s off, biggest level that it’s been off in nine months.  Again, people are not consuming.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  There’s nothing new in those numbers on Friday.  They were in the GDP report.  No incremental news in those numbers.  So again, the overall picture for the economy is that consumers are a little more confident now, confident enough to start to spend again, investments starting to spend again. You know, there was another number on Friday that showed business confidence, in the Chicago survey, showing a little more optimism about the future, too. And–but, you know, again, this is a tough economy still, it’s going to take some time.  But we’re committed to making sure we’re reinforcing this progress we’ve seen.

But that is just a load of baloney, as Gregory pointed out.  Here’s a link to an AP article bearing the title, “Consumer Spending At Lowest In 9 Months.”  And the opening paragraph of that article begins with the words, “Consumer spending plunged in September by the largest amount in nine months.” [I used a different article because I know how articles that don’t pitch the Obama line tend to get deleted].

Seriously, exactly which part of that does Mr. Boy Genius Tim Geithner – who was so brilliant that we desperately needed him even though he was too incompetent or dishonest (or both!) to know how to pay his own taxes – fail to understand?  Consumers AREN’T “a little more confident,” Turbo Tax; they’re a LOT LESS confident!

The “growth” in GDP was almost entirely fueled by government spending.  That is a trend toward utter catastrophe and Zimbabwe-like hyperinflation, rather than anything positive.  It is absolutely unsustainable.  It is a terrible sign of artificially-generated growth by debt-fueled spending, rather than a sign for any kind of hope.

When our Treasury Secretary has his head so buried up Obama’s butt that he can’t understand simple realities, we are in a giant load of trouble.  And the anvil is being cued to drop as we speak.

Let’s go on.  Maybe Geithner and the Obama administration have some kind of solution, some kind of plan to help get us out of the problem they don’t even understand exists in the first place:

GREGORY:  Do we need another cash for clunkers program to stimulate the economy?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  I don’t think at the moment–well, let me start this way, David.  About half of the money in the Recovery Act, tax cuts and investments, are still ahead of us.  So there’s a lot of force still moving its way through the system now, and you’re going to see that continue to provide support for the economy going forward.

I interrupt at this point to point out that the Obama administration is literally refuting itself here  Geithner says the stimulus is going to creating beneficial impact.  But Obama’s chair for his Council for Economic Advisers claimed the exact opposite, saying:

“By mid-2010, fiscal stimulus will likely be contributing little to further growth.”

So which is it?

And pardon me while I mockingly laugh at an administration that is publicly literally talking out of both sides of their mouth at the same time.

In any event, when Geithner confidently declares that the stimulus that never really did squat in the first place is going to continue to continue to produce wonderful changes in the first place, you don’t have to go any farther than another key Obama official to see that that just isn’t true.

I’ve also got to point out that it is increasingly obvious that the cash for clunkers program was an unmitigated disaster.  First of all, it is now a documented fact that all the cash for clunkers program did was spur people to buy cars they were already going to buy within a matter of a few months anyway.  All the government did was move 4th quarter car sales into the 3rd quarter.  Second, we now know that the best and most impartial evidence demonstrates that the taxpayers forked out a whopping $20,000 for every car sold under the program.

In other words, it was an even bigger disaster than Republicans predicted it would be when they overwhelmingly opposed the program.

But we continue with Gregory and Geithner:

GREGORY:  Could you have had more impact if more of that money were paid out? You still have about $500 billion of the stimulus that has not been paid out yet.  How long will it take to get paid out?

SEC’Y GEITHER: Actually, I–again, it was designed to pay out over two years, because we knew it was going to take a long time to repair the damage we started with earlier this year.  So it was designed to pay out over this period of time.  And I think it’s actually delivering better results sooner than we would expect.  I think we’re seeing better outcomes in the financial sector, in the economy than many of us would’ve thought when we sat there with the president in Chicago at the end of last year.

GREGORY:  Right.  Well, but that’s not exactly true, because the president’s team said you’d keep unemployment to 8 percent if you didn’t have the stimulus, so.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  No.  No, you’re right, the unemployment is worse than almost everybody expectedBut growth is back a little more quickly, a little stronger than people thought, and growth is a necessary condition.  With growth jobs will come, but growth has to come first.  But just look at the financial sector.  You know, you’ve had banks repaying money with interest. Taxpayers are getting substantial earnings on this big investment in the financial system, and that’s delivering good, good returns for the American taxpayer.

Again, Geithner is utterly filled with fecal matter.

“Unemployment is worse than almost anybody thought”That was basically Vice President Biden’s line back in July.  And it was utterly idiotic when Biden said it back then.  Apparently, the Obama administration only has ears that hear liberals’ prognostications.  Republicans widely predicted the stimulus would utterly fail to create jobs.  That was why virtually every single one of them voted against it.  All kinds of economists said it would fail.  But they suffered from the flaw of not being liberals.

When high-level officials like Biden and Geithner say things like, “almost everybody was just shocked,” it shows how utterly insulated and ignorant these clowns who are running our government truly are.

Basically, 47% of the country didn’t vote for Obama.  And the 47% were the ones who turned out to be right.

The Obama administration consists on a bunch of weasels who are trying to dodge their central economic claim.  They said their massive stimulus (which actually cost taxpayers $3.27 TRILLION, by the way) would prevent unemployment from reaching 8%.  They were wrong.  Everything they thought was wrong.  And now “everybody” but them should be held responsible for their failure.

GREGORY:  Let’s talk about claims of success about jobs.  The White House says 640,000 jobs have been created or saved by the $800 billion stimulus.  There are Republicans who say the number is bogus, that it’s just PR.  John Boehner, leader of the Republicans in the House, as you well know, circulated a quote from an economist at Carnegie, Carnegie Mellon University, and I’ll put it up on the screen and you can look at it:  “One can search economic textbooks forever without finding a concept called `jobs saved.’ It doesn’t exist for good reason:  how can anyone know that his or her job has been saved?” You’ve got a lot of experience in the economy.  Is this PR or fact?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  This is fact.  Again, at–when the president took office, this economy was falling at the rate of 6.5 percent at an annual rate per year, fastest rate in decades.  We were losing three-quarters of a million jobs a month.  Now, the pace of job loss has slowed dramatically, the economy’s now growing again.  It’s growing not just because the effects of the Recovery Act.  Many people opposed the Recovery Act, said it wasn’t going to work.  It’s working, it’s delivering what it should result–what it should, it should produce.  Value of Americans’ savings are up almost 35 percent since the beginning of the year.  Interest rates down.  These are substantially powerful returns on the Recovery Act, and they are delivering what they were designed to deliver.

GREGORY:  OK.  What is a saved job?  How do you measure that?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  A, a saved–well…

GREGORY:  It’s not something an economist recognizes as an actual fact.

Thank you, David Gregory.  You must work for Fox News, given the fact that the White House has been demonizing Fox News as a propaganda outlet due to the fact that it presents the facts rather than Obama’s propaganda.

The Associated Press joined Fox News in Barry Obama’s doghouse by pointing out the fact that the administration was playing all kinds of ridiculous shenanigans with their job claims.

And we can go back months into the past and see that the Obama administration has stubbornly insisted as stating as fact what was months ago revealed to be blathering nonsense:

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX): “The administration, including the vice president, has claimed that stimulus policies have added 150,000 new jobs to the level of employment. We see this cited almost daily by the administration. Can you substantiate that claim?”

Mr. Keith Hall, Commissioner Of Bureau Of Labor Statistics: “No. That would be a very difficult thing for anybody to substantiate.”

“Created or saved” is a meaningless superficial category created by meaningless superficial people to advance a meaningless superficial agenda.

It doesn’t matter how deceitful the Obama’s bogus claims are, because they are liars without shame and they don’t give a damn about reality.  And they can’t solve the unemployment problem because they can’t get past their own propaganda.

Gregory goes on a little later and points out:

GREGORY:  Right.  But my, but my point is that this should not be overstated, the impact of the stimulus should not be overstated.  Here’s the facts about how many jobs have been lost since the stimulus:  2.7 million.  And you’ve got 14 states who have double-digit unemployment.  You can look at the top five, with Michigan at the top with 15.3 percent unemployment.  So you say it could’ve been a lot of worse.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  David…

GREGORY:  A, it’s still very bad, and B, the stimulus has had only a minimal effect.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  Actually–no, no, I wouldn’t say that.  I said actually, even those numbers understate it, because there’s lots of people who are underemployed, working less they would like.  So again, this is a very tough economy.  It’s only been three initial months of positive growth.  It’s going to take some time for unemployment to come down and for jobs to get created again.  And that’s why it’s important to–for people to recognize that we have a responsibility to keep working at this so we’re reinforcing the recovery.

GREGORY:  How high will unemployment go, do you think?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  Don’t know for sure, but it’s likely still rising and it, it probably going to rise further before it starts to come down again.

GREGORY:  Double digits?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  Most economists think we’ll probably get there, and–but again, the economists think–and, you know, there’s a lot of uncertainty in this.  Economists don’t know that, don’t know that much about the future, David.  But they say that they think we’ll start to see net jobs created at the beginning of the year, sometime around the beginning of the year, in the first quarter sometime.

I have to begin by correcting David Gregory.  He said that Obama had lost 2.7 million jobs since he passed his stimulus.  ABC News, reporting facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, had a very different number:

Approximately 3.3 million jobs have been lost since the stimulus act passed, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But what are 600,000 jobs between friends?

And when Geither says that “most economists think we’ll get [to double digit unemployment], realize that we are going to get there VERY SOON.  Geithner is talking about the wonderful effect the stimulus has had on employment even as the unemployment rate is expected to climb to at least 10% when the Bureau of Labor Statistics figures for October come out.

And respected economic analysts such as Meredith Whitney – who accurately predicted the 2008 economic crash when most of her fellows were whistling a very different tune – has gone on the record predicting unemployment rates of 13% or higher in our future.

Okay.  Things are bad and they’re going to get a lot worse.  But the Obama adminstration has some kind of plan, right?  I mean, RIGHT?

Nope.  Beyond “Blame Bush,” they’ve got NOTHING.

GREGORY:  What should the administration be going specifically to reduce unemployment at this point?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  The most important thing is to get growth growing again at a strong pace.

GREGORY:  Right.  But what can the government…

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  That’s the most…

GREGORY:  …what should the government be doing?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  The government’s doing exactly what it should be doing. It’s, it’s making sure that there are tax cuts to business and families, investments in improving infrastructure, creating incentives for businesses to spend again, relief for state and local governments and getting this financial system back on its feet.

Gregory could have pointed out that the government ISN’T actually doing ANY of these things.  Tax cuts?  They plan tax increases.  What the Obama administration calls “tax cuts” have been “redistribution of wealth” as the government takes money away from producers and hands it to non-producers.  And to small businesses?  Are you joking? Geithner claims that stimulus investments have imporoved infrastructure.  The problem is and always has been that not enough of the stimulus program ever went to infrastructure in the first place.  And what exactly what incentives has Obama provided for businesses to spend again?  The fact is, Obama is trying to force businesses to spend more on healthcare, more on job-killing minimum wages, more on electricity, all of which will result in them having a lot LESS to spend on anything else.

That’s okay though, I suppose.  Geithner would have spent the rest of his time quibbling over details and pumping sunshine if Gregory had stopped him at his last paragraph.

What Gregory did was continued to push Geithner for SOMETHING that Obama could offer as an economic solution.  Something.  Anything.  And Geithner had nothing.

GREGORY:  But do you need more stimulus?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  I don’t think we need to make that judgment yet, David. Again, there’s–about half of the money committed by the Congress is still working its way through the system by design.  It was designed to work over two years.  So we’re not in a position yet where we need to make a choice about whether it’s going to take more than that…

GREGORY:  Right.

[Please go back to what I demonstrated earlier, i.e., that Obama’s own chair for the Council of Economic Advisers actually said the precise opposite.]

We now continue the documentary about the fact that Tim Geithner and Barry Obama have absolutely no clue whatsoever how to fix the economy.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  …to bring growth back.  And again, that’s only a bridge. You’re not going to get real recovery until it’s led by the private sector, by businesses.

GREGORY:  So I want to be clear, additional stimulus you don’t think is needed right now.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  Not, not yet.  Now, Congress is looking at extending unemployment insurance, some other targeted programs that would expire without additional action.  You’ve heard Congress today–you heard–saw Congress this week start to talk about extending the first-time homebuyer tax credit, some other measures.  We think those will be helpful things for the economy as a whole, and they’ll also provide some added support.

GREGORY:  Let me talk about the deficit and the debt.  These are alarming numbers, you said they are.  Let’s look at the deficit since Inauguration Day: $1.2 trillion, now $1.4 trillion; it’s up 17 percent.  The overall debt, Inauguration Day:  $10.6 trillion, now $11.9 trillion.  What’s it going to be a year from now?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  Well, it’s going to have to come down.  Now it’s too high, and I think everybody understands this.  You know, we’ve got these two central imperatives:  restore growth, create jobs.  But make sure people understand we’re going to have to bring those fiscal deficits down as growth recovers. First growth, though.  Without growth, you can’t fix those long-term fiscal problems.  But you’re not going to have a recovery that’s going to be strong enough unless people are confident we’re going to have the will to go back to live within our means.

GREGORY:  How do you bring it down, though?  Do taxes have to go up?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  Well, we’re going to have to do–we’re going to have to make some hard choicesThe–but we’re not really at the point yet, David, we’re going to know what’s going to be the best path forward.  The president’s very committed to bring down these deficits, and he’s very committed to doing so in a way that’s not going to add to the burden on people, people making less than $250,000 a year.

GREGORY:  But wait a minute, though, what are hard–I mean, I think a lot of people, it’s fair to say, what are hard choices?  I mean, what hard choices have been made so far?  Are you going to raise taxes?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  We’re going to have to bring our resources and our expenditures more into balance.

GREGORY:  So it’s possible.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  Well, again, the president’s committed to make sure we get this economy back on track.  We’re bringing down this deficit over time.  And to do so…

GREGORY:  Mr. Secretary, you talked about hard choices, so why can’t you give a straight answer to whether taxes have to come up…

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  Because…

GREGORY:  …when you have a deficit this big?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  Because, David, right now we’re focused on getting growth back on track, OK, and we’re not at the point yet we have to decide exactly what it’s going to take.  And I just want to say this very clearly.  He was committed in the campaign to make–he said in the campaign and he is committed to make sure we do this in a way that is not going to add to the burden on people making less than $250,000 a year.  Now, it’s going to be hard to do that, but he’s committed to doing that and we can do that.

GREGORY:  You can do it, but it’s still a chance that you’d have to raise taxes and go back on that if you’ve got a debt this big.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  We’re going to have to do it in a way that’s going to help to meet that test, meet that commitment, the commitment he made, to do it in a way that’s fair to Americans and make sure we do it in a way that’s going to allow–provide for growth and recovery going forward.  But we can do this. You know, this is not beyond our capacity as a country to do.

GREGORY:  But…

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  But first things first.

GREGORY:  Right.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  And unless we have a recovery, our long-term debts are going to be worse.  Now, you didn’t raise health care yet, but what’s happening on health care now is very encouraging.  Because if you look at what independent analysts say now, if you look at these bills moving their way through the Congress, they will make a substantial difference in reducing the rate of growth in healthcare costs over the long term and they will help bring down those long-term deficits.

GREGORY:  But there is going to be a heavy burden on the middle-class through, through health care by taxes going up, by premiums going up.  It will affect the middle-class.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  You know, I, I, I don’t think that’s the way to look at it. The–our tax–our healthcare system today imposes enormous burdens not just on businesses, but on families.  There are very high hidden costs to our current system.  And the best way to add to our long-term deficits, and the best way to add to those burdens is not reform health care today.

GREGORY:  But it doesn’t answer the question about premiums going up with an individual mandate and taxes going up on so-called Cadillac plans and other parts of this bill as they’re moving their way through the process that would increase taxes.

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  Right.  Again, I don’t think that’s the right way to think about it.  I think you have to look at the entire system today and the cost that presents.  And if you look at those…

GREGORY:  Well, why isn’t that the right way to look at it if that’s the reality of what the legislation would do?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  No.

GREGORY:  How else should it be looked at?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  Well…

GREGORY:  Yes, there are, there are ballooning costs with the existing system, but the remedy still includes tax cuts–tax hikes, does it not?

SEC’Y GEITHNER:  No.  What the, what the bills moving through Congress do, and these are very important, they expand coverage, they will make care more affordable and they will reduce the rate of growth in healthcare costs.  And in that sense they’re going to provide a more fair system, so families are not going to live with the fear that if they lose their job they’re going to lose health care, they’re going to be denied healthcare coverage and they’re going to be able to afford a basic package of care that’s going to make sure they can provide for their families.

GREGORY:  Just a couple of minutes left…

Gregory turned the discussion to bonuses to AIG executives.

I’m not even going to begin to get into the terrible calamity that Obamacare will be if it passes.  Costs will go up massively.  People will pay more and get less.  There will be rationing.  A lot of people will unnecessarily die early deaths of medical neglect.

In what may be the most frightening thing of all to those who value liberty, the phrase “shall” granting the government sweeping powers and responsibilities appears a whopping 3,425 times.  That’s three thousand, four hundred and twenty-five times the government forces you to do something.  This is legislation that will give the government an all-encompassing mandate to dominate our lives.

And about the taxes Gregory mentioned?  Here’s a fun little trivia fact you can know about the 1,990 page health care bill:

According to that group, along with the word “shall” being used 3,425 times in the legislation, the word “tax” was used 87 times, “taxable” used 62 times, “excise tax” used ten times, “taxes” used 15 times, “fee” used 59 times, and “penalty” used 113 times. They also provided a list of 13 specific tax hikes contained within the bill, and even were so kind to include page numbers.

You want taxes?  Then you’ll LOVE H.R. 3692:

October 29th, 2009 by Legislative Staff

  1. SMALL BUSINESS SURTAX (Sec. 551, p. 336) – $460.5 BILLION
  2. EMPLOYER MANDATE TAX* (Secs. 511-512, p. 308) – $135.0 BILLION
  3. INDIVIDUAL MANDATE TAX* (Sec. 501, p. 296) – $33 BILLION
  4. MEDICAL DEVICE TAX* (Sec. 552, p. 339) – $20 BILLION
  5. $2,500 ANNUAL CAP ON FSAs* (Sec. 532, p. 325) – $13.3 BILLION
  6. PROHIBITION ON PRE-TAX PURCHASES OF OVER-THE-COUNTER DRUGS THROUGH HSAs, FSAs, and HRSs* – (Sec. 1802, p. 1162) – $2.0 BILLION
  7. TAX ON HEALTH INSURANCE POLICIES TO FUND COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS RESEARCH TRUST FUND* (Sec. 1802, p. 1162) – $2.0 BILLION
  8. 20% PENALTY ON CERTAIN HAS DISTRIBUTIONS* (Sec. 533, p. 326) – $1.3 BILLION
  9. OTHER TAX HIKES AND INCREASED COMPLIANCE COSTS ON U.S. JOB CREATORS – $56.4 BILLION
    • IRS reporting on payments to certain businesses (Sec. 553, p. 344) – $17.1 BILLION
    • Delay implementation of worldwide interest allocation rules (Sec. 554, p. 345) – $26.1 BILLION
    • Override U.S. Treaties on certain payments by “insourcing” businesses (Sec. 561, p. 346) – $7.5 BILLION
    • Codify economic substance doctrine and impose penalties (Sec. 562, p. 349) – $5.7 BILLION
  10. OTHER REVENUE-RAISING PROVISIONS – $3.0 BILLION

TOTAL TAX INCREASES: $729.5 BILLION

*Violates President Obama’s pledge to avoid tax increases on Americans earning less than $250,000

My point in bringing this to you was simply to point out that if you have ever seen a circus that featured a bunch of clowns wildly driving around and crashing into each other in little clown cars or tricycles, you pretty much understand what it looks like inside the White House.

These people have no clue.

And the new United States of America under Obama, launched with such great fanfare, is – like the Titanic – on a collision course with a giant iceberg.

Obama Wishes U.S. Could Be Like China

August 22, 2008

Hot Air jumped all over this stunningly revealing statement from Barack Obama. I figured I might as well pile on:

Everybody’s watching what’s going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics. Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a corporation deciding where to do business you’re starting to think, “Beijing looks like a pretty good option.”

Ed Morrissey had this to say by way of comment:

Well, as long as you forget about the oppressive Communist government and the lack of freedom and the Internet filtering and the re-education camps … China sounds really groovy.

Does Barack Obama understand the nature of the Beijing regime? The reason that the government can afford all of this spending is that they control the means of production and the wealth of the nation. They can confiscate what they want at will and spend it where they like. And in Beijing, they spent it where the cameras would be pointed.

Unfortunately, most of what the cameras see is just a facade, as Dale Franks points out at Q&O:The Chinese infrastructure that so enthralls Obama remains decades behind that of the US.  What infrastructure China manages to build, however, gets its energy from oil and coal, not from wind and solar.  China has become the highest emissions nation in the world and shows no sign of slowing itself down over concerns about anthropogenic climate change.  In fact, the air in Beijing is so bad that outdoor Olympics events almost had to be moved.

Meanwhile, the regime where Obama thinks the world would love to do business maintains itself through brutal oppression.  China blocked access to the Internet for international journalists despite promising to allow full access to reporters for the Games.  They arrested reporters covering peaceful protests.  And these are the actions they took while trying to make themselves look good.

If Obama wants us to build up American infrastructure, he can start by ending the flow of American wealth overseas for energy.  Create hundreds of thousands of jobs by building the American energy infrastructure through drilling in the OCS, ANWR, and interior shale formations.  Lower capital-gains tax rates to encourage more investment and generate more revenues (and jobs).

America needs a President who can see past the facades.  Obama has given every indication of gullibility, first with his pledge to conduct presidential-level diplomacy without preconditions with regimes like Iran, Cuba, and North Korea, and now in declaring China the place to do business.  Obama isn’t at all ready to lead this nation; he’s not even ready to run a business, with thinking like this.

Barack Obama’s statement on China betrays a fundamentally stupid as well as fundamentally amoral understanding of both the economy and the world.