John’s post on Secretary LaHood’s testimony before the Senate Budget Committee reminded me of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s testimony to the same committee on February 17 regarding the president’s budget. The president’s plan accumulates $13 trillion in new gross debt, with interest payments on the debt rising to $844 billion a year by 2021. Under President Obama’s budget, total federal spending will increase another 65 percent by the end of the decade. In fact, accumulated deficits under the president’s budget are greater than those in the Congressional Budget Office baseline, which assumes we essentially do nothing.
Geithner freely conceded under questioning from Senator Sessions that the president’s own budget calls for interest payments and obligations that are “excessively high” and “unsustainable.” Geithner presented himself before the committee as an innocent bystander. Senator Sessions gamely called him on the charade.
If he had a sense of shame, Geithner would have to have been embarrassed. As it is, one suspects that he is an easy tool, deferential, glad to be of use — J. Alfred Prufrock landed improbably in the high office of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.
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