Monday, January 19, 2009

Geithner and his Republican friends

James Crumley catches Charles Krauthammer defending tax cheat Tim Geithner:
"We have in Geithner a guy with amazing experience, extremely smart, who has been in every crisis over the weakness in 2008, all the rescues. He is a man who inspires confidence in our economy, which is what it is really lacking.
"And to sink his nomination over what I think is a triviality is simply unserious. Our crisis is too strong, too big, and his is too much of an asset to deny him office over unpaid taxes, which in the end he refunded and repented."
Uh, excuse me? How is Geithner's "amazing experience" -- up to his eyeballs in the mess at Citigroup -- an argument in his favor? In what sense does Geithner's status as a protege of Robert Rubin "inspire confidence in our economy"?

Take a poll and tell me what percentage of the American people can correctly identify Geithner before you credit him with such inspirational powers. And I think that "confidence" isn't the only thing our economy is "really lacking"; it also lacks a couple trillion dollars of asset value destroyed by the collapse of the housing bubble, which even the inspirational magic (?) of Geithner cannot restore. But Krauthammer's degree is in psychiatry, not economics, so I suppose he's an expert in the effect of inspirational confidence.

Krauthammer makes a very interesting argument. Only people from Bob Rubin's coterie of former Goldman Sachs operatives can be allowed to run Treasury because, well, they've been running it so long and therefore they're the only ones who know how to run it. So when Geithner is nominated, any objection to the nomination is "a triviality . . . simply unserious."

This fetish of expertise, this belief that only the anointed disciple of Bob Rubin could possibly be acceptable as Treasury secretary -- am I the only one who detects the whiff of bovine excrement here? And why is Krauthammer peddling this excrement? Did he enter into some secret pact during that dinner with Obama at George Will's house?


  1. Krauthammer is rapidly becoming another Vichy Republican. Don't forget that a few weeks ago he was writing a cover story for the Weekly Standard arguing for a $1 a gallon gas tax (and naively insisting that it would be offset dollar for dollar by a cut in Social Security taxes).

  2. Because when it comes to economics and the economy Charles Krauthammer is a moron.

    There's not much more to it than that.