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Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Deserves to be Fired
By Julie Borowski on August 16, 2011
To put it mildly, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has a miserable track record. His fingerprints are all over the current fiscal disaster. Geithner has been grossly wrong on everything from the bank bailouts to the trillion-dollar “stimulus” plans. Under his watch, the U.S. credit rating was recently downgraded from AAA to AA+. He has had a direct role in bailing out the auto industry and spendthrift nations such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal with U.S. taxpayers’ dollars through the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The dynamic duo of Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner wrongly thought that simply printing more money could get out of this mess. Geithner should immediately resign or President Obama should kick him out of cabinet position. Either situation is a win for the American economy.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) have recently announced their intention to introduce a vote of no confidence in the Treasury Secretary. According to Sen. Paul, "the stock market gave a vote of no confidence to Timothy Geithner yesterday and for the past 11 days. Geithner has shown no acumen in predicting, diagnosing, or treating America's economic woes. The time has come for him to resign.” Similar calls for Geithner to resign have been echoed by House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and other prominent members of Congress. It seems like Geithner is an unpopular figure in Washington as well as the rest of the nation.
A congressional vote of no confidence against Geithner will send a strong message to President Obama. With the Labor Department’s unemployment rate still over 9 percent — the real unemployment rate is likely significantly higher— and inflation running rampant, it’s hard to believe that anyone could possibly have any confidence in Geithner whose job is to manage the nation’s finances. Just a few months ago, Geithner said that there was “no risk” of the U.S. losing its AAA ratings. You might even remember his New York Times article titled “Welcome to the Recovery” back in August 2010. Real recovery is still nowhere in sight a year later.
Anyone who believes we’re on the right path to economic recovery might be living under a rock. In a recent NBC interview, Timothy Geithner criticized S&P’s decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating by saying, “S&P has shown really terrible judgment and they’ve handled themselves very poorly…They’ve shown a stunning lack of knowledge about basic U.S. fiscal budget math.” But the truth is that it’s odd that S&P didn’t downgrade our top-tier credit rating a long time ago. The United States, the world’s largest debtor nation, is over $14.5 trillion in debt. It’s maddening that the Obama administration has the nerve to question S&P’s knowledge on fiscal budget math when the U.S. deficit and debt are at all-time highs.
Timothy Geithner has shown himself incapable of facing economic reality. Noted investor and firm believer in Austrian economics Jim Rogers recently said, "it seems to me it's physically, humanly impossible for the U.S. to ever pay off its debt. They can roll it over and continue to play the charade, but the U.S. is bankrupt.” Unlike Geithner, Jim Rogers was one of the few to predict the current financial crisis.
The former New York Federal Reserve Chairman has no shortage of scandals. Geithner played a key role in the over $170 billion taxpayer bailout of American International Group (AIG) during the height of the financial crisis. The multinational insurance giant used a significant chunk of the money to pay bonuses to executives despite the fact that the money-losing company was severely mismanaged. It was revealed that Geithner even urged AIG executives to keep quiet about the $105 billion of payments made to banks, which AIG had insured against losses, including Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Geithner surely didn’t want taxpayers to know that their hard-earned money went to bankers who made bad investment decisions.
Tim Geithner has zero credibility in diagnosing and solving our current economic woes. He is determined to maintain the same failed status quo policies. Someone who has a clue about the economic situation we face would be preferable to Tim Geithner. He’s got to go—for the sake of our future prosperity.