Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tim Geithner Plays with Words on Fox Business

Liz Claman of the Fox Business Network is one of my favorite interviewers in media today. She is warm and cordial, which also means her guests are easily disarmed and she follows that up with some of the tougher questions in business news.

Recently Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was a guest of Liz Claman on the Fox Business Network and said that we will be able to “solve this financial crisis at a dramatically lower cost than we initially anticipated," he goes on to actually claim that the U.S. taxpayers have made money on banks paying back TARP.

On whether the US taxpayer made money on banks paying back TARP:

Geithner: “Absolutely. Just on that particular investment (Bank of America) the taxpayer got probably more than $2.5 billion even before we sell our warrants…We’re going to be able to solve this financial crisis at a dramatically less cost than we initially anticipated.” On the flip side, our financial industries have developed a new type of "freezing effect" as banks stop making investments because they have huge reserves to sit on and are paid for by taxpayers. Loans are risky; government subsidies have allowed banks to avoid that type of risk. Furthermore, this does not even address the bigger issue of nationalization and the inappropriate use of government power.

On the opposition to government tax credits to small businesses:

Geithner: “There’s a pretty good case for looking at targeted tax incentives to encourage investment and new hiring.” Unfortunately this administration seems to "target" tax cuts or subsidies to political allies, be it political organizations that support its agenda (e.g., ACORN) or corporations that they are trying to win favor (first Wall Street and now a "new" bailout for Main Street).

On what it will take to create jobs:

Geithner: “It will not be one thing. It’s going to have to take a mix of approaches, and you’re right, we have limited resources.” What happened to the money we "made" from TARP? This type of political double talk is common for Obama and his team. With the highest unemployment in a quarter of a century, it is difficult to stomach watching this President spending close to $1 trillion just to launch a health care program that is unconstitutional, promises to create a systems of rationing, and will not event go into effect for almost a half of a decade. Allowing the states to determine its own minimum wage, eliminating taxes on corporations (since those taxes only undermine competitiveness), and making it easier for employers to hire should be on the top of Geithner's priorities.

Kevin Price is a syndicated columnist whose articles frequently appear at ChicagoSunTimes.com, Reuters.com, USAToday.com, and other national media. Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at PriceofBusiness.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home