Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the House Budget Committee Thursday that President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget – “the most expensive in United States history” – would “put the U.S. on an ‘unsustainable’ course if enacted,” reports The Washington Free Beacon.
Geithner also told Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) that although the Obama administration doesn’t have a “definitive solution” to the debt crisis, it definitely knows it doesn’t like the Republican alternative.
“Leaders are supposed to fix problems. We have a $99.4 trillion unfunded liability. Our government is making promises to Americans that it has no way of accounting for. And so you’re saying, yeah, we’re stabilizing it but we’re not fixing it in the long run. That means that we’re just going to keep lying to people,” Rep. Paul Ryan said.
“We’re going to keep all these empty promises going … You’re showing that you have no plan to get this debt under control. You’re saying we’ll stabilize it but then it’s just going to shoot back up. And so my argument is, that’s Europe. That is bringing us toward a European debt crisis,” he added.
“What our budget does is get our deficits down to a sustainable path over the budget window. Why do they take off again? Why do they do that?” Treasury Secretary Geithner asked.
“Because we got 10,000 people retiring every day, and healthcare costs going up–” Rep. Ryan responded.
“That’s right. We have millions of Americans retiring every day, and that will drive substantially the rate of growth of healthcare costs. You are right to say we’re not coming before you today to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is, we don’t like yours [emphasis added],” Geithner said.
See the exchange via The Washington Free Beacon:
Why would Geithner say something like that? That is, why would he openly admit that even though the White House has no solution of its own, it refuses to consider a Republican plan?
Business Insider posits that Geithner may have reached a point in his career where, for a lack of better words, he simply “doesn’t give a $%&.”
For instance, while being questioned over the President’s budget by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Geithner was “unflappable,” and mostly “just laughed at Chaffetz the whole time.”
See the video via Business Insider:
What’s going on here? Business Insider has three theories:
One is that Geithner knows his job is almost over. He’ll be gone after the election, full stop. He can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Two is that Geithner has just gotten better at talking. We noted last September how much better Geithner was sounding.
And three, Geithner maybe feels like the administration is winning. The economy is improving. Administration ratings are going up and so on. Finally, he’s feeling good.
All reasonable positions. Indeed, when Geithner first started working for the Obama administration, he seemed nervous, flummoxed, and downright uncomfortable in front of cameras. He definitely seems more confident.
And maybe he believes that the current administration is winning. Maybe he believes all of its economic and political goals are being achieved.
But is it really that?
Given the fact that it has gotten to the point where Geithner is openly admitting that the White House has no “definitive solution” to the debt crisis, and that he’s most likely on his way out anyway, the real reason for his jovial frankness in front of the House Budget Committee might be because, well, he doesn’t’ give a “$%&.”