Friday, September 11, 2009

Deficit Reduction—Show Me the Money

At a CNBC town hall forum held on September 10, 2009, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stated that sustained large annual (trillion dollar) budget deficits would damage the economy—but that deficit reduction measures should not be undertaken until current deficits had stabilized the economy and restored growth.

Pressed to state if he thought higher taxes would be required in the future, Geithner ducked the question and, on its repetition, did so a second time. Nor did Geithner point to any cuts that could be made in federal spending.

Many languages have a phrase akin to "show me the money." Geithner did not do so.

The night before, speaking at a joint session of Congress, President Obama stated that over $500 billion in savings could be wrung out of waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid to underwrite the lion’s share of the cost of health insurance reform. Obama failed to identify specific instances of waste and inefficiency that could be eliminated to achieve the savings. Obama did not show me the money.

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