If you’re wondering when our economy is ever going to get its sea-legs back, look no further than Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for comforting words. In an interview with CNBC, Geithner said that in spite of data suggesting that the UK has slipped into recession, the US is on the right track, and that “we’re gradually getting stronger.”
Geithner is hopeful for the European market as well, saying, “And Europe is doing a better job of managing their crisis.” Elaborating on both points, the Treasury Secretary assured us, “The most likely thing you’re gonna see is that Europe contains the risk of a major cataclysm,” he said. “They can let these reforms take some time to work. And our economy should continue to get gradually strengthened through that.”
Geithner also had plenty to say about how de facto Republican nominee Mitt Romney plans on solving the economic crisis. Step one for Romney being the improvement of trade relations with China by calling them out on currency manipulation. “By just calling them a name?” Geithner asked. “Like you can solve problems in the world, a very complicated world we live in, by calling people names?” Elaborating again, Geithner clarified why Romney’s plans are a bit misguided: “If it had been an effective way to get change in China, then bipartisan, Democrat and Republican presidents over time would have embraced that basic strategy,” he said. “But it had no merit as a basic strategy and does carry the risk of a trade war.”
The Treasury Secretary also rejected right-wing claims that Obama’s tax policies are preventing economic recovery. Geithner specifically responded to the charges of Romney’s own adviser Glenn Hubbard, who said that Obama’s expensive governance will require an 11% tax increase on Americans who make less than $200k annually.
“That’s a completely made up, remarkably hackish observation for an economist,” Geithner said of Hubbard. “The president’s fiscal reform plan would bring our deficits down to below 3 percent of GDP over the next four years, so that the debt burden stops growing as a share of the economy. We propose a series of tax reforms that would modestly increase the burden, but only on the top 2 percent of Americans. Ninety-eight percent of Americans would see no increase in their effective tax burden.”
Thanks for the clarification, Geithner. Just keep avoiding specifics and playing spin-doctor until the election is over.