Sunday, February 07, 2010

Geithner and the QOTD from Noonan

Peggy Noonan on ABC's This Week:

...[E]very time the administration speaks about economic issues, what they say doesn't sound true.  It sounds like some kind of mix between "rah-rah" and gobbelty-gook... Another problem, I think, is that the administration did not depart from the Bush administration way of spending and spending, and the people can see that Bush kind of broke the bank, and now Obama is double-breaking the bank.

This remark was especially poignant after viewing Jake Tapper's interview with Geithner.  A common administration talking point is to say how we were losing ~700k jobs per month last year, and to take credit for having changed that. Geithner repeated that -- I dunno, maybe three times or so, mostly as a non sequitur.

Stimulus unemployment projections

"Think where we were a year ago", they say. Does the administration really mean to imply that we'd still be losing hundreds of thousands of jobs every month if not for the stimulus? That's a rather absurd proposition, and I'd like to see some intrepid interviewer actually follow up on that some time.

I frequently find myself asking whether this or that administration spokesperson believes what he or she is saying. Whether they really get it, or they're just opportunists. Most days I put Geithner and Larry Summers in the "true believer" category. Christina Romer, I would presume, is an opportunist -- her current rhetoric is at odds with her academic work. For some reason I get the impression that Goolsbee is not really a true believer.

Volker and Bernanke I'm unsure of. I agree with some of what those last two gents say, but am mystified at other times. The party line that the Federal Reserve was innocent in the bubble-inflation period begs credulity.  In this respect, I hope Bernanke is lying to save his job, because if he doesn't recognize what went wrong in the first place he'll commit the same mistake again.

Obama? True believer.

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