Timothy Geithner is infamous for garbling his baseball metaphors with President Obama, but before he leaves office today – with the White House bringing in chief of staff Jack Lew as the reliever – the Treasury Secretary made another pitch on the economic progress that’s been made.
“The president makes fun of me of always saying we're only in the second inning,” he told Politico. “But in terms of the American economic recovery, we’re past the seventh-inning stretch.”
Does that mean Americans are getting their peanuts and Cracker Jacks or heading toward the exits early to beat the crowd? Either way, the crisis-hardened Geithner, 51, suggests a the economy could still benefit from more stimulus spending, coupled with long-term fiscal reforms. He also tells Politico there’s “not a chance” he’d replace Ben Bernanke as Fed chair. - Read more about President Obama’s new cabinet at The Fiscal Times
DEMS TARGET WEALTHY IN NEW BUDGET The new Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman, Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA, told members Thursday that her first budget will call for new revenue drawn from changes to tax breaks that benefit patrician types. “We could raise hundreds of billions of dollars by making sure the rich no longer benefit disproportionately from deductions and other tax preferences,” she wrote in a memo to Senate Democrats.” - Read more at The Wall Street Journal
LAWMAKERS IN 99 PERCENT FRET ‘NO BUDGET, NO PAY’ Sure, the Senate is home to its fair share of millionaires. Many of them wouldn’t bat an eye if they lost their $174,000 government salary, but not all members of the upper chamber belong to the one percent.
A handful of lawmakers rely solely on their government paycheck and worry that the “No Budget, No Pay” provision in the debt ceiling bill, which passed the House earlier this week, could seriously threaten their livelihoods. “We’re not all millionaires,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) told The Hill. “When I splurge, it’s on a Ravens t-shirt.” The provision threatens to impound lawmakers’ salaries until 2015, the end of the 113th Congress, if the Senate fails to approve a budget by April 15. - Read more at The Hill
BARTLETT: SPENDING NOT OUT OF CONTROL “It is silly to obsess about near-term nominal budget deficits… Our long-term deficit situation is not nearly as severe as even many budget experts believe,” Bruce Bartlett writes in The Fiscal Times. “We are much closer to fiscal sustainability than even most economists realize… Taking a meat ax to every federal program, as Republicans demand, is neither necessary nor desirable.” - Read more at The Fiscal Times