White House taps Tim Geithner to run the fiscal-cliff talks

posted at 5:11 pm on November 26, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Call me crazy, but somehow, I’m not at all convinced that assigning Timothy Geithner with the task of mediating between the two dueling parties on the coming fiscal cliff and the need for deficit-reduction is going to much help with moving this already-painful process along.

We’ve got about a month to broker a deal before we nose-dive over the cliff in January, and since Treasury Secretary Geithner has been planning to exit stage left around the start of Obama’s second term, this may be his last major administrative act. The WSJ reports:

The move is part of the White House’s effort to leave behind the near-catastrophic failure of 2011 talks over raising the debt ceiling. Those negotiations were led by a team, including Jacob Lew, then White House budget chief and now chief of staff, with whom Republicans frequently clashed because they felt Mr. Lew wouldn’t agree to major changes to entitlement programs like Medicaid. …

Congressional aides and those optimistic about the possibility of the latest talks hope Mr. Geithner is better suited to the role of pragmatic deal maker. …

Mr. Geithner, who declined to comment for this story, will be joined by a team of White House budget and tax experts, including Mr. Lew, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, NEC Deputy Director Jason Furman and top congressional-affairs official Rob Nabors.

They will square off with a number of equally seasoned congressional aides to work through sticking points on issues such as taxes and Medicare. Final decisions will likely be made by their bosses, particularly President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio).

I have serious doubts that the GOP will be any more receptive to proposed leadership from Geithner — he isn’t exactly much for enforcing fiscal restraint, he’s helped the Obama administration peddle the myth that the financial crisis was somehow due to a lack of regulation, and there are lingering trust issues about his own tax-related aptitude. Nothing about this screams “recipe for success” to me.

Speaking of Geithner’s imminent departure, here’s what we might be looking at for our next Treasury secretary, via ABC:

As President Obama prepares for his second term, preparations have begun for the traditional shuffling of the Cabinet, ABC’s Jake Tapper reports. … To replace Geithner at Treasury, White House chief of staff Jack Lew is thought to have the inside track if he wants it, with other possibilities including Neal Wolin, the current Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and Lael Brainard, current Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs. Other informed sources suggest that there is consideration being given to a business or CEO type such as investor Roger Altman, former Time-Warner chair Richard Parsons, and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg.


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Unqualified.

22044 on November 26, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Wait, what?

This is the guy who sat across from Paul Ryan and said to his face, “we don’t have a plan, we just don’t like your plan.”

rockmom on November 26, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Obama votes present.

He delegates to the guy who says that the O administration has no plan, but it doesn’t like the GOP plan.

Clusterphuck.

BuckeyeSam on November 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Like a Meth Addict running the Rehab facility.

portlandon on November 26, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Folks, we have already gone over the effin’ cliff, there are about 30 feet left until we hit bottom. The parachute has holes in it and we should really be saying our prayers. It’s too late, nice knowin’ ya’ll.

hip shot on November 26, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Raise taxes, except for people that use TAX PROF. They are exempt.

Hummer53 on November 26, 2012 at 5:22 PM

rockmom on November 26, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Exactly what I was thinking.

Why put a partisan hack in the position of mediator? He’s a joke. Bring in Simpson, or Bowles, or both.

Hill60 on November 26, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Once again, the Obama Administration follows it’s strong suite……………of incompetence.

GarandFan on November 26, 2012 at 5:28 PM

This won’t end well.

wolly4321 on November 26, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Oh wonderful . . . Obama hires a jackass that can’t even do his own taxes to pull us out of a fiscal crisis.
Can we ever escape from this bizarro world?

rplat on November 26, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Great! The guy who gets confused when trying to pay his own taxes and doesn’t pay them because he is confused is going to somehow show us the path that steers us from the cliff.

The fix is in. Kind of figures since the rumor is, he’s gone anyway.

plutorocks on November 26, 2012 at 5:28 PM

wait…whatz mah turbo tax password again…/
?
/timmy

ted c on November 26, 2012 at 5:32 PM

smells like fail!

ted c on November 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Where’s Oblahblah’s plan…?

… Where is his suggested cuts in spending?

Those should be the first words out of any GOP’s mouth, but it won’t be…

Seven Percent Solution on November 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM

… Where is are

O_o

Seven Percent Solution on November 26, 2012 at 5:34 PM

I think Timothy Geithner is the real-life Fiscal Cliff.

NoNails on November 26, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Let it burn. It will soon enough anyway.

VorDaj on November 26, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Really?

Timmy “I can’t understand Turbotax” Geithner?

Yeah…that’s brilliant…in a “Bizarro World” kind of way….

Gotta pick up another 50 lbs of beans and rice…

ProfShadow on November 26, 2012 at 5:43 PM

If those like little timmy and a great number of bho’s adminstration would pay fed taxes, that would help for those of us MUST do so? And if the great number of fed workers paid their fed taxes, that would help also! WE have to pay, little timmy, those in bho’s team/buffet comes to mind/fed workers might help us out? But NO, we are have to, they don’t? And to boot, they demand and get the dc bunch to tell us we have to?
L

letget on November 26, 2012 at 5:43 PM

White House taps Tim Geithner to run the fiscal-cliff talks

I suppose we’re going to use blind drivers on all city buses, too??

landlines on November 26, 2012 at 5:44 PM

He always reminds me of someone we slapped around in jr high.

docflash on November 26, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Mediation? The guy who wants to do away with the Debt Ceiling?

Isn’t this like the fox guarding the henhouse?

itsspideyman on November 26, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Bring popcorn. This should be at least as entertaining as hunting zombies on a frozen lake.

platypus on November 26, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Haha, maybe there is a turbo fiscal cliff program he can try to use.

ORconservative on November 26, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Haha, maybe there is a turbo fiscal cliff program he can try to use.

ORconservative on November 26, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Actually, there is. Fiscal Cliff Notes for Dummies.

platypus on November 26, 2012 at 5:47 PM

The guy who was supposed to be supervising the banks when they were going BK on mortgage debt….perfect!

Deafdog on November 26, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Sigh.

wolfsDad on November 26, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Don’t worry – Pharaohbama knows what he’s doing.

Pork-Chop on November 26, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Well, at least he’s a better option than John Corzine.

Deafdog on November 26, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Why not let Bawny figure it out?? The federal budget is like trying to put tab A into tab B. The banking queen would be perfect.

rik on November 26, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Why do people keep thinking Obama wants a solution?

jnelchef on November 26, 2012 at 5:57 PM

We are soooooo terminally boned.

Steve Eggleston on November 26, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Bwaaahaaahaaahaaaaaaa!

profitsbeard on November 26, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Wait, what?

This is the guy who sat across from Paul Ryan and said to his face, “we don’t have a plan, we just don’t like your plan.”

rockmom on November 26, 2012 at 5:13 PM

This information is out there for everyone to see…

… you can find it on YouTube in less than a second.

It is also common knowledge that Harry Reid has not put forth a budget in the Senate for over three years…

Now with the fiscal future of our Nation at stake…

… which “news” outlet will be the first to blame Republicans?

Seven Percent Solution on November 26, 2012 at 6:05 PM

ummmm shouldn’t the president be presiding over these talks?

cmsinaz on November 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM

ummmm shouldn’t the president be presiding over these talks?

cmsinaz on November 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM

So much golf…

… only 4 short years.

Priorities cmsinaz…!

Seven Percent Solution on November 26, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Seven Percent Solution on November 26, 2012 at 6:13 PM

How could I forget!

:)
*clink*

cmsinaz on November 26, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Obama has NO ideas and NO proposals except for the one where he suggests the republicans come up with something and if he likes it, he’ll say, “thumbs up” and if he doesn’t like it, he will blame them for doing nothing and tell them to go back to the drawing board but this time work with the communists, oops I mean Democrats!

Delsa on November 26, 2012 at 6:21 PM

And as for Tiny Tim, he is an empty suit. Just like his boss.

Delsa on November 26, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Bet he doesn’t move to Texas…

DanMan on November 26, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Let’s outlaw profits.
And confiscate all agricultural property.
As well as all other property in general.
Then we will have the Federal Govt redistribute it fairly.
Rich people will be jailed as political prisoners bcs they are greedy.
Poor people & the ignorant & stupid will be uplifted to important decision making positions.
Minorities will fill these positions first.
Then let’s watch what happens.

Badger40 on November 26, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Badger40 on November 26, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Maybe it will work better than it did in Zimbabwe.

Not a chance.

Steve Eggleston on November 26, 2012 at 7:01 PM

OK, well, I’m a real skeptic about the WH’s commitment to deficit reduction in general but I actually like this choice.

Any other choice they could make would be worse. Zients at OMB doesn’t have the seniority. Lew has a tendency to alienate people on the other side by telling them why they’re wrong rather than accepting their views and negotiating with them. Sperling and Furman are both competent but Sperling is several steps to the left of Geithner, and Furman negotiates primarily within the D house rather than across the aisle.

Geithner is by far the least ideological of the available choices and the most likely to broker a deal. The main problem will be the WH’s substantive position, not the person they tapped here.

Chuckles3 on November 26, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I’m sure “crooked” Brian Williams will report on Geithner’s record of failure, his family’s connection to the Obama family and his destruction of currencies in the pacific rim. This guy is a MENACE and a destroyer — working in CONCERT with Barry The Red. Goebbels would be proud of “crooked” Brian, Diane, Scott, CNN, et al.

bob77 on November 26, 2012 at 7:19 PM

White House taps Tim Geithner to run the fiscal-cliff talks

…THEY’RE nucking futs!
Just put a TurboTax disc on an empty chair!

KOOLAID2 on November 26, 2012 at 11:17 PM