Video: Geithner busted on “war savings”

posted at 9:41 am on December 3, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Via Jim Hoft, a moment of brilliance from Chris Wallace entirely flummoxes the Secretary of the Treasury yesterday on Fox News Sunday.  Wallace challenges Tim Geithner on the lack of real spending cuts in the proposal he brought to Capitol Hill last week, and Geithner objects, claiming that the White House has trillions in cuts in their proposal — from ending the wars.  When Wallace reminds Geithner that no one planned to keep fighting those wars in the first place, Geithner loses his composure and starts complaining about Republican gimmicks:

WALLACE: Or they now say because you’re not willing to cut spending enough.

GEITHNER: No, but that’s not true. Again, if they want to do more on the spending side than the $600 billion we proposed on top of the trillion already enacted, in top of the savings from the wars, then they can tell us how they propose –

WALLACE: Savings in the wars that we were never going to fight?

GEITHNER: No, that’s not true. We’re — as you know, we’re winding down two wars.

WALLACE: I understand that.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: And you are thinking savings that nobody thought that you were going to spend that money any way. It’s a budget gimmick, sir.

GEITHNER: No, that’s not right. You know, let me say it this way, those were expensive wars, not just in Americans lives but in terms of the taxpayers’ resources. And when you end them as the president is doing, they reduce our long term deficits and like in the Republican budget proposals, the world should reflect and recognize what that does in savings.

And we propose to use those savings to reduce the deficits and help invest in rebuilding America. We think that makes a lot of sense.

WALLACE: But it was money that wasn’t going to be spent anyway, and –

GEITHNER: If those wars have gone on, they would be spent.

WALLACE: I understand. But you’re not saving — you’re not ending the wars for budget purposes. You’re ending the wars because of a foreign policy decision. The wars weren’t going to be fought. You’re not really saving money.

GEITHNER: Chris, we all agree –

WALLACE: I mean, it’s a budget gimmick, but it’s money never intended to spend.

GEITHNER: No, it’s not a budget gimmick unless you are — when Republicans propose, it’s a budget gimmick?

WALLACE: Sure, absolutely.

GEITHNER: And you should address that to them. But what it does is –

WALLACE: Well — so, I’m addressing it to you.

Why don’t we count the $200 billion we’ll save by not invading Honduras, too?  Hey, we can not invade Canada and save a couple of trillion dollars.  If we really want to cut spending, let’s not invade China!  We can save eleventy-zillion dollars that way.

In other Geithner gimmick news, he insisted that there wouldn’t be a fiscal-cliff deal without tax hikes:

Actually, I think that’s probably true — but Republicans in the House aren’t going to pass tax hikes without substantial spending cuts and entitlement reform either, Mr. Secretary.  Better go back to the drawing board.


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What’s the difference in victims of a holdup pointing out the rich dude to the robber and encouraging the crook to take his money, and Obama’s Takers saying that they want Obama to raise taxes on the rich?

WestTexasBirdDog on December 3, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The difference is that the hold-up victims don’t get paid off by the robber.

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2012 at 12:19 PM

There are those who say make no mistake and let me be clear, he probably believes what he is saying. It’s faith-based economics. If something doesn’t fit your religious dogma (and/or the math is hard), you just simply refuse to believe in it:

When you take a tax deduction for a charitable contribution you are being subsidized as surely as if someone wrote you a check.

urban elitist on November 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM

http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2012/11/30/americans-401k-plans-an-untapped-source-for-tax-revenue/comment-page-2/#comment-2205614

rogerb on December 3, 2012 at 12:30 PM

There are those who say make no mistake and let me be clear, he probably believes what he is saying. It’s faith-based economics. If something doesn’t fit your religious dogma (and/or the math is hard), you just simply refuse to believe in it:

When you take a tax deduction for a charitable contribution you are being subsidized as surely as if someone wrote you a check.

urban elitist on November 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM

http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2012/11/30/americans-401k-plans-an-untapped-source-for-tax-revenue/comment-page-2/#comment-2205614

rogerb on December 3, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Not confiscating = subsidy.

I need to stop subsidizing every democrat I encounter and rob them.

tom daschle concerned on December 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Sad, things have reached the point where even the Administrations senior liar and tax cheat can’t get away with a painfully obvious act of deceit, the “cutting spending” laugher. In any case spending won’t be cut by these leftist savages, the “savings” from reduced military expenditures will be passed on to the federal budget and to favored state and local governments. Of course that includes increased salary and benefits for the new elite, civil servant slugs at all levels of governemnt. Didn’t Obama say that the private economy is fine, it’s the public sector that needs help, barf, puke !
Oh, and Tiny Tim the Tax Cheat is as stupid as he is corrupt. The perfect man for the real progressivism, and for Obama.

arand on December 3, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Why don’t we count the $200 billion we’ll save by not invading Honduras, too? Hey, we can not invade Canada and save a couple of trillion dollars. If we really want to cut spending, let’s not invade China! We can save eleventy-zillion dollars that way.

Amazing, I actually laughed out loud at that one.

Wait until my wife comes home and says that she didn’t buy that $150 purse, a new $350 jacket, and a new $1500 necklace. Since she just “saved” $2000, she used that savings to spend $450 on new shoes and we come out $1550 ahead of the game. Sweet.

Mo_mac on December 3, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Everyone needs to keep that in their back pocket for when some moron tries dropping that Obama is cutting spending with the wars ending.

nextgen_repub on December 3, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Busted my ass. It went straight over the head of any average viewer. Wallace, as usual, was way too sweet to another lying liberal.

jan3 on December 3, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Meh, spend all you want. There is plenty.

Schadenfreude on December 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Boehner should say he can put a proposal forward that saves 20 trillion dollars next fiscal year. He can do this by using Geitner’s own rationale but the Republicans will have to squash projects like cutting out the bridge that was supposed to be built to Europe, the ladder to the Moon, and a Time Machine to better fiscal solvency. You see it’s easy if the right would start talking like liberals, only the media won’t give them that same dumb stare.

monster_man on December 3, 2012 at 12:49 PM

“It’s a budget gimmick, sir.”

Actually, it’s a deliberate lie.

farsighted on December 3, 2012 at 12:59 PM

When you take a tax deduction for a charitable contribution you are being subsidized as surely as if someone wrote you a check.

urban elitist on November 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM

And there lies exposed the economic mindset of the liberal: all money is inherently owned by the government, and every dollar they do not take from you, is actually a dollar they gave you.

It doesn’t even occur to him that marginal rates are set artificially high in order to a). make it look like they’re really working hard to get all that ill-gotten booty from the evil rich, and b). to make the difference between marginal and effective rates look like they’re doing you some kind of special favor. “Well, your tax rate SHOOOUUULD be 95% but since you subscribed to our social engineering policies, we have been given a special dispensation to permit you to pay slightly less than that.”

The Schaef on December 3, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Meh, spend all you want. There is plenty.

Schadenfreude on December 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Only 54? What about trees for the other three states?

davidk on December 3, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Yo Turbo Tax Timmy: You forgot to count that we are no longer fighting WW1, WW2 and the civil war. Oh and then there’s Vietnam, Pearl Harbor and the wigs that we don’t have to buy for the Justices any more. We also don’t have to maintain a stable for the horses and carriages of old and the wool uniforms we use to buy for soldiers. Wow! There is a tremendous amount of savings going on.

Do we have to count Moochelle’s vacations or is she cutting back from $10 million to $8 million? But then we could figure the savings involved in her not taking herself and her two “senior aides” to Spain and she could use the savings to go to Italy this time.

katablog.com on December 3, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I just convinced my wife that we should not borrow $50,000 to buy a new Cadillac. That will give use $50,000 for a killer in-home theater installation! I can’t wait until next year to plan my $50,000 swimming pool!

Colony14 on December 3, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Why don’t we count the $200 billion we’ll save by not invading Honduras, too?

EM,

You are thinking small ball. How about not building the Death Star, another no-expense savings, and count the $85Q against the national debt? That leaves America holing a $84.984Q surplus!

Hell, expand all those Bush tax cuts!

DGB

Damian Bennett on December 3, 2012 at 5:08 PM

I want my portion of the $85 quintillion in savings from the ‘Not The DeathStar’ project to be rebated to me.
After all, as the Democrats are fond of saying, “I just want my fair share”.

orangemtl on December 3, 2012 at 7:34 PM

I just chose not to buy a Citation X next year.
Does that mean I have to pay taxes on the $36 million I just saved?
I know, this is not the ‘CPA Answer Line’. But I thought someone could help me out on this one.

orangemtl on December 3, 2012 at 7:35 PM

What’s that saying, “all hat and no cattle’?

For you academics: Full of big talk but lacking action, power, or substance

ronco on December 3, 2012 at 9:22 PM

I would let them pass on this stupidity if they looked at all baseline budget items like this…but they only consider military line items this way. Try this with entitlement reform and their heads would explode. Maybe we should try that…If we don’t have as many people on food stamps next year we can include that as a cut too.

goflyers on December 3, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Comment pages: 1 2