Bipartisan calls for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to resign

These first questions are from an interview that the WSJ had with liberal Democrat Peter DeFazio (D, Oregon).

Is this going to pose problems for Democrats going into the midterm elections?

Rep. DeFazio: “There was a very interesting slide shown to the caucus on Monday night, and I don’t know who the guy was, some economist. He had polling data. And he said the American people‘s opinion of what we’ve done so far for economic recovery, 90% think its been way too much Wall Street and that’s pretty overwhelming, and only 10% felt it was oriented toward helping real folks with real jobs in the real economy. That is a very troubling number, especially for a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress. I just think that pretty drastic steps are necessary to change direction of the policy. We’ve been fighting with the President’s economic team for months…They don’t believe in infrastructure. They don’t seem to believe in investment. They want a borrowed money, consumer driven recovery…that ain’t happening.”

Why do you think Geithner should resign?

Rep. DeFazio: “I just do not feel that his orientation is other than Wall Street, and has not been other than Wall Street, and will not be other than Wall Street. And quite frankly all the gambling on Wall Street is doing nothing to put people back to work in America and rebuild our economy.” . . .

From the WSJ:

At a Joint Economic Committee hearing in Congress, in which House and Senate lawmakers sit on a panel, Mr. Brady opened up his questioning by telling Mr. Geithner Republicans, Democrats, and the American people had lost confidence in the Treasury Secretary and asked him to resign.

“It is a great privilege to serve this president,” Mr. Geithner responded. “I agree with almost nothing you said.”

Mr. Geithner then took it a step further: “You gave this president an economy falling off the cliff.”

Mr. Brady wasn’t done: “Remind me, Mr. Secretary, what post were you holding when President Obama took office?”

Geithner: “I was the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”

Brady then accused him of “shirking responsibility for the design of this bailout.”

Mr. Geithner said the government’s steps were “absolutely necessary to break the back of this financial panic.” He said without the Obama administration’s steps, “you would have an economy still falling, not growing.”

Brady wasn’t done. “The public has lost all confidence in your ability to do the job.”

Geithner wasn’t done either. “If you look at any measure of confidence in the financial system, it is substantially higher today than when the President of the United States took office.”

Brady: “This is your budget! This is your bailout!” . . .

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