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Rep. Brady to Geithner: 'Will you step down?'

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) just gave a severe tongue-lashing to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner moments ago in the Joint Economic committee, concluding with a surprising call for Geithner to resign. For a change, Geithner didn't just sit there and take it.

Geithner is ostensibly before the committee to argue for financial reform, but Brady used the opportunity to launch a partisan attack on Geithner reading a laundry list of what Brady termed as economic failures of the current administration. Geithner responded with a spirited defense -- edgier than usual -- and was clearly angered by the attack.

Brady noted that the White House said earlier this year that unemployment would peak at 8 percent (true) and that it is now at 10.2 percent. He noted that reports of the number of jobs saved or created by the stimulus has been repeatedly ratcheted back by the White House (true). And he reported calls from both parties for Geithner's resignation (Not that I'd heard, but my colleague Ed O'Keefe informed me that Sen. Maria Cantwell ((D-Wash.)) wondered earlier this month whether Geithner still has his job. Hardly a groundswell calling for Geithner's head, to be fair.).

"Will you step down from your post?" Brady asked, concluding his statement.

Geithner shot back: "It is a great privilege for me to serve this president. I agree with almost nothing you said, almost nothing you said represents a fair and accurate picture of the economy today." He told Brady, "You gave this president an economy falling off a cliff."

Geithner continued: "Congressman, it's just a basic fact that a year ago, this economy was falling at a rate of six percent a year, it was losing between half a million and three-quarters of a million jobs per month and that process was not slowing" until President Obama began implementing his programs, Geither said.

Brady interrupted: "Mr. Secretary, the public has lost all confidence in your ability to do the job...It really is time for a fresh start."

Geithner then said: "If you look at any measure of the strength and stability and health of the American economy, if you look at any measure of confidence in the financial system, it is fundamentally stronger today than when the president took office. It happened not on its own. It happened because of a set of tough, difficult choices."

Geithner then directed his criticism back to the Bush administration, accusing it of "either years of basic neglect of basic public goods in health care, in how we use energy and fixing those problems is the central objective of this administration."

Brady shot back: "Tell that to the millions of Americans who no longer have jobs because of your decisions.

Geithner would not take the criticism lying down: "They would have had more jobs and more confidence and more employment in this country if we had not let this crisis get to the point it did." Geithner said the Bush administration should have spent "eight years of paying for our commitments instead of borrowing against them."

This is the most bristling political theater I've seen on the Hill since last fall when Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) famously asked Neel Kashkari if he was a "chump."

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  November 19, 2009; 11:09 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bush, Elijah Cummings, Kevin Brady, Neel Kashkari, Obama, Tim Geithner, unemployment  
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Geithner is a TAX CHEAT and liar, which means he fits in nicely in the obumble administration. However, I suspect that he's about to go under the bus. But it's too little, too late for obama's spectacularly failed presidency.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | November 19, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

This is classic. Give 'em hell Tim.

Posted by: bob29 | November 19, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Strange how the Repubicans can critize this administration for problems that no one I mean no one can deny was brought on by the previous administration. I loved the comment "...I agree with almost nothing you said; almost nothing you said represents a fair and accurate picture...". It's time this administration stops playing nice.

Posted by: rlj1 | November 19, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm no fan of Geithner but I agree with both rlj1 and Bob 29. For a Republican to blame unemployment and the recession on the administration after 8 years of neglect is true chutzpah. The two previous administrations to GWB can come in for a share of the blame as well.

Posted by: sauerkraut | November 19, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

By the logic of the republicons if we had just kept doing what had caused the worst economic crash since 1929 everything would be great now. Except the FACTS never support conservatives. So they use cheap shots, lies, and histrionics to try to obfuscate the fact that they don't have a single idea of what to do except nothing. They have no plan except to obstruct.

Posted by: John1263 | November 19, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Here's some simple reality for any remaining partisans:

This Administration, just as with the Bush Administration, is kneeling before the banksters that infest Wall Street and selling out Americans.

Geithner should step into a jail cell for the $100 billion AIG pass-through bailout of Government Sachs, DeutschBank, Societe Generale, et al. whose CDSs were paid at par. And Tim's cellmate should be Hank Paulson.

Posted by: millionea7 | November 19, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

A republicon blaming Obama for the economic crisis and the vast unemployment -- sort of like blaming Eisenhower for the Holocaust.

Posted by: John1263 | November 19, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

When an arsonist throws gasoline on your home and then tosses on a match you don't go bargain hunting for the cheapest deal on a hose.

Blaming Geithner for not getting every best deal while having to put out the flames of the fires set by conservatives is a little silly.

Posted by: John1263 | November 19, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

in 2007 the congress was all democrat...
they knew what was going on with freddie and fannie, hell, dodds and franks put up a firewall against any regulation of those agencies...
so to say it was all Bush's fault is stupid...
dems did what they did because they are dems and they don't care what the outcome is...
as long as they get their way...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 19, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

When critical thinking, reason, and logic get in the way of blind loyalty and tired cliches, then you know you're a partisan hack.

CDSs paid out 100 percent when similar deals were closing at 30-40 cents on the dollar is the epitome of Wall Street "solutions" from the former head of the New York Federal Reserve.

Posted by: millionea7 | November 19, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

By any measure, we are a lot better today than when Obama took office.

Just ask any of my friends at Goldman, JP Morgan, BofA, AIG. They have made historic profits at the expense of the rest of Americans.

Also, you can ask any UAW member. They are now the proud owners of General Motors, courtesy of the rest of Americans. They are doing so good that the last quarter they only lost $1.2 billion.

In case of doubt, just look at the millions of jobs "saved or created" by this administration.

Posted by: tropicalfolk | November 19, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

This is the kind of political interaction I like. Rude, direct, and spirited. Tell people directly, in front of the cameras, what you've been thinking and saying privately.

Speaking as a lifelong Democrat who voted for and gave money to Obama, and who is bitterly disappointed with his elitist Wall Street obsessed economic team, I only wish it was a Democratic congressman who demanded Geitner's resignation.

And yes, Geitner should go. Doesn't he need to "spend more time with my family" and "pursue other opportunities"? He'll be eased out sometime next year, I predict, either in preparation for the midterm elections or as a reaction to the drubbing the Democrats are likely to take. Then he can spend a year working on his memoirs before he goes on staff with Goldman Sachs.

Posted by: MattNYC1 | November 19, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

The people have been clamouring since little Timmy "Al Capone" Geithner the tax fruad was placed, for his removal.

The people enmasse did not trust him, and his appointment caused millions to walk away from the 2 corrupt partys that allowed his placement.

People are jobless and homeless over this nutso kook, and no one forgets who let Madoff happen.

Next Bernanke?

Posted by: dottydo | November 19, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are hurting worse than republicans when it come to having jobs, but then that is to be expectecd. Democrats are lazier than republicans.

Data from Rasmussen Reports national telephone surveys shows that 15.0% of Democrats in the workforce are currently unemployed and looking for a job. Among adults not affiliated with either major party, that number is 15.6% while just 9.9% of Republicans are in the same situation.
These findings are from interviews with 15,000 American adults in October. The numbers show an increase in all categories from earlier in the year.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | November 19, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

John Galt to Obama: Will you Step Down?

Posted by: JohnGalt9 | November 19, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Two words: Doogie Howser

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | November 19, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Not often that I'll agree with Mr. Brady, but this flaming liberal never wanted Geithner confirmed.

Geithner has GOT to GO.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 19, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Between Eric Holder and Tim Geithner, this is how everyone in the Obama Administration should be confronting attacks from the gutless bums who squandered any opportunity to advance this country's human and monetary resources over the last eight years.

Should we begin to look for Brady's resignation any time soon?

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | November 19, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Brady put on one of the most disgusting displays of lying and misleading I have ever seen. We get this same merde from Limbaugh and half the posters on this board. It's about time someone stepped up.

Obama never said that unemployment would peak at 8% - he has repeatedly said that it would rise past 10% and keep rising into 2010. But rushpublicans need this lie to start their argument.

Obama has started to turn the ship of our economy, but it is a monstor and turns only slowly, and panics can turn it much quicker than positive influences.

In 2007, we reached the ultimate and inevitable result of Reaganomics - massive deficits and unregulated/unmitigated greed on Wall Street, and we almost went into another Depression.

Clinton had done the opposite of Reaganomics and let the economy bloom, but the rushpublicans impeached him and set the seeds of deregulation while trying to get him to invade Iraq (see PNAC letter to Clinton).

Bush took us back to Reaganomics, drove up deficits and started the war PNAC wanted. All the while letting Wall Street run wild with Other Peoples Money.

Every rushpublican and everybody else that voted for these exploitive $#!^s should be held responsible for what they have done.

But Brady puts out the lies that Obama is responsible. A display so disgusting it makes Sarah Palin's book look like a vision of truth.

Posted by: Fiscal-Conservative | November 19, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Filing for Texas primaries closes in mid-January. Brady and Burgess are playing to the secessionist element in the Texas Republican Party. It isn't accidental that Texas Gov Perry moved 12 points ahead of Senator Hutchinson by playing to.the Teabaggers. The Texas Republican Primary is tiny compared to the general election and populated by the most extreme of the partisans.
In rotten districts such as the ones Tom Delay drew for Brady and Burgess, the only possible electoral threat is from Republicans who skipped taking their medication. Brady, who was a diligent and rather moderate member of the Texas Legislature before he ran for Congress, hides under his bed from the wackos on the hard right. If boiling kittens were popular with the Wingnuts in his district, Kevin would be driving to the animal shelter twice a week.

Posted by: MikeKelly45 | November 19, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Tim Geithner has helped enormously with making the Democrats the party of Wall Street.

He was on TV two Sunday's ago telling how he was deeply concerned if those on Wall Street were not allowed large bonuses.

As Secretary of the Treasury he totally forgets that previously he was part of the Federal Reserve and in that position did nothing in prevent the problems that led to the collapse. Apparently he forgets he was part of the previous administration.

As Secretary of the Treasury he has opposed a return to Glass Steagall. After 2008 as one of the architects of trillions being poured in to prevent disaster, the financial system is still a house of cards, and so far his intentions is to keep it as a house of cards.

Democrats the party of Wall Street.

Posted by: bsallamack | November 19, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

n January, Obama’s economic team predicted unemployment would rise no higher than 8 percent with the help of $787 billion in new government spending. The unemployment rate in May reached a 25-year high of 9.4 percent. Obama aides have said that the economy took a turn for the worse since their initial forecast.

Posted by: bsallamack | November 19, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Brought on by the previous administration???

I didn't realize that millions of americans were on the administrations payroll...americans who spent more then they could afford, lived beyond their means and borrowed into debt.

I didn't realize the previous adminstration revoked regulation decades ago that the democrats removed to help lower income families buy homes(the people who caused the crash basically).

Keep blaming the last makes you look really intelligent.

Posted by: cavatellie | November 20, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies."
--The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment

The doctors put $15K into me, so I'm not the $6 million man. You gotta start somewhere.

The Fifteen Thoudand Dollar Man

Posted by: Dermitt | November 20, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

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