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Gold Star: Timothy Geithner

By Ed O'Keefe

The Treasury Secretary has been everywhere this week, doing what he can to sell the president's economic agenda. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg)

"We're doing more in weeks than other countries do in years."

Treasury Secretary Timothy M. Geithner made that pronouncement earlier this week after meetings with lawmakers to update them on the administration's recovery program. The not-so-subtle dig at the world financial community was part of his ongoing effort to convince his international counterparts that they must do more to address the economic crisis.

The treasury secretary spent his week defending the boss' plans to skeptical lawmakers behind closed doors, in front of several congressional committees, in television interviews and at public events with the president by his side. Today he's in London for meetings with G-20 finance ministers and will talk up American plans to bail out economies in crisis. All this after enduring a blisteringly accurate and well-performed impersonation of him on last weekend's "Saturday Night Live."

That's why Geithner earns the inaugural Federal Eye "Gold Star," as the Obama administration official who did the most this week to advance the president's agenda. The new feature could highlight the efforts of a White House staffer who expertly handled a tough TV interview or a cabinet secretary that appeared at multiple Congressional hearings or endured a potentially embarrassing photo-op for the sake of the president's programs. Some picks will be obvious, others less so. Either way, the weekly "Gold Star" pick does not amount to an endorsement of the administration's policies or the official's work.

So why Geithner? Well for starters, the secretary's schedule this week certainly proves he's been working hard. And while some critics assail him for his proposals and sales pitch, consider columnist Margaret Carlson's defense of Geithner's short tenure: while he may not be the most telegenic or effective salesman, "there is a long history of less-than-great communicators managing to communicate," and that "Sometimes it’s the steak not the sizzle." (But it wouldn't hurt if he smiled more often.)

Love him, hate him, or grade his performance poorly, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is The Federal Eye's inaugural "Gold Star."

Agree or disagree? Nominate your Gold Star winner in the comments section below.

(UPDATE: We've switched the "Team Player" name to "Gold Star" to better reflect the point of these Friday posts.)

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By Ed O'Keefe  | March 13, 2009; 6:25 AM ET
Categories:  Gold Star  
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Wait let me get this straight we are having a tax Cheat recommend and fix an economic catastrophe. Great does this mean "WE THE PEOPLE" no longer have to pay taxes to the IRS a temporary agency which became permanent to rape "WE THE PEOPLE". Wake UP and Stand UP AMERICA before it is Too Late. Throw the bums out.

Posted by: WRH51 | March 13, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Who did McCain want for Treasury?
Thats right, Phil Gramm, you whiner.
He who repealed Glass-Steagall; his wife was on the Board of ENRON, after being the head of the CFTC which allowed energy trading which only benefitted ENRON not We the People. He who stuffed his pockets with tons of corporate (read shareholder) wealth all the while trashing any and all oversight and regulation of our financial system.Think about the repitilian ripoffs We the People just kicked out of office; a little too late but better late than never.
The NEWLY ELECTED administration has been in office what: 50 days.
Think before you speak

Posted by: willmaster | March 13, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

It will take years to fix the mess Bush and his Republican supporters got us in. Not half of the first 100 days.

Imagine the right-wing nut response to complaints that Bush hadn't captured Osama bin Ladin in the first 50 days.

So far, Obama's doing a great job, despite the Party of No!

Posted by: thebobbob | March 13, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are subsidizing and trying to cover up Fannie/Freddie's HUGE CONTRIBUTION TO THE ECONOMIC CRASH meanwhile leaving banks hanging in the breeze and making them the target of anger.

Fact is bad socially engineered CRA policy is at the root of the problem. Democrats refused to regulate them and they made it profitable for banks to sell bad loans.

Oh with the $75 billion to homeowners another $200 billion was given to Fannie/Freddie to prop them up.

Funny how this gets no attention yet Citibank, AIG are constant front page news.

The government does have a responsibility to help banks. The government was a major part of the problem.

Posted by: Cryos | March 13, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

So far, Obama's doing a great job, despite the Party of No!

Posted by: thebobbob | March 13, 2009 1:29 PM
Unknown to you but fortunately for your and your kids sakes there are people that can see past their noses who are trying to protest the government intervention and expansion.

Just because you are a short sighted simpleton who believes what liberals tell you without question doesn't mean that everyone else should keep blinders on.

Posted by: Cryos | March 13, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse


Federal Case Alleges Political Elite Get Favorable Tax Treatment Over Ordinary Citizens

On 5 March 2009 a Motion was filed in U.S. v. David Jacquot, Case # CR 08-1171, in the Federal District Court, in San Diego, California seeking to dismiss a false tax return indictment on the grounds that the Defendant was not treated in the same manner as politically prominent individuals. A hearing on this matter is set for 30 March 2009 in San Diego and the Defendant in this case intends to subpoena Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and others.

The Defendant in this case is David Jacquot, an attorney and retired Army Officer. He is a decorated disabled Desert Storm veteran living in rural Idaho with his family.

This “Geithner Motion” cites HR 735 titled the “Rangel Rule Act of 2009,” which if enacted, would eliminate penalties and interest for common citizens to allow them to be treated in the same manner as House Ways and Means Chairman Representative Charles Rangel. The Geithner Motion also quotes President Obama stressing the need to “treat common citizens in the same manner as politically prominent individuals in regards to tax matters”.

The Geithner Motion details how Mr. Jacquot was vindictively indicted in retaliation for his successful defense of his clients against the IRS. The tax returns of his corporate law firm for the four (4) years of 2001 to 2004 were investigated and the government alleges that the law firm declared almost $200,000 TOO MUCH income during this time period. The Geithner Motion contains descriptions of numerous actions by the government and Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Faith Devine that are the basis for the claim of retaliation against Mr. Jacquot for his zealous representation of his client’s Constitutional and statutory rights. The improper actions of AUSA Devine have been reported to the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility for disciplinary action and are currently under review.

A copy of the Geithner Motion and the complaint against AUSA Faith Devine can be downloaded at:

Posted by: dave70 | March 13, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

CRA comes up again after all this time?! see cyros post. The study by the Fed (available at its website) found that only 6% of subprime loans were in areas subject to the CRA and those performed as well as other subprime loans. After viewing the data from several angles, the Fed's conclusion -- no way the CRA was even a minor league player in this crisis!! And since AIG insured via credit default swaps Fannie and Freddie Mortg-backed sec, they too come up if you're following the crisis.

Posted by: mathil | March 13, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

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