President Obama has been in office for 55 days and counting. After the election and the inauguration we, the people, were dancing in the streets, as I predicted. That was the mood then. What is the mood in this country now? Not so good. It ranges from deep depression to, well, downright discomfort. We are collectively uncertain about these times.
Sleepless In The States
People are just not in a playful mood when it comes to friends and family losing jobs, homes, savings, and retirement pensions. The Madoff scandal/scam/crime spree, as bad it as it was for those swindled, has only added to the burden of this deep recession. We just didn’t need that blow to the banks and charities.Therefore, in my political opinion, these days call for some reconnoitering and perhaps a short history of a new president’s time in office.
The biggest stories have been Obama’s picks and pans. The biggest pick, and perhaps the most important one, has been the post of U.S. Secretary of Treasury, one Tim Geithner. He is a tax cheat, plain and simple. Defenders say that he does not do his own taxes; therefore, it is a mistake he did not make or catch –- and their point is? In my experience, tax preparers are often more conservative in their deductions and calculations than the client. I’m not buying his alibi. He is a tax cheat. Face facts.
At my obscure blog, The Trough, I’ve been keeping tabs on the tabloids and top writers from respected media, and have conducted my own unscientific survey of sorts. An article I wrote about Tim Geithner got the most hits. That's telling — this down Dow was keeping folks up at night. Pension funds are not immune to the skinny dipping that the stock market has indulged in.
But more than the facts of a global economy in crisis mode was also the worry about who can fix it. That confidence was not forthcoming with the Tim pick. He rambled a lot; evasive and effusive in his praise of Obama's ability to right the ship. Is Tim “F” Giethner really the man for the job? Based on online buzz and the grade from top economists — an “F” — we are sleepless in this country.
What grade does Geithner give himself? Keep in mind, if you listen to Charlie Rose's interview, that Geithner was in the administration when the SEC was looking the other way. Toward the end of the Rose interview, Charlie did go there:
Rose: But bear with me on this. You clearly did, and then at the New York Fed, you were associated with a lot of intelligent and smart people. But did you see this coming?