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Geithner acknowledges runaway federal spending is a problem

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 5th, 2012
Catholic Online (

Treasure Secretary Timothy Geithner is calling the government's long-term fiscal commitments "unsustainable" and is calling for the government to take a balanced approach to addressing the issue. 

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Geithner spoke at a meeting of the Economic Club of Chicago yesterday where he remarked, "Our fiscal commitments are unsustainable over the long run, but we cannot put our long-run fiscal challenges above all others." He added, "We have to be willing to do things, not just cut things." 

While Geithner recognized the importance of cutting runaway federal spending he has also called for a reasoned approach to cuts, one that balances cuts with raising taxes and spending in some areas to improve infrastructure and education. 

He defended Obama, "The President has a different strategy for economic growth. He believes that while our long-term fiscal problems are formidable, we can address them over time with a balanced package of reforms that preserve room for investments that will help us grow."

It should be noted that the President has not produced any such plan that is consistent with Geithner's comments. 

Still, Geithner has a point that is ironically somewhat conservative. 

"Cutting government investments in education and infrastructure and basic science is not a growth strategy. Cutting deeply into the safety net for low-income Americans is not financially necessary and cannot plausibly help strengthen economic growth. Repealing Wall Street reform will not make the economy grow faster -- it would just make us more vulnerable to another crisis."

"This strategy is a recipe to make us a declining power -- a less exceptional nation. It is a dark and pessimistic vision of America."

Naturally, no true patriot wants to see America decline, and all would likely agree that there is value in having some form of safety net for those who fall on hard times. Infrastructure such as transportation and communication networks as well as education, all make the country stronger and more competitive in the world market. 

The difference comes from the notions of Wall Street reform, if it is needed and if so, to what degree? Who should pay for making America exceptional again, and how much? What should be cut and where should the nation invest? Do we need new taxes or do we collect enough already?

While these questions remain unanswered it will prove difficult to move forward with a specific and unified vision of America's future. But in reality, these are not questions for Geithner or the President to answer. They must be answered by the voters, and that will happen in November. 


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