The Beggary Secretary Goes Hat in Hand to China; Chinese Laugh at Him

PatriotPost.USWednesday Chronicle 3 June 2009 Vol. 09 No. 22


"As on the one hand, the necessity for borrowing in particular emergencies cannot be doubted, so on the other, it is equally evident that to be able to borrow upon good terms, it is essential that the credit of a nation should be well established." --Alexander Hamilton


"It's never a good sign when you want to borrow money and your potential lender laughs in your face. But that's exactly what happened to U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on his recent trip to China. What prompted the laughter? His remarks during a speech at Beijing University, in which he told the audience, apparently intending to reassure them about their investments in U.S. Treasuries, 'Chinese assets are very safe.' ... Equally risible were these comments from Geithner shortly before departing for China: 'No one is going to be more concerned about future deficits than we are,' he told reporters as he prepared for two days of talks with concerned Chinese finance officials. Obviously, he was showing off his comedic chops, since even that line was delivered deadpan. He also insisted the U.S. is 'committed to a strong dollar' -- not exactly apparent when you look at the U.S. budget. ...China's finance officials, many of them educated at the best U.S. business schools, can do the math. And it isn't very pretty. Next year, the U.S. runs a deficit of $1.8 trillion -- or nearly 13% of GDP. Last year's deficit was $455 billion. The deficits will slowly come down from that $1.8 trillion, but not by much, according to the White House's own forecasts. Geithner says he hopes to slash the deficit as a share of GDP from 13% to 3% by the end of the decade. But those projections of declining deficits depend highly on the rosy scenario cooked up by the White House for the economy. They expect the economy, for instance, to expand 3.5% next year, 4.4% in 2011, 4.6% in 2012 and 3.8% in 2013. They might be right, but if they are, they'll be in the minority. Virtually no private sector forecaster expects the economy to grow that fast. Over the next 10 years, the U.S. will rack up another $9 trillion in deficit spending -- money that will have to be borrowed from someone -- perhaps the Chinese, or maybe strapped and overtaxed U.S. consumers. Another $1.1 trillion is planned as a possible down payment on nationalized health care. Add to that the $2 trillion at least that the Federal Reserve is spending, and government is on the hook for close to $13 trillion. Given that the White House has built into its projections just $989 billion in added taxes, its clear the deficits will get big and stay that way for years. One trip to China by our top bond salesman may not be enough." --Investor's Business Daily


Belly laugh of the week: "Consistent with the goal of clearly limiting the government's role as a reluctant equity owner but careful steward of taxpayer resources, the Obama Administration has established four core principles that will guide the government's management of ownership interests in private firms." --White House press release on GM's bankruptcy **"Limiting the government" and "Obama administration" don't belong in the same sentence.

And repeat: "We are acting as a reluctant shareholder because this is the only way to help GM succeed. ... Our goal is to get GM back on its feet, take a hands off approach and get out quickly." --Barack Obama

Government Motors: "GM's management team ... has worked tirelessly to produce a plan that meets the strict standards I laid out at the beginning to streamline GM's brands, clean up GM's balance sheet and make it possible for GM to compete and succeed. ... What we are not doing -- what I have no interest in doing, is running GM." --Barack Obama, CEO of GM **If you aren't running GM, then why are you making this announcement?

Hope 'n' Change: "Difficult days lie ahead. More jobs will be lost. More plants will close. More dealerships will shut their doors and so will many parts suppliers. But I want you to know that what you're doing is making a sacrifice for the next generation." --Barack Obama

Because elections are next year: "If we don't get it done this year we're not going to get it done." --Barack Obama on health care

Gag reflex: "This man is extremely smart -- he can communicate. But the best part of Barack Obama is his heart is bigger than any heart in the world." --Sen. Harry Reid (D-Love Boat)


"Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals -- that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government -- that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection against the government." --author Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

"There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief." --Irish statesman and author Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

"One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence." --American historian Charles A. Beard (1874-1948)


"This week, the president [declared], 'What we are not doing -- what I have no interest in doing -- is running GM.' It was during the same speech in which he announced that the federal government was forcing GM into bankruptcy, deciding what creditors should get (regardless of what bankruptcy law says), and taking a 60 percent stake in the company." --columnist Jacob Sullum

"Obama is fond of calling upon Americans to make sacrifices -- or rather, he is fond of forcing Americans into sacrificing themselves at a time and place of his choosing. Heroic sacrifice requires volunteerism, or at least an element of extraordinary choice; Obama's sort of sacrifice ... names the time and the place, and you are expected to put your neck on the altar." --columnist Ben Shapiro

"The Constitution of the United States set out to limit the powers of the federal government, but judges have greatly eroded those limitations over the years, and the dispensing of bailout money has allowed the Obama administration to exercise powers that the Constitution never bestowed." --economist Thomas Sowell

"By definition, government that works will be limited because government will not reach into areas in which it has no constitutional business." --columnist Cal Thomas

"When government gets this intertwined with the private sector, when it makes decisions not based on neutral economic criteria but by what is at best guesswork about the allocation and valuation of vast amounts of capital, bailout favoritism and crony capitalism are inevitable." --political analyst Michael Barone

"We are a nation of laws. Lawless violence breeds only more lawless violence. ... By word and deed, let us teach that violence against abortionists is not the answer to the violence of abortion. Every human life is precious." --Princeton University professor Robert P. George