Sunday, February 07, 2010

This Week: Tim Geithner

Quick reaction to Treasury Secretary Geithner’s interview on ABC’s This Week:

Regardless of the question (unemployment, budget deficit and ballooning debt, business’ reluctance to borrow and invest), Sec. Geithner always asked us to refer back to where we were a little over one year ago when the financial system almost collapsed. Obviously, the point he was trying to make is that the situation may be objectively bad--unemployment at 10%--but it’s better than another Great Depression. To these eyes it’s reminiscent of the Bush Administration constantly referring back to the fear we felt after 9/11 and how we should be grateful to it that we haven’t been hit again (and I am grateful, by the way).

But gratitude was and is easily subsumed by other emotions. Gratitude is fleeting and can’t be the basis of lasting loyalty (just ask a parent how often “you oughta be grateful” wins an argument). And it won’t win in November.

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