Skip to comments.An Unqualified Jack Lew Will Tax and Spend
Posted on 01/12/2013 5:05:24 AM PST by Kaslin
The worst part of the Jack Lew nomination for treasury secretary is not simply that he has no qualifications, standing or experience in the financial world or international sphere (think G20 and European debt crisis). Nor is it simply that he doesn't have any seasoned currency opinions (under Obama, the greenback has dropped 10 percent, while gold has doubled).
Yes, these are big disqualifiers. But the real problem is that Lew is a left-liberal Obama spear-carrier, whose very appointment signals a sharp confrontation with the Republican House over key issues such as the debt ceiling, the spending sequester, next year's budgets and taxes.
From all the way back when Lew was staff advisor to Tip O'Neill, he has been a man of the left. So as treasury secretary, I expect the former Obama budget director to push for trillions of dollars in new tax hikes, absolutely minimal spending restraint and no serious entitlement reform.
Instead of being a fresh face who can generate a clean start for a new slate of fiscal compromises, Lew -- who doesn't play well with the other kids -- is going to represent the same old Obama confrontation with the Republican House.
It didn't have to be this way. As treasury secretary, Obama supporter Larry Fink of Blackrock would have tremendous support from the financial community in the effort to solve our fiscal imbalances. So would budget reformer Erskine Bowles. Or Amex CEO Kenneth Chenault. Or even the outspoken Democratic banker Jamie Dimon.
These are all men of experience, high standing and respect within financial circles. Any one of them would have given Obama credibility and led us to serious talks about growing the economy and keeping us out of bankruptcy. Lew has none of their qualities.
And did I say Lew doesn't play well with the other kids? He may have singlehandedly sabotaged the Boehner-Obama deficit talks in 2011. "Jack Lew said 'no' 999,000 times out of a million," House Speaker John Boehner told author and reporter Bob Woodward. "At one point I told the president, 'Keep him out of here.'" Many believe Lew was responsible for the last-minute $400 billion tax hike that doomed the talks.
Because there are so many more Democrats than Republicans, I have no doubt that Lew will be confirmed in the Senate. But he's going to take a lot of flack over his short experience on Wall Street, where he got a $1 million bonus for administering Citigroup's proprietary trading operation. Oh, that came on top of his $1 million compensation. And there was the big money made by shorting the subprime mortgage market, all back in 2008, when Citigroup got a $47 billion taxpayer bailout.
Now, you know what? I have no problem with guys on Wall Street or anyplace else making good money. No problem at all. But here's (SET ITAL) Lew's (END ITAL) problem: His boss, Barack Obama, keeps lashing out at fat-cat bankers who receive obscene bonuses. Which means, during the Senate hearings, Lew is going to be hoisted on Obama's petard.
Lew is to the left of the departing Tim Geithner, just as Chuck Hagel is to the left of Leon Panetta, and John Kerry is to the left of Hillary Clinton. It gives you a sense of Obama's second-term direction, which is likely to move toward high taxes at home and weak national security abroad.
Some highly placed senior Obama advisors are telling me that Jack Lew is really a fiscally conservative Democrat who will sell spending and entitlement reforms to all those liberals in the Senate. Look, I don't even know the guy. None of my criticisms are personal. But I don't see any evidence of this fiscal conservatism. And I sure don't see an influential presence on the world stage to keep America front and center.
Jack Lew is no George Shultz, or William Simon, or Lloyd Bentsen, or Robert Rubin, or Hank Paulson. He is an inside, Obama political operator, not an independent voice. This is degrading to one of the biggest jobs in the government.
For my Republican friends out there, here's a piece of free advice: In the coming economic battles, stay away from debt-ceiling defaults and government shutdowns. Instead, keep a laser-like focus on implementing the $1.2 trillion sequester spending cuts, which would actually pay for last year's) debt-ceiling hike, and put together a tough-minded cut, cap and balance spending-cut package for the upcoming budget cycle.
As John Boehner told me a couple of years ago, his primary purpose is to "stop the bad stuff." Please, Mr. Speaker, hold that thought.
Praying that there are large enough skeletons in this guy’s closet to keep him out. More than any other recent nominee, this one will makes things so much worse (as if that’s possible)
I don’t know this dude, but does Obama just pick unqualified people or do we just say that anybody Obama choses is not qualified and not worthy of the office they are nominated? It is funny that every pick Obama has had so far has been negative to conservatives. Is that possible?
Obama picks people who will do his bidding, and his bidding is 100% pure, unadulterated EVIL.
baraq’s pick is a guy who went straight from school to politics. He has never had a job in the industry that he is fixin to be regulating.
obama’s picks are all wolves in sheep’s clothing.
His ideology is to cripple or destroy the United States.
One of his picks for Green jobs czar was a guy named Van Jones. Look up this guy. Real cool and smooth in his expensive suit, but his ideas are chilling.
He openly advocates violent revolution to overthrow the government. He advocates that the oppressed take back what is their’s by force if necessary.
Everyone obama surrounds himself with is either walking evil or walking idiocy.
And he is about to have more flexibility.
[He has never had a job in the industry that he is fixin to be regulating.]
I have no use for Jack Lew and pray he is not confirmed. But, in his defense, Kudlow mentions in the article that Lew, “[is] going to take a lot of flack over his short experience on Wall Street, where he got a $1 million bonus for administering Citigroup’s proprietary trading operation.”
So it appears he does have some industry experience.
His signature alone should disqualify him.
When I was in the 3rd or 4th grade we did writing exercises writing loops, spiked lines to enhance our writing cursive legibly.(understand they don’t teach cursive anymore)
I did better than his chicken scratch.
"Walking evil" works for me.
There can be no pretense, even with Obama voting family and friends.
Zippy means to destroy this country and must be stopped.Even if you are not in the habit of doing so, starting Monday, start calling your reps in Congress and let them know your opposition to Lew, Kerry, Hagel,Brennan, gun control, debt and spending.
I used to think Clinton's Cabinet was bad, but Zippy's is truly Communist and anti-American.
Who was the last Treasury Secretary that wasn’t a statist Keynesian douche? GW Bush’s were awful and Obama’s make Bush’s almost look good.
If you have any doubt of my theory, just look at our current VP, "Plugs Biden", one of the dumbest persons ever to serve in DC.
Donald Regan ?
“Who was the last Treasury Secretary that wasnt a statist Keynesian douche?”
Lot M. Morrill.