America’s Treasury Secretary, “Turbo-Tax” Tim Geithner, is going around the country flogging President Obama’s current
stimulus jobs bill, and yesterday he stopped off in Louisville. He toured the UPS Worldport Air Hub, and used the occasion to tout the Democratic administration’s latest plan to reduce unemployment: “Our basic challenge is to get the economy growing faster … and infrastructure spending — infrastructure investment — is a very smart way to do that.”
Geithner somehow managed to relate the American Jobs Act —which is currently stalled in the Democrat-controlled Senate—to Louisville’s UPS operations, which employs more than 20,000. “How fast we grow — how successful we are at getting exports to expand around the world — will have a big effect on how fast this business grows here, but it’s true for businesses across the country,” Geithner said.
“One of the most important parts of the President’s American Jobs Act is to put people to work right now rebuilding America’s infrastructure,” said Geithner. “In order to be as productive and efficient as possible, American businesses need the foundation of a strong, reliable, modern infrastructure – and that means they need government to do its part. Investing in infrastructure creates good, middle-class jobs and helps our economy run at its full potential, which keeps us competitive and helps lower costs for businesses and consumers alike.”
The Courier-Journal’s Chris Otts reports that a UPS spokeswoman would not say whether the company supports the president’s American Jobs Act; quoting her as saying, “We are encouraged by the proposals of both the president and congressional leaders.”
Kentucky Senator and Republican Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement that he appreciates Geithner highlighting the “great work” of UPS’ Louisville employees but said the administration is “doubling down on a failed economic strategy.”
“With sky-high unemployment and stagnant growth, it’s my hope that the secretary will listen to what Kentuckians are saying about their taxing, spending and regulating strategy and go in a different direction.”
During his televised interview with ABC News' David Muir (see video, below), Secretary Geithner didn't dispute a Harvard economist's estimate that each job in the White House's jobs plan would cost almost a quarter of a million dollars, but said the price-tag is the wrong way to measure the bill's worth. "You've got to think about the costs of the alternatives," Geithner said when asked about Harvard economist Martin Feldstein's calculation that each job created by President Obama's American Jobs Act would cost taxpayers more than $200,000. "If government does nothing, it does nothing now because they're scared by politics or they want to debate what's perfect, then there will be fewer Americans back to work, the economy will be weaker," he said.
When he was nominated to the Treasury post by President Obama, it was revealed that Geithner had not paid $35,000 in self-employment taxes for the years 2001–2004. This failure to pay was noted during a 2006 audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in which Geithner was assessed additional taxes of $14,847 for the 2003 and 2004 tax years. The statute of limitations had expired for 2001 and 2002, and Geithner did not file amended returns or pay the additional amounts due for those years until after he was nominated to be Secretary of the Treasury. He also deducted the cost of his children's sleep-away camp as a dependent care expense, when only expenses for day care are eligible for the deduction.
During his tenure at the Federal Reserve and as Treasury Secretary, Geithner had a direct role in the failure of the Fed to diagnose and act on the housing crisis. He presided over bank bailouts, auto bailouts and failed trillion-dollar stimulus plans.
Earlier this month, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul introduced legislation calling for a Senate vote of no confidence in Secretary Geithner. “The current Administration’s gross mismanagement of the U.S. economy, at the helm of which has sat Secretary Geithner through financial debacle and decline, must end now,” Sen. Paul said at the time.
ABC coverage of Sec. Geithner’s visit to Louisville
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