McConnell Gambit on Senate Floor Highlights Democratic Resistance to Some Tax Hikes on the Wealthy

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 1:06 pm

Some skullduggery on the Senate floor today. If I can piece together what happened, Mitch McConnell up and requested unanimous consent for an immediate vote on the Geithner plan – the initial offer that the White House made to avert the fiscal slope. And Harry Reid, calling it a “stunt,” objected to the UC request. [...]

Treasury’s Perfect, Impossible-to-Pass Debt Limit Plan

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 11:33 am

Jenni LeCompte at the Treasury Department fleshes out the permanent debt limit de-fanging proposal that Tim Geithner offered as part of the initial White House term sheet on the fiscal slope. She adds the nice touch of calling it the McConnell proposal, since the Republican Senate leader offered a version of it, which actually went [...]

Why Republicans Favor Revenue From Deductions Over Rate Hikes

By: Monday December 3, 2012 6:26 am

Lead negotiators laid out the impasse in fiscal slope negotiations on the Sunday shows. It boils down to taxes, with the White House seeking that increase in the top tax rates, and Republicans claiming to be open on revenue, but only from the capping of deductions or closure of loopholes. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said [...]

White House Makes Aggressive Opening Bid in Fiscal Slope Negotiations

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 3:54 pm

In the context of doing a deficit reduction deal at all, this is an extremely strong bid that Tim Geithner delivered to John Boehner today. Now we know why Boehner whined and cried all afternoon. Let’s walk through it. House Republicans said on Thursday that Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presented the House speaker, John [...]

Tim Geithner’s Lead Negotiating Position on Fiscal Slope Should Cause Concern

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 12:21 pm

Matt Yglesias makes the astute observation that Jack Lew will be the next Treasury Secretary, and I agree. However, his reasoning for this overlooks one key detail: Why? Well because the White House has decided that it wants the Treasury Secretary to be deeply involved with budget issues, and who better than a former OMB [...]

On Economy, Justice, Obama Housing Plan Fell Well Short

By: Monday November 26, 2012 9:15 am

Over the holiday, Zachary Goldfarb released a fairly remarkable article recounting a meeting between the President and top economists: One year and one month before President Obama won reelection, he invited seven of the world’s top economists to a private meeting in the Oval Office to hear their advice on what do to fix the [...]

“Framework” of Deficit Deal Means Different Things to Both Sides

By: Monday November 19, 2012 9:15 am

Today everyone is supposed to be optimistic about avoiding the fiscal slope. Considering the potential consequences of that avoidance, I’m not sure “optimistic” is the right word. But the idea works like this: House Republicans will allow the Senate-passed bill of extending the Bush tax cuts up to $250,000 of income into law, if they [...]

Reports: Bowles Rules Out Treasury Secretary Job

By: Friday November 16, 2012 8:30 am

Erskine Bowles told Maria Bartiromo last night that he would not serve as the nation’s next Treasury Secretary. This apparently happened off-air, but it has been confirmed in local papers in North Carolina, Bowles’ home state: Bowles reportedly confirmed to host Maria Bartiromo off-air that he would not serve as the next Treasury secretary, according [...]

Treasury Rumors: Replacements for Geithner on Either Side a Fairly Sorry Lot

By: Monday October 1, 2012 2:11 pm

The next Administration, whoever it may be, will feature a new direction on policies around economic and finance issues. That’s because, even if Barack Obama wins re-election, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has announced that he would leave his post. So you either get a Romney Presidency and an entirely new direction on these policies, or [...]

Sheila Bair Changes Media Narrative on Housing Policy

By: Wednesday September 26, 2012 11:41 am

It turns out that a whole bunch of observers can scream their collective heads off about Obama Administration housing policy for three-plus years, to almost no avail, but it takes one person with foreknowledge in the room to get the herd to nod their heads sagely. I took a look at Sheila Bair’s new book [...]

Sheila Bair: HAMP Sucked

By: Tuesday September 25, 2012 12:21 pm

I have not read Sheila Bair’s upcoming book, “Bull by the Horns,” but it’s on a growing list (I hear former Senate staffer Jeff Connaughton’s book is excellent as well). Arthur Delaney notes that she had harsh words for HAMP, the Administration’s failed program to rescue homeowners facing foreclosure. And she didn’t shy away from accurately describing the program as one that fostered predatory lending.

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