Geithner and Wrongthink

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Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was on Meet the Press with David Gregory today, and Gregory asked him, regarding the health insurance bills, "there is going to be a heavy burden on the middle-class through health care by taxes going up, by premiums going up. It will affect the middle-class."

Geithner responded, "You know, I don't think that's the way to look at it. The--our tax--our healthcare system today imposes enormous burdens not just on businesses, but on families. There are very high hidden costs to our current system. And the best way to add to our long-term deficits, and the best way to add to those burdens is not reform health care today."

Gregory: "But it doesn't answer the question about premiums going up with an individual mandate and taxes going up on so-called Cadillac plans and other parts of this bill as they're moving their way through the process that would increase taxes."

And then Geithner again: "Right. Again, I don't think that's the right way to think about it. I think you have to look at the entire system today and the cost that presents. And if you look at those..."

Gregory: "Well, why isn't that the right way to look at it if that's the reality of what the legislation would do?"

Geithner: "No."


Seriously. This is what he said.

If you are firmly in the middle class, recognizing significantly increased health care costs due to the Democrats' plan -- even though this is the reality you face -- you shouldn't think about it that way.

Ignore reality. Trust in Obama, instead.

Now, maybe Geithner meant (and stated poorly) that is not the reality. A moment later Geithner apparently denied that the Democratic plan calls for tax hikes. If that is what he meant, he's a liar, of course, because everyone knows Gregory was exactly right: the proposed mandates and taxes on "Cadillac plans" will increase costs for many people at all income groups, except the poor.

I don't think Geithner was lying in that way: I think he was trying to reframe the issue to say, the tax cuts aren't the point; rather, look at how great this bill is (except for the parts you dislike)!

And if you choose to focus on the parts you dislike, well, "that's not the right way to think about it."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on November 1, 2009 5:42 PM.

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