Diary

Tim Geithner: Foul-Mouthed Thug

It looks like Saturday Night Live now has a completely different side of Tim Geithner to lampoon:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner blasted top U.S. financial regulators in an expletive-laced critique last Friday as frustration grows over the Obama administration’s faltering plan to overhaul U.S. financial regulation, according to people familiar with the meeting.

The proposed regulatory revamp is one of President Barack Obama’s top domestic priorities. But since it was unveiled in June, the plan has been criticized by the financial-services industry, as well as by financial regulators wary of encroachment on their turf.

Mr. Geithner told the regulators Friday that “enough is enough,” said one person familiar with the meeting. Mr. Geithner said regulators had been given a chance to air their concerns, but that it was time to stop, this person said.

Among those gathered in the Treasury conference room were Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair.

Friday’s roughly hourlong meeting was described as unusual, not only because of Mr. Geithner’s repeated use of obscenities, but because of the aggressive posture he took with officials from federal agencies generally considered independent of the White House. Mr. Geithner reminded attendees that the administration and Congress set policy, not the regulatory agencies.

Can the White House ever tolerate dissent? It seems that even independent federal regulators must be brought to heel by the phrase ‘I won,’ first used so memorably by Barack Obama to dismiss the pro-growth agenda of Congressional Republicans. These independent regulators join Congressional Republicans, the CBO, the health care industry, the entire financial sector, and every other opponent of the Obama agenda in being told by the White House that dissent is no longer patriotic. Now it’s unacceptable.

And while Obama regularly jokes about the foul mouth of Rahm Emanuel – who everyone recognizes as the guy who breaks knuckles – this time the foul mouth belongs to Tim Geithner. And while Geithner may have thought that his theatrics would intimidate his audience into falling in line, it smacks of desperation. Do we have to remind the White House again that there are 60 Democrats in the Senate and an overwhelming majority in the House? If Geithner is worried about passing his agenda, it points directly to incompetence on his part.

Via Michelle

Cross-Posted at theconservatives.com