Judd Gregg For Treasury Secretary

He made short shrift of Geithner’s lies yesterday. Of course, he would never get the job, because he would never put up with the adminstration’s insane plans:

Gregg said the budget is essentially “putting on our children’s backs a debt they can never get out from underneath.”

He added pointedly, “I think we’re putting at risk not only our children’s future, we’re clearly putting at risk the value of a dollar and our ability to sell debt.”

…”The argument that this budget doesn’t have tax increases [on everyone] is, I think, an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ view of the budget,” he said.

He challenged the budget’s math on cutting the debt: “When you take the deficit and quadruple it and then you cut it and half, that’s like taking four steps back and two steps forward. That’s not making any progress; you’re still going backwards.”

Veronique de Rugy has a pretty scary graph of it:

The Obama administration’s budget, called “A New Era of Responsibility, Renewing America’s Promise,” estimates the deficit for this year will total $1.75 trillion. But things will get better, right? Well, according to Obama’s own ten-year deficit projections (see chart), a New Era of Responsibility produces bigger deficits every single year than during the Bush years: $1.75 trillion in 2009 to $533 billion by 2013 — this budget projects higher deficits in 2014 ($570 billion), 2015 ($583 billion), and 2016 ($637 billion). In 2019, the final year in the budget, the deficit is projected to be $712 billion.

Change! But not much hope.

Megan McArdle is regretting her vote:

Having defended Obama’s candidacy largely on his economic team, I’m having serious buyer’s remorse. Geithner, who is rapidly starting to look like the weakest link, is rattling around by himself in Treasury. Meanwhile, the administration is clearly prioritized a stimulus package that will not work without fixing the banks over, um, fixing the banking system. Unlike most fiscal conservatives, I’m not mad at him for trying to increase the size of the government; that’s, after all, what he got elected promising to do. But he also promised to be non-partisan and accountable, and the size and composition stimulus package looks like just one more attempt to ram through his ideological agenda without much scrutiny, with the heaviest focus on programs that will be especially hard to cut.

The budget numbers are just one more blow to the credibility he worked hard to establish during the election. Back then, people like me handed him kudoes for using numbers that were really much less mendacious than the general run of candidate program promises. Now, he’s building a budget on the promise that this recession will be milder than average, with growth merely dipping to 1.2% this year and returning to trend in 2010. Isn’t there anyone at BLS who could have filled him in on the unemployment figures, or at Treasury who could have explained what a disproportionate impact finance salaries have on tax revenue? These numbers . . . well, I can’t really fully describe them on a family blog. But he has now raced passed Bush in the Delusional Budget Math olympics.

Well, some of us saw this coming. It’s just a shame that the Republican nominee was John McCain. There was no good choice.

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