Nudging Obama

Formerly "Obama Watch" Keeping the promise of change

While Obama bashes lobbyists, Geithner’s Treasury organizes secret briefings for them

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By Brent Budowsky 01/28/10 01:43 PM ET

To understand why Americans are so angry with Washington, and why I have called for the replacement of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, don’t miss the story broken by Bob Cusack, managing editor of The Hill newspaper.

Cusack reports that staff for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner organized private, off-the-record, confidential briefings for lobbyists about the president’s State of the Union address and major programs.

These briefings were available to lobbyists, and not the general public. They were secret, and not open to the media, and not to be reported publicly. The president attacks lobbyists while his Treasury secretary gives first-class tickets to insider special interests, while the rest of the American people fly standby.

Wall Street lobbyists pushing for huge bonuses get the first-class ticket; taxpayers who paid for the bailout weren’t invited. Banking lobbyists whose companies received more than $20 billion of help through various government agencies get to sing, “Fly me to moon” in private briefings, while jobless workers have to sing, “Brother, can you spare a dime?” in the cold outside.

Insurers who raise premiums get the inside poop from the Treasury, but customers being ripped off with high premiums or foreclosed on their homes aren’t invited to the insider festivities and can’t even read about it in newspapers that are not allowed to report it.

If the president wants to fight the “fat cats” and be the populist of the month, he should order these closed meetings ended, and when any insider meetings occur, they should be open to everyone and, even better, televised on C-SPAN.

Otherwise, the administration will not be praised for change or populism or reform, but will create even more cynicism against business as usual, which this latest Treasury Department venture represents, big time.


Written by bearmarketnews

January 29, 2010 at 3:35 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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