Of course, Geithner is pushing the Very Serious Idea of reforming Social Security and Medicare. Doesn't everyone?
Considering that the Greenspan commission didn't actually work - at least, not the way that Geithner says it did - it kind of leads me to wonder what he actually means.
From This Week:
TAPPER: Do you think the fact that you guys are pushing the bipartisan commission is indicative of the fact that our political system is not capable of taking on the serious challenges our nation faces?
You and I know that the money, as Willie Sutton says, said, that -- why do you rob banks? Because that's where the money is. The money is in entitlement programs: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, things that you do not touch in this budget.
The fact that you need a bipartisan commission to recommend cuts or tax increases, doesn't that indicate that our political system is incapable of making these tough decisions?
GEITHNER: Jake, I am very confident in our ability as a country to bring people together and make sure we are solving these challenges and these problems. We've done it in the past, it is completely within our capacity to do as a country.
But of course, it requires you bringing people together across the aisle to step back from politics, to try to bring practical solutions to things that are very important to our future as a country. And the president is committed to do that.
We're going to give the Republican Party the chance to share in the responsibility and the burden and the privilege of trying to fix the things that were broken in this country.
TAPPER: Republicans are afraid this is just a back door for tax increases. Are you willing to say that tax increases are off the table for this commission? Let's sit down and talk about the long-term structural problems with entitlement spending?
GEITHNER: The president's view, and this is a view shared by many Republicans, and it builds on what we've seen with effective commissions in the past, like the Greenspan commission that President Reagan established to help restore the financial footing of Social Security, is that for this to work, you've got to bring people together to step back from politics, day-to-day politics, and to bring fresh ideas to solve these kind of problems.
That's the only way to do it, we think. And we're committed to doing that. We've got to do it on a bipartisan basis, and we're deeply serious about doing this.