November 19, 2009

From The Ed Schultz Show, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) says President Obama is not being served well by his economic advisors and that there is a growing consensus from the Congressional Progressive Caucus that the president needs to dump Tim Geithner and Larry Summers. DeFazio added that "We may have to sacrifice just two more jobs to get millions back for Americans."

Schultz: What kind of progress can be made to make sure that TARP goes where it's really going to stimulate the economy--small business and infrastructure?

DeFazio: Well, that's our money. It was borrowed in the name of the American people. It was borrowed to bail out Wall Street which has worked famously for Goldman Sachs and others. You know, we think it is time, maybe, that we turn our focus to Main Street, we reclaim the unspent funds, we reclaim some of the funds that are being paid back, which will not be paid back in full, and we use it to put people back to work. Rebuilding America's infrastructure is a tried and true way to put people back to work.

Unfortunately, the President has an adviser from Wall Street, Larry Summers, and a Treasury Secretary from Wall Street, Timmy Geithner, who don't like that idea. They want to keep the TARP money either to continue to bail out Wall Street if there are future problems or maybe to...

Schultz: So Geithner does not want to give the money to small business--the TARP money?

DeFazio: No. They're saying they've got to keep the money. There may be more needs on Wall Street or maybe they should use it to pay down the deficit. That's absurd. We borrowed the money. How do you pay down the deficit...

Shultz: Should he stay in his job Congressman?

DeFazio: No.

Schultz: You think he should be gone as Treasury Secretary?

DeFazio: I do especially if you look back at the AIG scandal and Goldman and others who got their bets paid off in full--instead of saying " Well you bet, you lost"--they got paid back in full with taxpayer money through AIG. We channeled the money through them. Geithner would not answer my question when I said, 'Were those naked credit default swaps by Goldman or were they a counter-party?' He would not answer that question." I think they were naked credit default swaps, they were bets. They should not have gotten their money back.

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