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View Diary: Jack Lew and the premature descent from heaven: A tale of the American nomenklatura (89 comments)

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  •  Let Me Rephrase (29+ / 0-)

    I'm really skeptical that one of Rubin's circle are capable of making the right decisions for regular working people in this country. Rubin, Summers and Geithner have failed ordinary folks again and again and again. Why should I think that Jack Lew is any different?

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:09:58 AM PST

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    •  Well, somewhat more humility for one thing. (3+ / 0-)

      Of course, Lew is not without ego. No one who's served in Washington is lacks ego or ambition. But he does not stride in with the out-sized - and, in my view, unwarranted - ego of a Larry Summers, who brooked no other opinions, no matter how far out he got. And Rubin, Co-Chairman and a Board member of Goldman Sachs and deeply-planted Wall Street personage, was surrounded by Romney-worthy sycophants pretty much throughout his career. Geithner was and is Geithner. Lew isn't any of those.

      Lew is a Federal finance, budget and management guy. Between various government gigs, he headed up an investment group within Citicorp for about 18 months or so, without which he'd have no Wall Street credentials whatsoever.

      As liberals in 2013, which expertise - Federal budgets, economics and public finance ... or all Wall Street and the markets - would we most like a Secretary of the Treasury to have?
      One of the good things that can be said about Jack Lew is that he seems to have incurred the displeasure, if not the enmity, of both sides of the political spectrum.

      Now, we liberals are known (correctly, let's face it!) for cannibalizing our friends. We nip at Lew for being against grad student unionization within academia and for making some money in his Citicorp tenure. He was unwilling to lay major blame (not the "proximate cause") for the financial/economic crisis on bank deregulation. Of course, deregulation was ill-conceived but every fair observer says there were a myriad of causes and effects in the 2007-08 debacle.

      Lew supported President Obama on the so-called "Grand Bargain." I sure hope, on that topic, that his boss would have the public and private loyalty of his own staff chief on the subject matter. There is hard bargaining ahead on the Federal budget. Jack Lew is extremely well positioned for it. Face it; realists wouldn't want it any other way.

      On the other political hand, what do the Republicans not like about Jack Lew? The distinguished Jeffery Sessions (R-Ala.) thinks Lew lied to Congress. (Coming from him, that's practically a compliment.) John Boehner (who is used to getting 98% of what he wanted, remember?) and other Republicans blame Lew for being obdurate during negotiations! What in the hell would we have him be? The National Review thinks he will tax and spend as Obama's "spear-carrier." Is there any left-of-Far-Right nominee that NR would not say that about?

      That's why Jack Lew is different. Admit it, we ain't gonna get Senator Warren for the job, not yet. Jack Lew's a good choice, ideal in fact for what's ahead.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:41:29 AM PST

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      •  18 months in the private sector is enough (0+ / 0-)

        to disqualify someone permanently for government service?

        Come on, Lew is no Jon Corzine!

        •  No, to the contrary. It gives some credibility... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          charliehall2

          ... to be Secretary of the Treasury, who deals with Wall Street as no cabinet member does. Having no exposure whatever in markets, banking or High Finance might well be disqualifying.

          That's actually my point. Wall Street is a base Lew has touched, albeit much less than Rubin and Geithner, but what's needed as much in these times is a ranking administration official with Federal budget expertise. No wonder Boehner doesn't want to have to deal with Lew.

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 01:56:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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