Answering Questions By Not Answering Questions

On Wednesday, Representative John Campbell posted an article in his laptop report about his questioning of Treasury Secretary (and former Obama Chief of Staff) Jack Lew.

Below is a video of that questioning:

Representative Campbell was a successful businessman before entering Congress and has the ability to get things done. He was obviously not impressed with the answers he received from Secretary Lew.

Representative Campbell posted the following parody on his laptop report:

Now, based on what you just saw from Sec. Jack Lew (and from my previous experience with him), I present for your further enjoyment a fictional dramatization of my hypothetical question to him, “Is the sky ever blue?”:

Campbell: So, Secretary Lew, is the sky ever blue?

Lew: Well, Congressman, that depends. Sometime there are clouds. The clouds can be light grey or…

Campbell: I understand that there can be clouds, Secretary Lew. My question is if you believe that the sky is ever blue?

Lew: This is really quite complicated. Sometime it can be dark at night and you can’t really tell what color the sky is. Is it really black or another color that you can’t see? It could be….

Campbell: No Mr. Lew. I didn’t ask if the sky was black. I asked if it is ever blue. Have you ever seen a blue sky?

Lew: I have never had anything to do with the color of the sky, either as Treasury Secretary or as President Obama’s Chief of Staff. But, I assure you that the President is very interested in this subject and we intend to investigate this thoroughly.

Campbell: Secretary Lew. It’s really not that complicated. Have you ever seen a blue sky or has anyone ever told you that the sky was blue?

Lew: It’s important that we thoroughly investigate all the facts before conclusions are drawn in any such matter involving celestial bodies and the movement thereof. The latest report from the Inspector General did not contain any facts about the color of the sky, although it did acknowledge that the sky, in fact, exists. Therefore, it would be premature for me to make any assertions about the color until all the facts are in. But, I assure you that we will work tirelessly in pursuit of those facts…just as diligently as OJ Simpson pursued the real killer of his wife.

Campbell:  How about this, Mr. Secretary? Have you personally ever even wondered what color the sky is?

Lew: I don’t think it’s productive to speculate on such things over which the administration has no control and which, at this point, really don’t matter.

Campbell: Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time since the Secretary has clearly yielded his common sense.

That is the current state of the search for answers in the power abuse by the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservatives and conservative groups.


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Does The President Get His Choices Of Cabinet Members ?

There are a number of questionable nominations for Cabinet posts at this time–Chuck Hagel has a questionable record on Israel, John Brennan has made some interesting statements regarding jihad, and Jack Lew was either lying or totally wrong in his statements regarding the economy while he was director of the Office of Management and Budget. Either way, Jack Lew is a questionable choice for Treasury Secretary.

John Hinderaker at Power Line reminds us of Mr. Lew’s testimony before Congress less than two years ago. In describing President Obama’s budget proposals, Mr. Lew stated:

Our budget will get us, over the next several years, to the point where we can look the American people in the eye and say we’re not adding to the debt anymore; we’re spending money that we have each year, and then we can work on bringing down our national debt.

The article further reports:

In fact, President Obama’s budget added at least $600 billion to the deficit every year, even on the rosy assumptions that it incorporated, which is why no member of Congress would vote for it. Lew was just making it up, deliberately lying to the American people. He also claimed that the reason the Democratic Senate hadn’t adopted a budget is that it was being filibustered by Republicans. This falsehood was repeated multiple times on national television…

Can’t we do better than this?

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Playing Numbers To Keep Americans In The Dark reported yesterday that there is a plan being considered by the Obama Administration to keep American workers in the dark about the consequences of going over the ‘fiscal cliff.’ According to the article, the idea is that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will simply adjust the tax withholding tables so that Americans do not see the results of going over the cliff in their paychecks. Politically this might work for a short time, but practically, it could easily be a disaster.

The article reports:

This idea is being floated now. Bill Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, explained, “If we were to, say, go over the cliff and the rates go up, he could modify those withholding tables such that the average employee out there would not effectively see any more or less taken out of his paycheck.”

As Treasury Secretary, Geithner is responsible for setting withholding tables “most appropriate” in implementing tax law. Joseph Minarek, senior vice president and director of research at the Committee for Economic Development, said that Obama could use Geithner’s power as leverage in forcing Republicans to come to a deal on the fiscal cliff.

The article also points out that this strategy could result in a lot of angry taxpayers next April when they realize that they have to write checks to the IRS.

The article concludes:

But the Obama Administration knows that if the fiscal cliff is hit, other taxes, such as the alternative minimum tax, the estate tax and taxes on capital gains and dividends will rise precipitously, so they are considering the withholding plan as a way to fool the middle-class long enough so they forget who was responsible for raising their taxes.

It’s not about who is responsible for what–it is about what is best for America. It would be nice if more people in Washington understood that.

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A Good Idea On How To Shrink The Deficit

This is rather obvious–it wouldn’t solve the deficit problem entirely, but it would help. President Obama has been promoting the Buffett Rule to increase the amount of taxes that the wealthy pay. It won’t really put a dent in the deficit, but politically it sounds good. John Hinderaker at Power Line has a better idea–he calls it the Geithner Rule which is: everyone pays what he owes under existing laws. Wow, what a concept!

During the time that President Obama’a Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the IMF did not pay withholding taxes on his income.

The article at Power LIne reports:

When he worked for the International Monetary Fund, the fund did not pay withholding taxes on his income, but rather paid Geithner a specifically-designated additional amount which Geithner was supposed to use to pay self-employment taxes. Geithner kept that money, but didn’t pay the taxes.

When Secretary Geithner was later audited,  he paid what he owed for 2003 and 2004. But he didn’t pay what he owed for 2001 and 2002 because the statute of limitations had run on those years. Later, when he was nominated for Secretary of the Treasury, he paid 2001 and 2002 taxes.

The article reports:

Geithner is not the only tax cheat working in the Obama administration. As Glenn Reynolds has pointed out repeatedly, no fewer than 41 of Obama’s White House aides owe back taxes to the IRS, adding up to $831,000. But they aren’t alone: 638 Congressional staffers owe another $9.3 million, and federal employees, altogether, owe $1 billion in back taxes.

 How about we pass a law that prevents anyone who owes back taxes from working for the government until they pay their taxes?

Requiring high government officials to actually pay their taxes would not end the deficit, but it would help. Preventing tax delinquents from serving in government might also encourage them to be more conscientious in paying the government what they owe.

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This Really Doesn’t Sound Like A Plan

Hot Air posted a video today of some of the Congressional hearings on the President’s proposed budget. The clip they posted is of Paul Ryan asking United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner what the President’s budget does to help end future deficit spending. I strongly suggest that you follow the link and watch the video.

There is a great quote in the video:

Geithner states, “We’re not coming before you today to say that we have a definitive solution to the long term problem, what we do know is we don’t like yours.”

In other words, why, no, our new budget does nothing to address America’s long-term fiscal crisis.

If our current administration is not willing to address America’s long-term fiscal crisis, let’s elect an administration that will be.

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