In his just-published memoir, “Stress Test,” former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner claims something hauntingly familiar: During preparation for an appearance on a Sunday talk show, Geithner was urged by an Obama political operative to say something he knew not to be true. To wit: that Social Security does not contribute to the national budget deficit.
While not a driver of the deficit, Geithner writes, it is a contributor. Why deny it? Because, said Dan Pfeiffer, Deputy White House Communications Director, the administration needed a “dog whistle” to the left, to reassure President Obama’s base that Social Security would not part of any deficit-reduction negotiations with Congress.
Notice a pattern? The guys at PowerLine do.
Paul Mirengoff wrote:
[W]hen four Americans including an ambassador are killed in an attack known to involve terrorists, the stakes are such that the public should hear only the truth from the White House. Unfortunately, Team Obama, in the middle of an election campaign, reached the opposite conclusion. The raised stakes made lying all the more imperative.
Geithner’s excerpt confirms the willingness of the Obama administration’s political wing to feed lies to its top officials for public consumption. What we have learned about Benghazi confirms that this willingness, indeed eagerness, prevailed at precisely the time when America most deserved the truth.
John Hinderaker added:
Whatever one may think of the materiality of this particular lie, it is striking that Pfeiffer ... had no compunction about instructing the Secretary of the Treasury to mislead voters on television. The Secretary should have thrown Pfeiffer out of the room, or worse. The anecdote tells us much about the principles and priorities of the Obama administration.
Geithner’s recollection is of a piece with an altogether too routine pattern for this say-anything White House, one established by a boss for whom endless whoppers — “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” — are a governing strategy.