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Notes from the July 25, 2010 broadcast of Meet The Press

July 25, 2010

Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner said, with a number of caveats and disclaimers, the economy is “gradually getting better,” and this will continue over the next 18 months. He says there will be no double dip recession.

Now this still leaves the question posed on the cover of The Week, displayed by host David Gregory, “Where are all the jobs?” Geithner responds that the stimulus money is still coming out of the pipeline, Congress is working on tax cuts for small business, and Congress can do more.

Gregory asks about more federal stimulus. And Geithner says the recovery must be led by private investment, not more government spending.

Gregory presses on the stimulus vs. debt question and the need for “painful cuts.” Geithner doesn’t flinch.

(The opening interview segment ended at 18 past the hour. This seems considerably shorter than usual. Weird.)

The roundtable featured E. J. Dionne of the Washington Post, Marc Morial of the National Urban League, David Brooks of the New York Times, Rick Santelli of CNBC, and Anita Dunn, former Obama adviser.

They started with a sober discussion of the Shirley Sherrod case. There wasn’t much new in the conversation, but I was glad to see Gregory use today’s Maureen Dowd column and tomorrow’s Dionne column to tee-up issues rather than stale columns we have all seen already.

Rick Santelli’s first comment was one of the most confusing statements I have ever seen on Meet The Press. I will have to check the transcript to see if I can figure out what he really said. The rest of the panel basically ignored Santelli’s comment and moved on.

Later, Santelli comes back with what I think can be described as the core Tea Party sentiment and motivation: For every dollar the federal government spends today, 41 cents goes to service the debt. And that number is rising. If we don’t fix it (which in their terms means drastically shrinking the government), everyone in the country, across the board will lose.

On the expiring Bush tax breaks, no new ground was broken. Democrats think the tax cuts given to the top 2 per cent of earners in the US should expire. Dionne mentions the Warren Buffet complaint that he pays a lower tax rate than his receptionist.

I am surprised there was no Meet The Press Minute today. I am sure they could have found something on race relations which would might be a parallel to the current situation.

Today’s transcript will be here. David Gregory posted his thoughts about today’s broadcast here.

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