Apr 13 2009
President Barack Obama on Friday claimed that the U.S. economy exhibited “glimmers of hope” amidst continual and severe stress. The President’s comments came after his first meeting with his economic team of advisers, which include Larry Summers, Treasure Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, since his trip to Europe. Obama said that the group discussed, among other things, Geithner’s one trillion dollar Treasury plan to erase so-called toxic assets from major banks. While trillions of dollars have gone to the banking industry during the current economic recession, former Commerce secretary Pete Peterson and others have suggested cutting spending on Social Security to relieve the expense. A USA Today opinion piece tried to revive the debate on the government program stating that the recession necessitates that an urgent fix come soon. Treasury Secretary Geithner, in speaking before the conservative Council on Foreign Relations last month, told the audience, “We are all fiscal hawks now because of Pete Peterson.” President Bush, in his second term, tried in vain to privatize social security, leading many to view it as his biggest domestic policy failure. Will the Obama administration attempt the same now that we’re in the middle of a recession?
GUEST: Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC., author of Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy.
For more information, visit www.cepr.net.