It seems that Josh Bolton and I agree on one thing – but for very different reasons. We both want John Snow to resign from the position of Treasury Secretary:
Joshua Bolten, the incoming White House chief of staff, wants Treasury Secretary John Snow replaced with someone who can present the administration’s message more forcefully … The Times quoted Republicans as saying if a new secretary was picked from Wall Street, it would help reassure financial markets that are worried about growing budget and trade deficits.
Translation – everyone has figured out that Sec. Snow tells the public the spin de jour concocted by Karl Rove, so it’s time to bring in a new liar. I want Snow to resign precisely because he does try to convey the White House message – which of course, means he has to lie. Neither Bolton nor President Bush is interested in the least in having the Treasury Secretary convey an honest message. For doing their bidding, the Treasury Secretary is about to get the pink slip. Of course, now, Dr. Snow might be free to attempt to revive the integrity he once had before he decided to take the job of chief financial spinmeister.
Incidentally, no amount of spin will convince financial markets that Bush is serious about reducing the budget deficit until he decides to reverse some of those alleged tax cuts. To suggest Wall Street can be so easily fooled has to be really insulting to those who work on Wall Street.
On a related note, Sec. Snow had to backpedal on his recent comments regarding an Estate Tax compromise. From Tax Analysts:
Treasury Secretary John Snow on March 30 retreated from comments made two days earlier that suggested the administration may be willing to compromise on estate tax repeal. “I want to make it clear that Congress needs to pass legislation that permanently repeals the death tax, without compromise,” Snow said in prepared comments before the Edison Electric Institute Board of Directors in Washington. Just two days earlier at a Tax Executives Institute conference in Washington, Snow had hinted that the administration for the first time might accept less than full repeal, assuming that a full repeal bill got a fair shake first. “I would hope that we’d have the chance to test the political strength of that idea [of full repeal] and hopefully prevail, but if not, come to some second-best outcome that would also be more advantageous than where we are today,” Snow said on March 28.
A willingness to compromise? Is this the real reason why the White House wants Snow to go?
Update: CalculatedRisk contrasts the reality of another “Record Increase in National Debt” to something Josh Bolton said on July 14, 2005:
Since last February, when we released the 2006 Budget, the Nation’s fiscal outlook has improved dramatically. The U.S. budget deficit is falling, and it is falling fast.
If I had my way, CR would get to pick the next Treasury Secretary.