President Obama’s economic policies “were incredibly effective,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday, crediting the president with having prevented a depression.
While admitting it is “still a very tough economy out there,” Geithner said the administration is “making a lot of progress” and said “the broad indicators are pretty encouraging.”
Interviewed on ABC’s This Week, Geithner was asked by host George Stephanopoulos about the gloomy forecasts from economists such as New York University professor Nouriel Roubini, who called the current recovery “anemic, subpar, below trend, below potential.”
Geithner suggested Obama could not be blamed for that, saying “if he’d had more support from his opponents in Congress, then we could have got more things passed that would have put more people back to work more quickly.”
During the first two years of Obama’s presidency, Democrats controlled the House of Representatives and had a nearly veto-proof majority in the Senate. During that period, Congress passed the president’s $800 billion economic stimulus package, the Affordable Care Act healthcare bill, the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill and other key elements of Obama’s economic agenda. Geithner credited the president’s policies with spurring growth.
“The actions the president took, at considerable political cost at that time — as you know, he had no support for them from the Republicans — were incredibly effective in preventing a great depression, getting growth restarted again very, very quickly,” Geithner said.
The Treasury secretary also dismissed as “a ridiculous argument” the claims this week by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that women had suffered as a result of the Obama administration’s economic policies.
“The president’s policies are making the economy stronger,” Geithner told Stephanopoulos. “And the alternatives proposed by his opposition would be devastating, not just to the safety net but to investments in education. They would be damaging to the economy.”
Geithner also appeared Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press as well as on the CBS program Face the Nation, where he called Romney’s argument “misleading,” and told host Bob Schieffer, “It’s a meaningless way to look at the basic contours of the economy in that period of time, again because it starts artificially at a time when the president came into office and the crisis was still building momentum.”
In an e-mail to CBS, Romney campaign spokewoman Andrea Saul said: “If they move the starting point to the beginning of their so-called recovery, they will find women have benefited from less than one-eighth of the meager job creation. … The President should stop making excuses for his failures — he is entitled to his own spin but not his own facts.”