Wednesday, August 8, 2012

An "Empty Bag"? Wait, There's a Cat in There!

    In a late night hit-and-run, the Obama Truth team tweeted the following, doubtless hoping to score some quick, cheap political points:

    The link is for a YouTube video of a 20 second clip taken from a 3:42 segment on Fox Business's After the Bell.  The entire segment is available on Fox's website.  Paul O'Neill, Treasury Secretary during George W. Bush's first term, indeed says that when he asked for the Romney economic plan, "what they offered was an empty bag."  But fast forward to 2:22 of the interview and O'Neill says:
It's not at all clear that what President Obama would have us do is clear either, so I go back to what you said, David, we have a paucity of facts.
    Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Obama's economic plan over Romney's, is it?  And, by the way, you might recall this from July 2008 during the last Presidential campaign (ABC News):
ABC News has learned that two former administration officials for President George W. Bush will appear with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, at an economic meeting today, having signed up to be Obama economic advisers. 
Bush administration veterans former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and former Securities and Exchange Commissioner William Donaldson will join former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, and more traditionally Democratic economic advisers such as former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, billionaire liberal Warren Buffett, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, and SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger.
    So instead of labeling O'Neill "President Bush's former Treasury Secretary", the Truth Team could have just as well written "President Obama's former economic advisor."  And speaking of that, what was this former economic advisor of Obama's saying later in the 2008 campaign?  From the Washington Note:
I have not heard either candidate [Obama or McCain] talk about the $53 trillion worth of unfunded liabilities that we have as a nation, that we need to do something about, or we're going to have a problem that makes this current financial crisis look like child's plan not too far down the road.
I haven't heard anybody say in this campaign the 10,000-page tax code that we have is proof that we're not an intelligent people. And so what are the candidates talking about? They're talking about more credits, they're talking about more deductions, they're talking about more complication in the tax code.
Neither one of them are talking about, we need to fix this monster, which is also part of our problem.
    The Truth Team may want to think twice before encouraging supporters (and foes) to listen too closely to Paul O'Neill in the future.  Better to keep that cat in the bag where it belongs.

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