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Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:30 AM

Twelve Questions Progressives Should Ask Jack Lew

http://www.thenation.com/blog/172131/twelve-questions-progressives-should-ask-jack-lew

***SNIP

The nominee must make a case for Senate approval of his nomination. Republicans will ask plenty of tough questions. Democrats should as well.

To wit:

1. You were a special assistant to Bill Clinton when he worked with Newt Gingrich to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Your former professor Paul Wellstone opposed both agreements as a US senator, arguing that they undermined jobs, labor standards, environmental protections and democracy. Who was right? Clinton or Wellstone?

2. As Treasury secretary, you will have a big role to play in international wrangling over trade policies and complaints about Chinese currency manipulation. We’ve got record trade deficits with China and there are estimates that trade policies have cost as many as 2.8 million American jobs. Do you think that successive US administrations, several of which you have served, have been too lax when it comes to international economic relations? What have you learned from your experience of two decades as an advocate for free-trade agreements? Does the United States need to get tougher with its trading partners? Do you have any objections to Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown’s Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act?

3. You served as head of Bill Clinton’s Office of Management and Budget when he was working with a Republican Congress to undermine the Glass-Steagall Act and to enact the Wall Street–friendly Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. Progressives opposed these initiatives, warning that they erred too far on the side of deregulation. Wellstone warned that “Glass-Steagall was intended to protect our financial system by insulating commercial banking from other forms of risk. It was one of several stabilizers designed to keep a similar tragedy from recurring. Now Congress is about to repeal that economic stabilizer without putting any comparable safeguard in its place.” Did you share any of those concerns or were you all on board with the deregulation push?

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Twelve Questions Progressives Should Ask Jack Lew (Original post)
xchrom Jan 2013 OP
glowing Jan 2013 #1
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #4
glowing Jan 2013 #13
xchrom Jan 2013 #2
marmar Jan 2013 #3
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #5
JaneyVee Jan 2013 #6
DreWId Jan 2013 #7
OKNancy Jan 2013 #8
dotymed Jan 2013 #9
Octafish Jan 2013 #11
PoliticalBiker Jan 2013 #10
dotymed Jan 2013 #12
glowing Jan 2013 #14
Oilwellian Jan 2013 #15
dotymed Jan 2013 #16

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:48 AM

1. Does it matter when you are serving in the pleasure of the President?

The man wasn't working for Wellstone, he was working for Clinton who wanted a deal. It was Wellstone who would have the ability to filibuster if he thought it was too awful to pass at that time. Remember, everyone's got a job. I don't think its fair to ask him who he thought was right? Its actually to see how well he'll follow the boss' direction in the first place.

And if he was in the middle of some of the wrangling of those bills in the first place, perhaps he would have thoughts on how to improve or unwind some of these previous negotiations he was in the middle of and privy to some of the very same people who will be voting on issues again.

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Response to glowing (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:50 AM

4. You are right of course. No looking back, let's just go forward.

That's ridiculous of course. That's like appointing Cheney and saying he will act different working for Pres Obama.

Much of the concern is that the choice reflects how the President thinks. Looks like he thinks more like Pres Clinton and Gingrich than Sen Wellstone.

IMO unless we fix our trade agreements, jobs bills are a waste of time. I dont see Lew doing that.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 12:04 PM

13. I've come to the conclusion that the President is

going to do things and set up ideas and pass things like the ACA which means everyone has the right to health care that will be improved on.

He used Gwitner to keep from total crash. This guy is a bit under the radar. He's not splashy. I doubt the work the President intends to do is meant for big talks or having cNBC analyze his every word or move.

The President is a practical, cool as a cucumber, get it done type of person. And while we would love congress to work as professional reps that actually give a damn about the people the represent, that won't happen until we the people start paying attention and putting people who matter into the house and senate. We has a good 2012. I love how the house Dems look and some of the new freshmen senators.

Perhaps, we get there in a few more election cycles. Perhaps the other party gets its act together or a new party emerges with a more progressive slant.

Not everything is deserving of a crisis. I certainly don't have the inner ear of the White House or what's the plan. I do think Hagel will bring military spending down; hence a republican.

If I've been taught anything by getting older and being a parent, patience is becoming stronger and jumping onto some band wagon isn't as as interesting.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:18 AM

2. Jack Lew had major role at Citigroup when it nearly imploded

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/jack-lew-had-major-role-at-citigroup-when-it-nearly-imploded/2013/01/10/a913431e-5b6b-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html

Treasury secretary nominee Jack Lew has spent most of his career in government, but during the financial crisis, he was embedded inside one of the country’s biggest banks as it nearly imploded.

From 2006 to 2008, he worked at Citigroup in two major roles, a notable line in his résumégiven that as Treasury secretary, he would be charged with implementing new rules regulating Wall Street.

But Lew did not have just any position at the bank.

In early 2008, he became a top executive in the Citigroup unit that housed many of the bank’s riskiest operations, including its hedge funds and private equity investments. Massive losses in that unit helped drive Citigroup into the arms of the federal government, which bailed out the bank with $45 billion in taxpayer money that year.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:50 AM

3. kr

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:59 AM

5. It wouldnt do anyone any good to ask these questions. Pres Obama knows full well

what Lews qualifications are. Those here that think Lew will act different working for Pres Obama are totally delusional. But dont think too badly of them. It's all they got. And progressives like the OP article author, are equally delusional thinking that there is hope for a turn around of the disastrous trade policies of the last couple of decades.

I go with the progressives that think we can still fix our economy rather than the conservatives that are happy with the status quo.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:02 AM

6. 13-What is up with that ridiculous pubic-hair-like signature?

ETA for visual:

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:18 AM

7. Don't look at the man behind the curtain

A smokescreen and a distraction away from his "deregulation didn't cause the meltdown while I personally pocketed millions from it" comments.

And a really offensive talking-point by the media who says his SIGNATURE is the most important story about him.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:27 AM

8. the snipped section.......

A lot of Senate Republicans think they have figured Lew out. They don’t like him. Indeed, they dismiss the veteran Clinton administration and Obama administration aide who currently serves as White House Chief of Staff as “The Man Who Cannot Say Yes to Republicans.” Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, a key Republican on budget issues, said nominating Lew for the Treasury post would be “a mistake.” Barry Johnson, House Speaker John Boehner’s former chief of staff, told Bob Woodward that the problem Republicans have with Lew is that the man who served as both Clinton and Obama’s Office of Management and Budget director was “always trying to protect the sacred cows of the left.”

There’s something to the GOP gripe: Back in 2008 and 2009, Lew fought for a big stimulus plan, and he’s got a track record of defending Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that goes back to the 1980s.

-------------------

Me: Wall street doesn't like him either. "Wall Street isn't backing Jack Lew for Treasury"
http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/11/26/jack-lew-treasury-secretary/

-----------

Edit to add: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022173056 <--- positive article

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:52 AM

9. Unfortunately, this just indicates a continuation

of our corporatist/fascist policies of the last 30 years. More thieving banksters running our government.
IF our president really were interested in helping average people, he would appoint a treasury secretary interested in improving our plight, not extending the hegemony of corporatists.
It even makes me wonder about the presidents support of Elizabeth Warren as the head of the consumer "watchdog" agency. Talking about duality, if Warren wanted to reign in the banksters (I think she does), how could Obama support her and want to appoint a bankster who has been instrumental in passing "free-trade acts" that have decimated our working class and running a citigroup hedge fund that was betting on the collapse of our housing market?
Damn, WE have to stand up and be heard. It's like that evangelist who was going to preside at Obama's swearing in. "They" knew that he is a lunatic homophobe, just like rick warren at the first inauguration. When progressives started bitching about it, viola, he was replaced. Many on DU claimed that he just wasn't thoroughly vetted...bullshit.
Maybe, if we make enough noise, we can get a treasury secretary that is not a fascist...prolly not.
This was OUR Democratic party, not the third ways fascists. We need to re-take it or start a real Democratic party for the people...

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Response to dotymed (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:09 AM

11. + Everything

After kicking out the New Dealers, the guys who believe in Trickle-Down put in place a system to protect their fill-us-o-fee: The Revolving Door between Washington and Wall Street.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:00 AM

10. Yet ANOTHER wall-streeter in positions of power

When are the beltway types (yes Obama, you are now a beltway type) going to realize, wall street appointments benefit WALL STREET. Not the people you are elected to serve.
Washington needs to reign in wall street, not cowtow to it!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:00 AM

12. Octa and Biker

How in the hell do we get ourselves out of this mess?
I had high hopes for Occupy and still do. Maybe, there is still a small chance that we can change our country into a real democracy. We will have to work our asses off. The civil rights era did have some positive effects for Amerika, but it took people standing together, many deaths and a lot of time.
During that era, we didn't have the MSM monopolies working 24/7 against us. Our real hope lies in the educating of the masses of what has become of our country. The Kabuki theater of (most) of congress, the decimation of our SCOTUS, etc.makes this a war that will be very hard to win. Hell, our posts and all communications can now be (and are) legally intercepted and used to brand us as terrorists. At least in the '60's "they" had to do these things clandestinely.
Presently, (they did it in the '60's too) the rw wacko's are encouraged to "act-out" (even violently) while peace-loving Americans against fascism are persecuted and spied on. It really does seem that Orwell's, 1984, has been used as a blueprint rather than a warning.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:05 PM

14. Civil Rights weren't won in a day, and even after

Last edited Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:58 PM - Edit history (1)

legislation was passed, it wasn't as if the country woke up the next day all embracing and accepting. We still have race problems in America today, as is seen with the Tea-Baggers and their missing hoods.

We are used to instant results because most of us have to produce them or live them day to day. Government, for better or worse, was set up in a manner to make reactionary or radical changes extraordinarily hard to implement, hence the using of significant events like 9/11 to sweep in over night changes that would never occur without tragedy and fearful rhetoric.

We are living in history. There is a lot going on, especially since 2000. It's hectic and maddening. We saw 8yrs of total disregard of the constitution and for The People. History will be interesting for this time period to say the least. We went from Bush/ Cheney shoot from the hip, unethical, immoral, and unconstitutional power sweep for lots of sociopaths who have power and controlling interests in making the decisions for the country and the world at large.

Then, we went 180 with a cool, thoughtful, younger president who came from no where and from little means. He shows by example many times, how to step above the fray of inside Kabuki theater that is DC politics. He's shown love and light and general care for his family and for this country. And with all that is typical and disgusting about DC and politics, he's still managed to accomplish a number of items that were thought to be impossible. Lies and 24/7 cable news and right wing extrmists helping only to gin up hatred and fear by their corporate masters has helped little to move forward in a positive direction.

He is crapped on by all sides of the narrative. Liberal - progressives want more. The other side is so far off the reservation that they should really be fitting for a straight jacket, rather than making/ voting on laws.

And, in general, we've really had a good 30 - 40 yrs of "conservative agenda" shoved down our collective throats. President Obama is more like Captain Sully with his miraculous Hudson River landing. The plane is going down, but the Captain ends up gliding the plane and the passengers onto an unexpected icy river landing. This President is gliding the people and the landscape into the right direction. Once he's landed, the rescue crews, boats, aid comes to help the passengers and crew from the cold icy river and to safety.

We have to look at the items and agendas that have been set up for us, pay attention and make sure the "safety rescuers" have the proper training and tools to implement and make sure that those on the plane make it the rest of the way, to safety, unharmed, and back to their loved one's.

It's us who will have to do some heavy lifting. If we want the ACA to turn into "Medicare for All", we need the right people in the congress and in the White House to implement it. If we want education funding over defense spending, then we need the right people in place for those things to occur. If we want fair taxes and social security intact, we need the right people to be in place. With our election cycles being what they are and getting the right people into position from dog catcher to Governors to federal reps, we need to do the work to get the right people into these places. It's going to take some time. It doesn't feel fast enough, but our govt wasn't designed for speed. We can only help the process by making sure 2014 gives us the house back and add more Senators to the mix.

And we need people to see what shakes out. Everyone calls the ACA ObamaCare. In the future, it will be known, I believe, as one of those items like FDR created with social security (the original social security insurance isn't what it was originally written as, but is now extremely popular). You have to look at issues in totality, the people in power, the longer view ahead, and how it all ties into one another.

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Response to glowing (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:24 PM

15. We want instant results?

Really? We've been living with this shit for the past 20 years.

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:40 AM

16. And not even a pony...

I don't think we can afford to place our entire trust especially in someone that has been given the corporate stamp of approval....IMO

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