The Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, gave an interview to CNBC in which he said, "We have weaker growth than we thought, weaker growth than we hoped. Why is that?....You've had this terribly damaging political dysfunction here and in Europe that leaves the world wondering whether political system has the capacity to do the right thing, and that is very damaging to confidence here in the United States, and it magnifies all of the challenges we have."
This is pretty rich. First of all, it's hard to blame "political dysfunction" for the economy in 2009 and 2010, when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, unless one wants to consider the Democrats as internally dysfunctional, which they may well be. Second, if Mr. Geithner has in mind to place the blame for the "political dysfunction" on House Republicans who have been a majority in 2011 — well, there's plenty of blame for "political dysfunction" to spread around, and certainly at least some of it has to accrue to President Obama and the Democrat-majority U.S. Senate.
I wish the CNBC interviewer, Jim Cramer, had pressed Mr. Geithner a little further on his definition of political dysfunction here at home. Does it include the passage of ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank financial "reform"? When, exactly, did the political dysfunction begin? Just with the fight over raising the debt ceiling? It's not as if the economy was exactly growing like gangbusters before that. Who is to blame for the political dysfunction? Does the fault for it lie entirely with Republicans, or do Democrats, including President Obama, bear any of the blame?