[UPDATE 6 pm Monday: video clip fixed and complete now!] Watch the video clip from this Sunday’s Meet the Press of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to see how amazingly thick–and dense–that campaign-promise body armor is. It’s obviously the Administration’s favored strategy to avoid the “politically explosive choices” that David Gregory attributes to my boss Bob Bixby.
This is more of the same: no courage from our policymakers on laying out the specifically tough choices necessary to get back to a sustainable federal budget outlook. Administration officials and members of Congress are only willing to talk about tough choices until you ask them to explain “what tough choices, exactly?”
That’s also why many members of Congress aren’t so enthusiastic about laying out their plan for the budget this year. (See the Concord Coalition’s statement on the need for a budget resolution.) The necessary choices are so tough that the policymakers don’t want to spell them out in any way if they can help it. They’d rather turn away from the problem than confront it. It’s like they’re saying “it’s so bad, I can’t bear to look.” And so nothing is done, nothing changes, and the problem gets even worse. But the policymakers keep thinking everything’s alright because they feel safely ensconced in their thick (and dense) political body armor.