MSNBC Condemns Obama Advisor For Criticizing Biden


It turns out that it is not just Republicans who think the $1.9 trillion price tag on President Biden’s COVID relief package is too high, but also former director of the National Economic Council under Obama and Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. On Friday’s MSNBC Live host Katy Tur and Politico’s chief economic correspondent Ben White wondered how someone like Summers could take such a position while people are suffering.

Summers’ argument, made in a Washington Post op-ed, can be summarized by two points: it is wrong to compare the current situation to the recession in 2009 and that therefore it is not wise to spend nearly $2 trillion considering Biden also wants to spend massive amounts of money on everything from infrastructure to education. Summers’ criticisms led Tur to ask White to, “Talk to me now about the push back we’re seeing from this White House on somebody who was a big part of the economic strategy the last time Joe Biden was in office.”

 

 

White clearly didn’t agree with Summers on the 2009 vs. 2021 argument even going so far as to say he was shocked by it: “[H]e and others have acknowledged it wasn’t big enough, not even close. And that the recovery that followed was too slow, too uneven, and continued a lot of pain for a lot of people. So, I got to say, when I read that op-ed yesterday I was blown away by it given that.” 

He also argued that it is obvious that the 2009 stimulus was too small and that was the reason for the slow recovery: “Everybody is talking about lessons learned from ’08, ’09. The biggest lesson is you can’t go too big. You have to go shock and awe, particularly now, as Gene [Sperling] says, there are so many people suffering.” 

He then maintained that we need to “fight the pandemic with every dollar and cent that we possibly can. There’s only one thing that will make this economy crank again and that’s beating the virus. So, throw all the money you can at it, then help people suffering right now. “

Immediately after saying that it would be impossible to spend too much, White acknowledged Summers made some good points about the risk of inflation, but that it is still evident that the problem with Obama’s policies is that they weren’t left-wing enough, “but they fly in the face of our experience of ’08, ’09 and they’re somewhat shocking coming from someone whose made the counterargument over recent months.”

During the Trump era, the media portrayed Republicans disagreeing with Trump as putting the country before party. The Biden era is not even three weeks old and they are already lamenting the fact that not everyone has immediately gotten in line.

This segment was sponsored by Cadillac, contact them at the Conservatives Fight Back page linked.

Here is a transcript for the February 5 show:

MSNBC
MSNBC Live with Katy Tur

2:24 PM ET

KATY TUR: So, there’s also this, Larry Summers in the op-ed, Ben, does say he made the mistake of not going big enough back when the Obama Administration faced the massive recession and the housing crisis. Talk to me now about the push back we’re seeing from this White House on somebody who was a big part of the economic strategy the last time Joe Biden was in office. 

BEN WHITE: Yeah. Thank you for having me. Great to be on with Gene who was in the White House with Larry during that period where the stimulus wound up being 800 billion, and he and others have acknowledged it wasn’t big enough, not even close. And that the recovery that followed was too slow, too uneven, and continued a lot of pain for a lot of people. So, I got to say, when I read that op-ed yesterday I was blown away by it given that, as Gene said, Larry has moved away from that idea of fiscal restraint in the face of crisis and has been much more progressive in his willingness to use deficits and spend whatever it takes and everybody is talking about lessons learned from ’08, ’09. The biggest lesson is you can’t go too big. You have to go shock and awe, particularly now, as Gene says, there are so many people suffering. There’s such a need for expanded unemployment insurance. These $1,400 checks and to fight the pandemic with every dollar and cent that we possibly can. There’s only one thing that will make this economy crank again and that’s beating the virus. So, throw all the money you can at it, then help people suffering right now. So to have Larry say that — it’s not that he makes no decent points, there’s questions of does this crowd out other points of the agenda, is there inflation lurking out there somewhere. So they’re not ridiculous points to make, but they fly in the face of our  experience of ’08, ’09 and they’re somewhat shocking coming from someone whose made the counterargument over recent months.



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