Timothy Geithner: Obama will look at changing tax code next year
At a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters Thursday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner gave praise for Elizabeth Warren and discussed Obama administration plans for the estate tax and housing reform.
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“We are going to begin the process of public outreach and consultation on the Hill quite soon,” said Geithner.Skip to next paragraph
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Geithner said he found it “inconceivable” that the Republicans could repeal the financial reform bill if they retake the House of Representatives in the fall. Minority leader John Boehner has called for such an effort.
“The reason this bill became law was because Republicans decided they could not block it, that it was untenable for them to block it because they did not want to be in the position of saying that they looked at a system which produced this level of disaster for the American economy, with a system that did not work, did not serve the interests of corporate America, of businesses across the country they did not want to leave them in the position of blocking change,” said Geithner.
Immediately after the formal meeting, Geithner also signaled the Administration might be willing to try to get Congress to help states and cities facing large budget gaps. “What the states need is more direct aid,” he said. But he noted the municipal bond markets are much healthier now, allowing states to borrow relatively easily.
On Wednesday, Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, roiled the financial markets after he said the economy faced “unusually uncertain” prospects. However, Geithner, saying he and Bernanke were on the same page about the economy, said he thought it was still suffering from the financial crisis.
“We are still living with scars caused by the crisis, not just what you see in higher rates of unemployment, not just what you see in the trauma in the housing market but you see it in confidence from businesses and consumers across the country,” said Geithner.
On a different topic, the Treasury chief said he had not heard of any plans to seize assets of BP, which has now shelled out over $4 billion for Gulf coast oil spill recovery and cleanup efforts. “I have not been exposed to any concern in that direction,” he said.
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