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Sunday Study Guide: Geithner, Corker, McCaskill, Roundtable

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

  • Timothy Geithner has served as secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury since 2009. He has also served as the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before he took on his current cabinet position. Geithner first joined the Department of Treasury in 1988 and in the department has served under three administrations in various roles.
  • Geithner, who plans to step down in President Obama’s second term, is leading the fiscal cliff negotiations with Congress on behalf of the White House, which he has said “is a solvable problem.” Geithner has also said of the White House’s proposal, "I think when people look at this and look at it carefully, they'll come to the judgment we reached," which includes a mix of rates and deductions.
  • Secretary Geithner met with Congressional Republicans this week to discuss the president’s proposal, including $1.6 trillion in new revenue from letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest earners, raising rates on dividends and capital gains, and overhauling the tax code and $25 billion more in stimulus spending. Geithner also proposed Congress give the president more authority over raising the debt ceiling.
  • Watch Geithner’s most recent appearance on Meet the Press.


Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)

  • Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) was re-elected to a second term in the U.S. Senate this month. He is a member of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and is the ranking member of the Special Committee on Aging. Corker previously served as the mayor of Chattanooga and as Tennessee’s commissioner of finance and administration.
  • Sen. Corker recently wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post about his own plan to avoid the fiscal cliff which includes capping federal deductions at $50,000 and comprehensive Medicare reform. He wrote, “Kicking the can down the road — setting up a process for token deficit reduction today with the promise of more reforms later — is misguided and irresponsible and shows a total lack of courage. […] Instead of debating a process to employ during future negotiations, let’s choose from the options before us, which are more plentiful and less draconian than they will be down the road.”
  • On Libya and the controversy surrounding UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Corker said, “I’m really disgusted with everything from the intelligence to the security to the FBI […] this whole thing really should not be where it is today.” He also said, there were legitimate concerns over Rice’s comments and she sometimes appears to be “more of a political operative than somebody who is the secretary of state, we hold to a very different standard.” However, “I’m not disqualifying her […] if she is nominated, I am going to give her a full hearing.”


Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)

  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who became the first woman to be elected a senator from Missouri in 2006, also won re-election this month. McCaskill sits on the Armed Services Committee, Commerce Committee, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Aging Committee. She has previously served as state auditor, Jackson County prosecutor, and in the state legislature. 
  • Sen. McCaskill held a news conference this week asserting any deficit deal needs to include spending cuts, tax increases and entitlement reform, and everything else, except increasing the retirement age for Social Security, is negotiable. She said, “I want to remain open so we can find this compromise." But on the issue of the Bush tax cuts, she said, “Republicans need to understand that these tax cuts are going to go away at the end of the year if they don`t get reasonable.”
  • McCaskill’s run for re-election was a widely publicized one after her opponent, Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment. McCaskill has said this is indicative of wider issue: “I think the Republican Party has a real problem with women [...] it`s the same problem they had, frankly, with a very extreme position that Congressman Akin expressed.”
  • Here is her latest appearance on the show.


Roundtable: Norquist, Van Hollen, Cramer, Bartiromo

  • Grover Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform, a group that opposes higher taxes at all levels of government. The ATR asks all candidates running for office to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to oppose all tax increases. The tax pledge has been in the news recently because a number of signatories have backed away from the pledge with the possibility of deficit deal, which the White House insists includes higher taxes. Norquist said, “We have a spending problem, not a failure to raise taxes problem.” Here is his most recent Meet the Press appearance.
  • Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) was re-elected to his sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Van Hollen is the ranking member on the House Budget Committee, a position he will retain in the next Congress. He said Republicans are wrong that Democrats are not proposing enough spending cuts to match their revenue concessions. “If you look at the president’s budget it takes exactly that balanced approach that people are calling for,” he said. Watch Rep. Van Hollen’s latest appearance on the show.
  • Jim Cramer is the host of CNBC’s Mad Money. On his last Meet the Press appearance, “CEOs have, in many ways, more to lose than everybody,” which is why he foresees them allying with the White House. “The CEOs need [President Obama] because their businesses are going to go down, their stocks are going to go down.”
  • Maria Bartiromo is the host of CNBC’s Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo and the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo. In her “Maria’s Observation” this week, looking at how America is viewed in the rest of the world, she said, “Our politicians have made it so a socialist government in France is looking to mimic us and a communist government in China is essentially mocking us. If this isn’t a wakeup call, I don’t know what is.” She is also the author of “The 10 Laws of Enduring Success.” Watch her most recent appearance.


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