Claude Cartaginese

Geithner Goes to China With His Beggar's Bowl

Posted on June 1 2009 12:57 pm
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who, as president of the Federal Reserve Bank, became so baffled by TurboTax that he neglected to pay thousands of dollars in personal income taxes, arrived Sunday in Beijing for two days of economic talks with Chinese leaders.

On his first visit to China as treasury secretary, Geithner said the Obama administration was committed to forging a new relationship with Beijing after trade disputes with the U.S. over the past decade. China is America’s biggest creditor, holding $768 billion in Treasury securities, and the U.S. needs China’s money more than ever to finance American budget deficits, which have soared to nearly $1.84 trillion this year — four times last year’s deficit.

The success of the tax-and-spend economic policies of the Obama administration are practically dependent upon the securing of additional funding from China. China now has so much leverage, that this trip will be remembered more for what Geithner doesn’t say than for what he does. One can be certain that on this trip the easily-offended Chinese will not be offended by any repeat of past criticisms levied against them for their environmental (they are the worlds largest polluter) or economic (i.e., their total disregard for the damage they are doing to the world economy by keeping their currency artificially undervalued) policies. But most of all, nothing will be said on this trip about the lack of human rights in China.

Whether by coincidence or by design, the Obama administration has chosen the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre to send Geithner on his China trip. The world recalls how, on the night between June 3rd and 4th twenty years ago, the “people’s liberation army” erupted onto the square in armoured tanks to “liberate” the square occupied by defenseless students and workers. According to the Red Cross and Amnesty International, more than 2,600 people were killed that night in the Square and in the surrounding streets. At least 20,000 others were arrested in the following days, putting an end to the “dream of democracy” in China. With regard to personal freedoms, not much has changed in 20 years. Of course, none of this can be mentioned now.

We must go humbly and meekly to China, lest its leaders refuse to lend us any more money.

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