The Wall Street Journal's Distorted Preemptive Strike Against Lew's Potential Treasury Nomination
Blog ››› ››› REMINGTON SHEPARD
The Wall Street Journal discounted and distorted potential Treasury secretary nominee Jack Lew's record, ignoring the economic success he helped foster, in order to claim that Lew is unqualified to be Treasury secretary.
A Journal editorial claimed that Lew did not possess "credibility in the business or financial worlds" and will not make the administration "hospitable to business and private economic growth."
The Journal acknowledged that Lew has twice served as the director of the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), once under President Clinton and once under President Obama, but discounted that experience. However, as OMB director, Lew was responsible for overseeing the administration's budget proposals and ensuring that the economic impact of any proposed federal regulations was properly assessed. And during Lew's first tenure in that job the federal government saw budget surpluses totaling over $300 billion.
Furthermore, during his time with the Obama administration as OMB director and chief of staff, Lew was part of the team that helped pull the United States out of recession and facilitated steady economic growth.
The Journal also claimed that when he was in the Clinton administration, Lew "was viewed by Republicans as a reasonable liberal they could do business with" but as an Obama administration official, Lew "has been the President's most partisan and implacable negotiator." But this assessment may reflect how the Republican Party has changed rather than any change by Lew.
Experts contend that it is Republican legislators who have dramatically increased the partisanship in Washington. Congressional experts Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in a Washington Post op-ed and related report concluded that "the Republicans are the problem" when it comes to gridlock and extremism in Washington.