Geithner praises ‘positive side’ of tea parties - POLITICO Live: Geithner praises ‘positive side’ of tea parties 
April 18, 2010
- Economy 
Geithner praises ‘positive side’ of tea parties 
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner praised the “positive side” of the tea party movement Sunday, suggesting the movement’s concern with deficits could align the group with the administration in the future.
Asked by NBC “Meet the Press” host David Gregory about the movement, Geithner said its concerns were informed by the expansion of spending under President Bush, and that the awareness now that there’s no way to pass an “enormous expansion of government without paying for it” is “an important change.”
From the advance transcript:
DAVID GREGORY: Finally, before I let you go, as I mentioned it was tax day. You also saw these tea party rallies around the country. And it seems that their biggest grievance, those who show up to these rallies, have to do with taxes, with government spending, with the size of the deficit. How serious do you take those concerns? How viable a political force do you consider—
TIMOTHY GEITHNER: Let—
DAVID GREGORY: --the Tea Party to be?
TIMOTHY GEITHNER: --let me-- let me do the positive side of this. Okay? We've-- just been through eight years where people said-- many people said, ‘Deficits don't matter. We can-- we can pass huge tax cuts, pass huge new programs without paying for them.’ That debate has changed fundamentally. Now you don't hear people say anymore, ‘Deficits don't matter.’ You don't hear people saying that we can pass enormously—enormous expansion of government without paying for it. That's an important change. I think all Americans understand that our deficits are unsustainable. And I think that'll be helpful as we move to try to make the hard choices to bring them down again.”