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Question dodge: Geithner asked if McConnell laughed out loud at Obama's proposal

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By Doug Powers  •  December 2, 2012 03:16 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Shorter answer: Yes:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So is there a stalemate, and did Mitch McConnell really laugh out loud when he heard your proposal?

TIM GEITHNER: I think we’re going to get there. I mean, just inevitably there’s going to be a little bit of political theater. Sometimes that’s a sign of progress. I think we’re making some progress, but we’re still some distance apart.

Geithner’s Sunday show circuit also included a stop at Fox News Sunday, where Chris Wallace pinned Turbo Tim down over his “war savings” accounting gimmicks (h/t GWP):

That’s in reference to the bookkeeping game Geithner and many others like to play:

Right now, the Congressional Budget Office assumes Congress will spend roughly what it’s spending now for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though the war in Iraq ends this month and all U.S. troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The CBO will count as “savings” up to $1 trillion in projected war-fighting costs that everyone knows will never be requested or spent.

In the rush to “pay for” the jargon and acronyms listed above, important policies all, Congress may be tempted to pay for real programs with phony money. The costs will be real. The savings will not.

And don’t forget the $250 billion in savings that could be realized by not going to war against Liechtenstein in 2018. If America’s ledger is still awash in red ink after that, look for Geithner to put World War II back on the books just so he can remove it and claim to have cut trillions from the deficit.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: Barack Obama, Health care, New York Times, Paul Krugman