President Barack Obama nominated his chief of staff for the critical post of secretary of the treasury as the nation heads into yet another debt crisis.
Jack Lew has already been slammed by the GOP leaders — especially Sen. Jeff Sessions, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate budget committee — for trying to hide the nation’s debt while working as Obama’s budget chief, and for his role in the disastrous, government-created, real-estate bubble.
“Jack Lew must never be secretary of treasury,” Sessions said in a statement on Wednesday.
But Obama and outgoing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner extensively praised Lew during a brief Jan. 10 announcement in the White House.
“I trust his judgement, I value his friendship … I hope the Senate will confirm him as quickly as possible,” Obama said.
“He’s committed to defending the safety net for the elderly and poor,” Geithner added.
Lew, as Obama’s budget chief, and then his chief of staff, pushed spending plans that will rocket the nation’s debt up to $20 trillion by 2017. That policy will double the national debt to roughly $125,000 per working-age American.
During the same period from 2009 to 2013, unemployment has remained high, productivity has stalled, wages have remained flat, and millions of Americans have dropped out of the labor force.
In recent months, Republicans have tried to curb the debt, but their budget proposals have been rebuffed by Obama and his deputies, including Lew.
The GOP has also charged Lew with exploiting the real-estate bubble while working as a top manager at Citigroup from 2006 to 2009.
Citigroup is a banking conglomerate that has close ties to the Democratic Party.
Citigroup profited from the federal government’s housing regulations as the real-estate bubble inflated after 1996, and was aided by a federal bailout in 2008 and 2009.
At Citigroup, Lew ran an office that tried to make money by betting that people could not pay the mortgages they received because of federal regulations established when Lew worked in President Bill Clinton’s White House.
Lew got a $900,000 bonus from Citigroup shortly before he quit in 2009 to join the Obama administration. “Lew profited from the subprime crash and took a bonus after taxpayers bailed out the company,” read a statement from the Republican National Committee.
Prior to the Obama administration, Lew served as director of the Office of Management and Budget for Clinton, whose spending plans were curbed by a GOP majority in the Congress.