iconBill “I shaved my beard for this” Richardson is withdrawing from Commerce Secretary bid.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state.

“Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact,” he said Sunday in a report by NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell. “But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.”

So who shall Obama tap next?


12 Responses to One more seat to fill in Obama’s cabinet.

  1. TBS says:

    The thing that kills me is that no matter how much you make, they always take out taxes. Sure, it gets refunded to you every April, but even working as a burger flipper part time, you still get taxes taken out of your paycheck!

  2. odinseye2k says:

    Yeah, I heard about the “welfare” cuts as well.

    Of course, the fact that someone doesn’t pay income tax doesn’t mean they don’t have payroll, sales, or other taxes.

    I think Obama should draft a bomb-thrower (perhaps a super-safe Congressman like Waxman, Lewis, or Wexler) to force the Republicans to admit that the only tax cuts they consider legitimate are those that go to the very wealthiest, like capital gains and / or estate tax.

    It is also interesting to hear the economic rhetoric – these guys really do believe that the economy begins and ends at capital, and that labor is an inconvenience at best.

  3. Zaid says:

    Greg Palast of the BBC calls Richardson a “Kissinger-American”



  4. odinseye2k says:

    Zaid, I think your chart is showing where Obama’s cuts will go.

    Look closely at the difference between “refundable” and “non-refundable” tax breaks. The first goes more to the lower classes, which have little to no tax burden already, and the second more to the higher classes.

    Also, I think when Obama is talking “business” tax cut, there are plans to target that to businesses (especially small ones) that are already in trouble or wish to buck the trend and expand some. He’s buying paychecks now so he won’t have to make them later. The upside may not be as great as with infrastructure, but it does help control the downside as well.

    That said, I’d like to see a lot of infrastructure spending. We’ve neglected it for so long, and it benefits everyone.

  5. Zaid says:

    Here’s a chart by Mark Zandi (a Republican) from Economy.com to show you exactly what stimulates what:


    It’s dollars per amount of stimulus generated. As you can see, foodstamps and unemployment benefits actually create the most bang for the buck, infrastructure spending is third, aid to states is fourth, a payroll tax holiday comes in fifth, and all other tax rebates follow in level of stimulus they create. Corporate tax cut, which seems to be abundant in the new package being proposed by President Obama, ranks third to last, creating only .30 on the dollar stimulus (making it actually not worth it).

    How about a logic game on this? Why from the chart I posted do the food stamps and unemployment benefits create the largest stimulus per dollar spent? Because the money goes to working-class people, who spend almost all of it to survive. It’s 85-90% spent, maybe, going straight into the economy. Giving a gigantic tax break to a rich person means he dumps it into an offshore tax haven that boosts the economy of China. Obama is talking major tax cuts for people he didn’t say he was cutting taxes for while he campaigned.

  6. Zaid says:

    Case in point: 40% of Barack Obama’s proposed stimulus package will be in 300 billion dollars in tax cuts, the larger single package of tax cuts than anything Bush handed out, according to the Wall Street Journal.(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123111279694652423.html).

    The cuts are based on the last cut stimulus package which, “Economists of all political stripes widely agree the checks sent out last spring were ineffective in stemming the economic slide” notes the Journal.

    So why exactly is he doing this?

    I think it’s because he’s going along with Washington Consensus circa past 35 years which is, Tax Cuts Solve Everything, Or At Least They Make Campaign Contributors Happy.

    That strategy I think will join Everything Israel Does Is OK, Palestinian Life Doesn’t Matter and Hey, Private Insurance Has A Very Serious Role in Healthcare.

  7. Zaid says:

    Barack Obama, I think it can be fair to say, is not someone who is particularly outspoken, I think his style is on consensus. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, but given Washington’s consensus it usually reaches, I’m leaning towards we’re in for a rough patch for some time now.

  8. Drew says:

    Remember when Barack Obama declined to visit Georgia on behalf of Jim Martin because he didn’t want to waste his political capital on a probable loser?

    In view of the Warren drama, the Blago scandal, and this, that calculation seems a bit silly. He should have spent it when he had most of it.

  9. BTW: I officially announced that I would like to be considered for this position.

    I’d even do it as a “placeholder” for the real Bill dog.

  10. odinseye2k says:

    If any of the ties come back to haunt the people building the spaceport down there, I’m gonna be mighty pissed.

    The voters already shot down a bond issue on construction for it down there, but I can at least see the logic. The Spaceport people didn’t make a strong enough case that it would eventually be something besides the loading area for a millionaire roller coaster.

  11. Zaid says:

    That’s the second one that’s withdrawn his name facing activist fire. I have to tip my hat to public watchdogs.

    “So who shall Obama tap next?”

    Bow chicka bow wow.

  12. David says:

    I say Roland Burris just to stick it to Gov. Blago