Guest Post: The Treasury Department Endorses Lying To The Public

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Damien Hoffman of Wall St. Cheat Sheet

If you or anyone you know still believes the government (or the media) tell us only the truth, please pass them this direct admission that lying is a primary strategic device for so-called “authority figures”:

[T]he Treasury Department said that any review of [patently misleading and false] announcements last year “must be considered in light of the unprecedented circumstances in which they were made.

Translation: when our elected representatives and their appointed officials believe we need to be manipulated, they rationalize their lies based on whether they think we need them at the time.

I am not naive. I firmly believe we have a problem with ignorance and sheeple in our country. However, the only way to fix the problem is to distribute more accurate information — not the opposite. Further, for those of us who work hard to stay educated, we expect to be treated like adults!

In this specific case, the Treasury Department’s lies (via Hank Paulson) encouraged people to hold their investments. Therefore, if you listened to Paulson et al, you literally lost your hard earned money and life savings. Last time I checked, citizens should not expect to get fiscally hosed by their Treasury Secretary.

To be fair, this is not only a Wall Street and Washington problem. Seemingly, most public discourse these days centers around complete lies, myths, and other rhetorical strategies aiming to put insular interests ahead of what’s best for the nation. It’s time to demand at least our public stewards accurately explain the true state of affairs so we can make informed decisions.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

"However, the only way to fix the problem is to distribute more accurate information"


Actually, the only way to really fix the problem is our good old friend gravity.

ZerOhead's picture

Say what you want about Hank But I have to admire his inate sense of timing.

Who else could have left GS divestment banking at the height of the bubble with $600 MM from selling the crap the company itself eventually made billions on "shorting". (AIG)

Then ends up as a principal architect of the industry bailout. Wow... that's just plain lucky.

A true American patriot. He shall no doubt be remembered as such.

snorkeler's picture

Only a master of evil Darth.

bonddude's picture

It's because he's a Christian "Scientist."

One smahhhht coookie.

Anonymous's picture

The Fed is going to steal money from the savers by devaluing the dollar. Alternatively, the treasury will do something like the following.

TumblingDice's picture

If you believe a word Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson or Turbo Timmy say, you are a fucking idiot.

deadhead's picture


sometimes the most succinct posts are the best of the day.  this one gets my pick.

ZerOhead's picture

Ha ha ha... even idiots don't believe these clowns.

Anonymous's picture

Well said. I would add: if you even bother listening to the media you need to be institutionalized.

Sqworl's picture

Be that as it may, those f**cking idiots do as they please with our money!

koaj's picture

isnt Bones on tonight? who cares about this fed stuff

Anonymous's picture

Where is the original quotation? The link to the Wall Street Cheat Seat does not provide a link to the original source. The use of brackets without citation to the original sources casts doubt on the way the quotation is presented.

SWRichmond's picture

we expect to be treated like adults!

May I restate?  I refuse to be treated like a child by my servants, and if anyone is going to treat anyone like a child, I will treat my servants like children.

deadhead's picture

btw rahm....don't try to blame this shit on Bush (yes, he was responsible as well, we already know that).  all of your guys are doing the same crap now.  bunch of phucking liars and your base knows it.  I cannot wait to vote against the freshman Dem from my district when he runs again in the midterms.

while i'm at it, I see your girlfriend Nancy Pelosi is on board with discussing a VAT....gee, that type of regressive tax certainly isn't a new tax on the middle class is it.


Ruth's picture

...under a polygraph

ZerOhead's picture

Personally I was thinking waterboarding. Our team needs pratice for the 2012 Olympics.

Hephasteus's picture

Sociopaths can pass polygraphs.

Bob Dobbs's picture

So can many people who are raised in places where lying is the norm: For example, the former USSR and its vassal states.  Many people, at that time, had to lie just to get by on a daily basis.  When that became the paradigm, the truth (formerly valued in the West) became the exception rather than the rule.  Those merry Socialists!

Circumspice's picture

Last time I checked, citizens should not expect to get fiscally hosed by their [government figure].

Wut? Sure they should. Citizens should be outraged, and I'm all for piling on with accusations of officials abusing the public's trust. But, as with all matters where your representative's incentive structure isn't tightly aligned with your goals -- like much of politics and finance -- expectations are dangerous.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Seemingly, most public discourse these days centers around complete lies, myths, and other rhetorical strategies aiming to put insular interests ahead of what’s best for the nation."

Business as usual in Washington DC. It's only a lie when they say it's a lie. Otherwise it's an "incorrect statement" or the public was "misled" because they made "misleading public statements" so government officials "need to be more careful when describing their actions and rationale." All these terms came from the NY Times article.

I'm sorry but that's a load of crap. I need to be more careful when I'm walking on ice because I slipped and fell last time. Being careful has nothing to do with lying. You either lie or you don't lie. What the Treasury spokesperson was really saying is that they should be more careful lying next time so as not to get caught lying.

Half the problem here is that our fully owned and controlled corporate mass media won't call a lie a lie when it's coming from politicians or public officials or corporate leaders. In the NY Times article all those politically correct terms were used instead of saying the word "lie."

The other half of the problem is that we (as in We The People) continue to accept these lies as business as usual, nothing special, same ole same old. If we don't hold the liars accountable for their actions, we will only get more lies. To think otherwise is simply wishful thinking.

Of course, if we hold our leaders accountable, we might just have to hold ourselves accountable as well. And that won't do, will it. I hold out little hope for a reduction in public and private lying simply because the Treasury promises to be more careful in the future.

But that's just me. I'll be more careful next time.

Anonymous's picture

"Of course, if we hold our leaders accountable, we might just have to hold ourselves accountable as well. And that won't do, will it."

thank you for getting to the heart of everything discussed here...a heart that's rotting so very closely to the core.

Miles Kendig's picture

CD - Notice that this is the best that could be come up with? I would have hoped that folks with that level of intelligence(?) and education (HBS anyone) would do better. Standards and equivalence rears its head once more.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I assume you're talking about the Treasury dept? Ya just can't get good public spokespersons these days. Back when I was knee high to a grass hopper, anyone with a college education could lie with the best of them. And not get caught.

Project Mayhem's picture

My avatar lied.  Damn you Hank!

Commander Cody's picture

Truth.  You want the truth?  You can't handle the truth.

Miles Kendig's picture

See Leo Strauss for the definition of what leaders are supposed to do with "truths" and "facts". It is noteworthy that both political parties in the US have adopted his political philosophy.

Takingbets's picture

I tossed this guy 50 bucks for grilling the FED's attorney like he did. Although I wish he would have been more precise in his questioning, I'm glad he had the balls to at least ask questions in public. Here is the automated response I recieved for my contribution. It looks like I wasent the only one who appreciates his efforts.


Thank you, Central Florida. Thank you, America. We asked for your help, and you answered. A few days ago, we asked you to make a contribution to Alan's re-election campaign. Thousands and thousands of you did just that. You knew that Alan was under attack, and you rose up to defend him.

 As a result, Alan's reelection campaign has over $500,000 in the bank. Not lobbyist money. Not influence-peddling money. Your money. Alan owes nothing to anyone but you.

That puts us one-quarter of the way where we need to be. It will be a $2 million race next year, just like it was last year. But we've made real progress toward making sure that a Congressman with guts stays in Congress. If you'd like to help make more progress, then click that button below. Every dollar counts. And Alan says thanks. He knows we've got his back.
Anonymous's picture

Yeah Grayson had me on those comments. Then the next day the idiot does a full on presentation on the House floor with posters saying "Republicans want you to die".
Conclusion, the guy has figured out that the more outlandish things he trys saying the more money he gets for his campaign.
The last thing this country needs is people like him that are just in it for Washington power. He is just as bad as the Goldman guys running our government.
I am going to keep looking for representatives that represent a real change from the Washington-centered dominance.

Anonymous's picture

maybe he's just sick of scumbags, too!

waterdog's picture

One of the best ways to limit this type of lying is to have penalties for this type of behavior. There does not seem to be a clear penalty applied to Paulson's lies. He states lying is for our own good. This is the same type of excuse given by the guy who holds up a bank to feed his family- it was for their own good. The bank robber gets 15 years- for his own good. We can thank Paulson for thinking about us while he lied to us, but he needs to get 3 years for what he did.

I remember when I was a kid and lied to my parents. I had a good reason most of the time. My old man beat my butt with a belt anyway. Eventually I learned there was not a good reason to lie.

Anonymous's picture

So when BB and HP claimed that financial companies are safe and sound,could they have known any different?and if so,would that open up possiblities of class action lawsuit against the FED?how about against them personally?I mean HP has about 600 mil,that could be a nice partial payment toward losses by investors in Lehman or Bear for example. If we add to that Jim cramer's,Dick Bove, Feld,Swartz,BB, and whoever claimed that everything is rosy,then we just might be able to recover the losses for all poor people who believed those LARGER THAN LIFE (I love that word) crooks.Now that would be justice. And a good message to BF and JD,since it tells them that you could be next....

Anonymous's picture

Are these really unrelated statements:

Don't Snitch!

I do not recollect.

It's all about the Benjamin's.

"I pledge allegiance, to the flag"

Get rich, or die trying.

You can't handle the truth!

Boy clubbed to death in the middle of the day in Chicago.

Respect my authoriti, we'll produce the most revenue, bring the Olympics to Chicago.

What's true of corporations is true of society at large. Leaders set the bar, create the climate, establish the boundaries... look at the trickle down effect.

Moe Speeks's picture

The people in this country deserve everything they get due to the fact that they are just as greedy as the scum who runs this country and this economy. They want what those other people have so they are easily led to slaughter.

I have no pity for any fool who believes anything The United States Government says.

ToNYC's picture

1776 was a good year, so was 1789..Jefferson, Madison, OK ...lately HP and TG just don't measure up. TV didn't help keep the focus, but still works.

The problem with greed is that the more they sacrifice their souls to get it, the more worth less it becomes, since soul is what it's all about but they forgot.

Anonymous's picture

Gov. + Private Enterprise = Bullshit (NYSE: FNM, FRE, GS, etc)
PS. What keeps people honest is honest competition.

Anonymous's picture

There is no honest competition.
Ideally, yes, but in practice, impossible.

What does that mean in practice? While the guy on top is protecting his position, the underdog whines about protectionism. But should that underdog succeed in getting fair competition and win that competition, he'll only want to protect his (now better) position.

It's only human nature.

Same as corruption by power.
That's why, ultimately, although Democracy sounds like a good idea, it's a danger to the people.
If we could trust our elected reps, then Democracy would be ideal. But we can't. They're only people.
Unless we force those reps to be accountable for their actions and promises, then we are the ones to blame if they then abuse the power we have willingly given them.

That's what voter participation really should mean.
The power for the people to prosecute their elected reps should they break the law.

How can you achieve that?
You need two things, I believe.

1. Scrap the idea of a state or government as a being the same thing as the people. How can we prosecute ourselves?

I suggest instead a private company who is responsible to it's owners, the people. Everyone (adult?) has an equal, single share in the company, and an equal, single vote.

The company's business is doing what the people vote for.
Which brings me to....

2. Don't vote for people, vote for projects.
Politicians would cease to exist. Instead, there would be company employees whose job it is to execute, accountably, within budget, the projects voted for by the owners/people.

These two things combined would, maybe, solve some of these issues, if implemented correctly, i.e. full accountability, performance monitoring, performance related (to the efficiency and efficacy of the mission) pay.

There would be no special protection in law for politicians, as they wouldn't be politicians any more, just the part of the people employed in execution of the projects approved of by the people.

Finally, what do y'all think of these ideas? And is there a place more appropriate to discussion of them?

Anonymous's picture

Your advocating more Democracy, which, from the looks of the situation we find ourselves in now, is the problem. Democracy = Majority Rule. The Majority is almost never right. The Majority are not paying enough attention to intelligently make decision on what "projects" are good for the country and which are not.

Remember that the founders of this country were a minority of brave men which wanted all to be free (atleast in theory).

The system is not broken, it's been perverted and manipulated but its not broken. WE are the country..WE are the problem, maybe not me and you and ZH readers, but we as citizens are not holding up our end of the bargain.

As it stands now, we are supposed to have a Representative Republic, NOT a Democracy, the founds new a true Democracy would not work and we are seeing why. Entrenched powers cosntantly re-elect entreched politicians which become more powerful and more entreched and harder to remove. They jerrymander their districts to ensure that they get relected over and over. The ensure that their district represents THEM not the other way around.

We have to stop sending the same idiots back to Congress every two years.

Fritz's picture

They lied?

I'm stunned.

Anonymous's picture

i'll donate to your congressional campaign tyler; you let us know when you run.

Anonymous's picture

This gets to the heart of the matter. The more they try and manipulate the more they are pissing off the intelligent rebels in society. This is really going to lead to problems down the road, hubris however is very likely to not recognise this simple expect problems down the road.

ArkansasAngie's picture

I've looked across the internet and ... AND ... there is not a single "comment" from any elected official on this report.  Not a Republican.  Not a Democrat.

Gee ... seems like they don't want to be on record.  Could that be that they don't want to comment because they knew about it already? 

I suggest you write your Congressional representatives and ask that they take a stand on this issue.

Remember: Vote -- it's the preferred method of throwing the bums out.


Anonymous's picture

But I can still trust Tingles, Dobermann, and Her Perkiness, right?

Anonymous's picture

I believe the Enron boys were jailed for the same thing!

Whatta's picture
"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is afraid of its people."

John F. Kennedy, 1962


Oh for the days of the more Noble and Competent Liar to be our Leader