Geithner: ‘How Well You Do in Life ... Depends Too Much on the Color of Your Skin’

Melanie Arter | May 19, 2014 | 11:44am EDT
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Then Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, file)

( – Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday said how well one does in life “depends too much on the color of your skin and how rich your parent is.”

“How well you do in life today, how good your education is, how good your health care is, depends too much on the color of your skin and how rich your parent is. And that's something that should worry all Americans,” said Geithner. “Now, those are things government can do things about.

Geithner was promoting his book, “Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises,” which went on sale last week.

Host Bob Schieffer asked him what he would say to people like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who say “our whole system is rigged to help the big banks and the rich people, and that, in her view, is why the middle class is suffering.”

“I think this country has a lot of challenges still. We're in a much better position than they were before this crisis, certainly in the early stage of the crisis. But we have a lot of challenges as a country. We have tremendously high numbers of people living in poverty. We've had a long period where the median income has not grown, big rise in inequality. And, to an extent, this should not be acceptable Americans,” Geithner said.

“We need to find a way as a country to rediscover what has been the great strength of this political system, which is the ability to find pragmatic consensus, room for compromise, on things that can make people's lives better. I think we'll rediscover that capacity. But we've seem to have lost it for the moment,” Geithner added.

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