You say ‘toxic,’ he says ‘legacy’

YOU SAY ‘TOXIC,’ HE SAYS ‘LEGACY’…. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed this morning, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner offers some analysis on his response to the banking crisis. He takes care to avoid the “t” word.

Today, we are announcing another critical piece of our plan to increase the flow of credit and expand liquidity. Our new Public-Private Investment Program will set up funds to provide a market for the legacy loans and securities that currently burden the financial system.

And what are “legacy loans and securities”? They’re toxic assets, with a more pleasant sounding name.

As Jake Tapper asks, “Note that, branding experts?”

Likewise, the Treasury Department unveiled a new fact sheet on the new proposal, which uses the word “legacy” 40 times.

There are only so many ways to spin “toxic.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.