Political Animal


August 29, 2011 9:35 AM Krueger to replace Goolsbee in White House

By Steve Benen

This strikes me as encouraging.

President Obama will nominate Alan Krueger, a Princeton University labor economist to be his top economic adviser, a White House official said Monday.

Mr. Krueger, 50 years old, would succeed Austan Goolsbee as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Mr. Goolsbee is leaving the White House to return to the University of Chicago.

With the economic recovery flagging, the White House was eager to name a successor to Mr. Goolsbee.

As the Wall Street Journal noted, Krueger’s scholarship suggests he will “likely provide a voice inside the administration for more-aggressive government action to bring down unemployment and, particularly, to address long-term joblessness.”

If his name sounds familiar, it’s because Krueger’s academic work has frequently played a valuable role in the political discourse. When congressional Republicans blatantly lied about the costs of a cap-and-trade plan, it was Krueger who set the record straight. When conservatives said in 2009 that slashing the minimum wage would boost the economy, Krueger explained why the opposite is true.

The economist also brings relevant experience to the table.

While at Treasury, Mr. Krueger worked on analyses of a variety of programs, including tax incentives to encourage employers to hire the employed, the “cash for clunkers” initiative to jump-start auto purchases and Build America taxable municipal bonds.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, through a spokeswoman, said that “given his expertise in labor economics, he is precisely the right choice to lead the CEA at this moment in history.”

Martin Feldstein, who was CEA chairman in the Reagan White House, praised the choice. “His experience at the Treasury will give him a running start in his new job,” he said. “Alan is an expert in labor-market problems, taxation and the economics of terrorism. I hope the president listens to him.”

It’s worth noting that the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers is a post that requires Senate confirmation, which suggests Krueger might be able to get to work sometime around 2018.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


Post a comment
  • c u n d gulag on August 29, 2011 9:41 AM:

    Maybe THIS confirmation battle will be the one where Obama FINALLY raises a stink about the Republicans not moving to approve nominees.

    There are positions open, particulary in Justice, for ALMOST 3 F'in YEARS!!!

    This is no way to run a country...

  • Danny on August 29, 2011 9:43 AM:

    Cue Emobagger spin of why this proves that Obama is a TRAITOR and/or WEAK in 3... 2... 1...

    Oh, c u n d gulag out ahead of me, damn.

  • FRP on August 29, 2011 9:47 AM:

    Please post all complaints on November fourth at your local complaint box . Complaints will be taken from sunrise ish to sunset or there abouts . Complaints require two positive picture ID's , one from the Registry .
    Please be prepared to be culled if you vary from 2.5 children , church on Sunday , two cars , etc .
    Culling may vary in your district , please check with your Kommissar as to the rigidity of party diktats in your area .
    Thank you

  • DAY on August 29, 2011 9:51 AM:

    oh, noooo- not another pointy headed ivy league professor!
    What the post desperately needs in a born again evangelical preacher with a direct line to the Big Economist in the Sky!

  • Bob M on August 29, 2011 10:03 AM:

    I hope he keeps saying, "It is time for an honest debate..."

  • delNorte on August 29, 2011 10:04 AM:

    It's worth noting that the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers is a post that requires Senate confirmation, which suggests Krueger might be able to get to work sometime around 2018.

    So why can't he just attend meetings as the "Pending Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers" - since his role is an adviser, he can still give advice, and the President can still listen to it, even if the Senate stonewalls his nomination.

  • Alli on August 29, 2011 10:14 AM:

    @aundgulag: the public doesn't give two bits about nominees. Whether its on the bench or in the administration. The public does not and will not care so I don't know why anyone is demanding that he raise a stink. you guys still under the impression that Republicans can be shamed? on this?

  • Grumpy on August 29, 2011 10:30 AM:

    Remind me why the president's economic adviser is subject to Senate confirmation in the first place.

  • Zach W. on August 29, 2011 10:35 AM:

    I think it's high time to severely curtail the amount of positions that require Senate confirmation. It's absurd to have advisory positions like this one subject to the whims of irrationally intransigent, megalomaniac senators. Aside from Judicial nominations, and cabinet posts, confirmation processes are giant wastes of time. I would feel the same under Republican administrations.

    Additionally, there needs to be some incentive to move nominations forward in the senate. Say, the relevant committee must hold a hearing and a vote within 3 months of the nomination or else the position is automatically filled by the nominee for 1 year (similar to recess appointments) and then the process can start over. If the nominee is not qualified in the view of the senators, then they can vote against the nomination. Endless stonewalling and filibustering doesn't do anyone any good.

  • Zorro on August 29, 2011 10:43 AM:

    For a second, I misread this as "Krugman to replace Goolsbee..."


  • Steve on August 29, 2011 4:31 PM:

    This strikes me as discouraging!

    The last thing we need is an Ivy League professer who is a teacher not a doer! He already spent time in the failed administration's hand on the economy. More talk about what a broke, incompetent government can do instead of choosing a fireball from within the business world. Democrats refuse to understand that we cannot fix everything at once. American business has made mistakes, been greedy et al, but right now we need to have the private sector get gungho and let loose American ingenuity and capitilasm to reinvent our ecnomony. Airplane pilots need to analyze a radar problem, but not when the engines are flaming out. Immediate priority must take precedence, else there is no need for the rest!

  • Doug on August 29, 2011 9:31 PM:

    Steve @ 4:31 PM -

    The last thing WE need is someone unable to write coherent sentences to express their(?) thoughts. Spelling sucks, too.