Last Friday's announcement that Austan Gooslbee will lead the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors was to be expected. It’s undisputed that Goolsbee is an extremely bright person, and apparently very charismatic. Heck, even the New York Times says he has a “free market bent,” so that’s good, right? (Although let’s be honest – pretty much everyone on the planet has a more “free market bent” than the Times.) And the Heritage Foundation points out that Goolsbee does endorse free trade policies – so in that respect, he shows more common sense than the Congressional Democrats.
Unfortunately, however, it’s not all good news. Goolsbee opposes extending the 2001/ 2003 tax cuts on top brackets – which would hit small businesses particularly hard, further hurting the economy. And he’s been an ardent defender of the stimulus plan, asserting that 3 million jobs would have been lost without the government’s intervention – a claim that Americans find hard to swallow.
Bear in mind, it’s not like Goolsbee can be easily separated from the Administration’s failed policies to date (you know, the ones that have given us that 9.6% unemployment rate and contributed to the $1.4 trillion deficit.) After all, he’s been on President Obama’s economic team from the very beginning – and was, in fact, one of his early advisors on the campaign trail.
The World Economic Forum recently announced that that the United States dropped from second to fourth place in terms of global competitiveness. It’s obvious that the policies enacted over the past year under the stewardship of the President – and this economic team that Goolsbee has been a part of – are sending the country in the wrong direction.
Hopefully in the face of such persistent failure, the new head of the Council of Economic Advisors will decide to change course and actually consider tried-and-true policies to stimulate economic growth – restraining spending, lower tax rates across the board, and allowing Americans to keep more of their money to invest and spend as they see fit. But don’t hold your breath.