Obama Economic Policy

And Then There Was One - Obama's Top Economic Adviser Goolsbee to Step Down

Austan Goolsbee, Obama's top economic adviser will step down. Couldn't have anything to do with that dismal jobs report now could it?

This leaves only Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner as the last remaining original Obama appointee. Of course G.E. is still there, although the offshore outsourcer left along with Larry Summers.

Larry Summers, former director of the White House National Economic Council, stepped down at the end of last year to return to his teaching job at Harvard University.

Christina Romer, his predecessor as CEA chair, left last August, also to return to academia, and Peter Orszag resigned as White House budget director last July.

While Goolsbee was better than others, unfortunately he stayed in denial on the trade deficit. He also denied the jobs crisis to the point of proclaiming this month as a bump in the road to recovery. Literally the BLS commissioner had to correct him as well as others echoing such feel good don't worry sentiment, indirectly. Sorry folks, the BLS says the pathetic jobs data is not due to weather. The jobs crisis is clearly not a blip, not a bump in the road.

Obama to Propose $50 Billion in Insfrastructure Spending

President Obama is proposing a $50 Billion Infrastructure Plan:

Part of the plan being released today calls for the funding of a permanent infrastructure bank that would invest in projects most critical to the economy. The up-front investment would go to the nation's highway system and focus on modernizing the system while providing jobs. There also would be investment in the nation's bus and rail systems, including an overhaul of Amtrak's fleet. The final cog would be the modernization of the nation's air traffic control system.

Infrastructure, which is an investment in America, is sorely needed and has the potential to create jobs. That said, last spending on infrastructure, the government did not require two conditions, hire America and buy American, thus funds flowed out of the country instead of into the pockets of Americans.

Also, the bidding procedure for contracts was the same as the one used in Iraq. It's all well and good to invest in U.S. infrastructure, this is one of the most bang for the buck stimulus proposals out there. But the devil is in the details and will we see this government do Stimulus right right this time? Democrats are bad enough, but Republicans block anything that will help the American people and this economy at every turn.

The Greening of America

Andrew Leonard has a short piece over at Salon titled, Chicago School: Bloodied But Unbowed. It's an interesting little piece full of links to previous articles and statements. It also includes this zinger:

.... some of the Chicago economists don't sound a whole lot different from your typical South Carolina Republican. Here's Sam Peltzman, the Ralph and Dorothy Keller distinguished service professor emeritus of economics (italics mine):

"This experience is going to seal the tomb on socialism for all time," he says. "If this can't bring it back, it's hard to think about what could." A burst of Keynesianism should surprise no one, he argues. Of course we hope the government can step in and save the economy. In a crisis people "become infantilized and go back to what's comforting to you as a child."