White House Economic Advisers Depart
It’s being done very quietly, but there is a purge of sorts of White House economic advisers.
Alan Krueger, President Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) is already out. Gene Sperling, the Director of the White House National Economics Council (NEC), is now reported to be leaving to.
Together, both in-house councils advise the President and shape fundamental economic policy.
What does this mean? Is Barack Obama changing economic policy? Will the President finally realistically try to create jobs and fix the economy?
Alan Krueger Out
The U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression
– Alan Krueger, former CEA Chairman, each month since day 1
Krueger’s ouster came as a surprise to most outsiders yesterday morning after the BLS Monthly Jobs Report for August got released.
The now-former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger, also used to post his assessment of the monthly jobs situation simultaneously with the BLS. His was pretty much a joke.
This month was different… VERY different. Krueger was gone. In his place came a new and improved version of The Employment Situation in August.
It moved National Journal columnist Matt Vasilogambros to write this article yesterday: “After a Year of Copy and Paste, the White House Changes Its Message on Monthly Jobs Numbers“.
In it he points out what yours truly has roundly criticized Krueger over for a very long time… that Krueger used a cookie cutter monthly jobs report template that repeated the same old worn out campaign line about the “worst downturn since the Great Depression”.
The only error in Vasilogambros’s article is how long Krueger used his repetitive stencil. It started back in November 2011 when Krueger first took over writing the CEA monthly jobs assessment report.
Jason Furman In
President Obama replaced one Ivy League egghead with another.
Obama returned to his roots in the heady 2008 presidential campaign to pluck Jason Furman as new Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. He was Senate confirmed on 8/1/2013.
Krueger is Harvard educated and is now scurrying back into academia to teach again at Princeton. Furman is also from Obama’s original Harvard governing clan.
Furman was Obama’s chief economic adviser at “Obama for America” (barackobama.com) back in the 2008 campaign.
Remember “Obama for America”? That was Obama’s campaign slogan and headquarter website in 2008.
OFA was re-packaged into “Organizing for America”, a grass roots community organizer site, after Obama won. Then OFA was re-transformed back into Obama’s campaign headquarters again in 2012.
Since then OFA has undergone its biggest political change yet. It is now re-branded “Organizing for Action” and, in record time, was approved for tax-exempt status to became one of those super-PACs that can raise unlimited funds without reporting its donors!
You know… one of those shady political groups that Obama is always ranting against. It’s still run by Obama’s 2008 campaign staff.
But I digress…
This month’s much improved CEA jobs assessment was written by Jason Furman. Vasilogambros’ analysis of its improvement in his National Journal article is spot on.
He suggests the change of chairmen might signal “a new strategy by the administration to explain the economy better”.
Whether the new strategy is working remains to be seen.
“Government Jobs are (still) the problem“
– Neil Irwin, The Washington Post, 9/6/2013
Based on Furman’s jobs assessment report yesterday, Irwin concluded that a previous belief that government jobs were finally making a comeback is in error.
Irwin based that on one of the new graphs Furman included in his new report. Irwin went back into yesterday’s BLS Monthly Jobs Report and discovered that of the -72,000 jobs that were revised downward out of the previous two months that 38,000 of them were federal, state and local government jobs.
It’s doubtful that is the message the Administration wants sent, but made possible by a more honest Administration assessment of the jobs situation.
Gene Sperling’s imminent departure from the White House as President Obama’s NEC Director is still rumor mill stuff.
You might remember Sperling as the Obama Administration official that Bob Woodward said threatened him over an Administration exposé he was writing.
If he leaves, it’s said that Sperling will go to be with his wife, a writer for the old “West Wing” TV series, who recently moved back to Los Angeles.
Krueger is gone and replaced with another Obama insider. Rumor has it Sperling will be replaced with another Obama/Clinton insider, Jeffrey Zients.
If you are hopeful for a much needed change in Obama economic policy… forget it!