Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet Alan Krueger: Another Obama Appointee, Another Economic Illiterate...

President Obama spoke (sigh) today on the nation's economic morass and gave his typically intellectually meager thoughts on pulling us out:

That challenge, the president said, encompasses the need to create a climate in which “more businesses can post job listings,” “folks can find work to relieve the financial challenge they’re feeling” and “families can regain a sense of economic security in their lives.”

“That’s our urgent mission and that’s what I’m fighting for every single day,” he said. “That’s why today I’m very pleased to nominate Alan Krueger to chair the Council of Economic Advisors.”

Stunning incoherent? Oh, you betcha. But somehow this is even worse than it sounds. Mr. Krueger is a big fan of the VAT:

In the long run, a 5 percent consumption tax would raise approximately $500 billion a year, and fill a considerable hole in the budget outlook. In addition, a consumption tax would encourage more saving in the long run. Many economists consider a consumption tax an efficient way of raising tax revenue, especially in a global economy....

The main downside of this proposal is that taxes reduce economic activity. But the government must make critical trade-offs, and a consumption tax could be the most efficient means to raise revenue to finance essential government functions.

Another downside is that a consumption tax is a greater burden for the poor, who spend a relatively high share of their income. But this can be compensated by exempting essential items, like rent and nutritious, or by providing a rebate to low-income households.

Got it? The functions of the government are "essential", but those of your family are not. And as for the poor, who pay no taxes anyway, well - heaven forfend they kick in anything at all, so we'll just have to give them even more of your money to help assuage our guilt.

Krueger also beleives increases in the minimum wage don't depress employment.  Others - even New York Times op-ed liberals - would disagree. So do other, equally credentialed, economists.  Krueger was also one of the great minds behind "Cash for Clunkers", an economic fail that has hit the poor and middle class the hardest of all.

So expect Obama's new "economic plan" (or is it a speech?) to contain more of the same old sh*t that contributed to the epic fail that is the 2011 American economy.  And as far as Alan Krueger's smarts, well, don't tell me he's a bigwig at Princeton.  That only serves to remind me of a certain episode of the Simpsons: Brother From Another Series, in which Sideshow Bob confronts his brother with an accusation of professional jealousy:

Cecil opines that one gets more respect as a civil servant than as a homicidal maniac. "Or a clown's sidekick." Bob believes this confirms his theory: Cecil still resents the fact that Krusty chose Bob, not him, as his sidekick years before.

Bob: You wanted to be Krusty's sidekick since you were five! What about the buffoon lessons, the four years at clown college?

Cecil:  I'll thank you not to refer to Princeton that way....

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