Now that economic adviser — and Consumerist pal — Austan Goolsbee has departed the White House, President Obama has a spot to fill. Today he announced the choice of Princeton labor economist Alan Krueger to be chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
Obama is positing the selection of Krueger, an expert on unemployment and former chief economist for the Treasury Dept., as a big move in the White House’s fight to bring down the jobless rate.
“Alan understands the difficult challenges our country faces, and I have confidence that he will help us meet those challenges as one of the leaders on my economic team,” Obama said. “I rely on the Council of Economic Advisers to provide unvarnished analysis and recommendations, not based on politics, not based on narrow interests, but based on the best evidence — based on what’s going to do the most good for the most people in this country. And that’s more important than ever right now. We need folks in Washington to make decisions based on what’s best for the country, not what’s best for any political party or special interest. That’s how we’ll get through this period of economic uncertainty, and that’s the only way that we’ll be able to do what’s necessary to grow the economy.”
With Krueger by his side, Obama spoke this morning from the White House rose garden about his immediate plans to strengthen the job market. “Next week I will be laying out a series of steps that Congress can take immediately to put more money in the pockets of working families and middle class families,” he said, “to make it easier for small businesses to hire people, to put construction crews to work rebuilding our nation’s roads and railways and airports.”
Though the CEA gig requires Senate confirmation, it’s hoped that the process will not take too long, as Krueger has already been through it during his days at the Treasury Dept.