In the middle of a weak U.S. economic
recovery, President Obama has named a new chairman for his Council of
Economic Advisers. Princeton University economist Alan Krueger will be
tasked with finding ways to boost anemic economic growth and combat
stubbornly high U.S. unemployment.
Obama announces that Princeton University labor economist Alan Krueger,
left, has been named as top White House economist, during a statement in
the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, August 29, 2011
The last year has seen a string of high-profile departures from
President Obama’s economic team, including two heads of the Council of
Economic Advisers, Christina Romer and Austan Goolsbee, and the director
of the National Economic Council, Lawrence Summers.
On Monday, Obama
sought to reinvigorate that team with the addition of Alan Krueger.
“He [Krueger] is one of the nation’s leading economists. For more than
two decades, he has studied and developed economic policy both inside
and outside of government," said Obama. "In the first two years of this
administration, as we were dealing with the effects of a complex and
fast-moving financial crisis, a crisis that threatened a second Great
Depression, Alan’s counsel as chief economist at the Treasury Department
Krueger returned to Princeton University last year after serving as
assistant Treasury secretary.
The president said he will rely on Krueger and other advisers to provide
what he termed “unvarnished” analysis and recommendations to boost
America’s weak economy.
Obama is expected to unveil a set of economic and fiscal proposals next
week, when Congress returns from a month-long recess. Speaking from the
White House Rose Garden with Krueger at his side, the president gave a
brief preview of what he will propose.
“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, 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,” he said.
If confirmed by the Senate, Krueger would become President Obama’s third
chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Other leading economists
spoke highly of the president’s decision, including Douglas Holtz-Eakin,
who served as economic adviser to 2008 Republican presidential nominee
“He [Krueger] is an absolutely first-rate economist," he said. "The
things he can do will be to get the president to take steps toward a far
more broad and differently focused jobs agenda. They are going to need
someone with creativity. Alan has that.”
spoke on Bloomberg Television.
Obama began his remarks with a promise of robust federal efforts to help
more than a dozen U.S. states recover from Hurricane Irene, which
drenched New York and parts of New England as a tropical storm Sunday
after devastating mid-Atlantic coastal areas.
morning, President Obama announced his intention to nominate Alan B.
Krueger as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). As one of
the nation’s leading economists, Dr. Krueger will bring decades of
experience, including serving as chief economist at the Treasury
Department, and a wealth of knowledge to the challenge of creating jobs
and promoting economic growth. Following his confirmation, President
Obama will designate Dr. Krueger as Chairman of CEA.