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Dean Baker: Paul Krugman for Treasury Secretary

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-09-13 11:26 AM
Original message
Dean Baker: Paul Krugman for Treasury Secretary
But, that would not please Wall Street.


Dean Baker writes astutely:


.....

The major reason that Krugman is not on anyone's short list is that he has been right about most of the important issues in economic policy over the last decade. The list where Krugman has been right and the Washington insiders have been wrong is a long one.

It starts with the housing bubble, which Krugman warned of as early as 2002.

.....

In the fall of 2008 when the financial system was freezing up, Krugman called for a takeover and recapitalization of the big banks, rather than a bailout that left them largely intact. Can anyone seriously doubt that the economy would be in much better shape today if the Wall Street behemoths had been reorganized and broken up?

He also argued for mortgage write-downs for underwater homeowners .

.....

At the time the first stimulus was passed in early 2009, Krugman correctly warned that it would be inadequate and that its failure to restore full employment was likely to discredit the concept of stimulus in policy circles.

.....

He warned against the austerity being pursued .... correctly predicted that these polices would lead to recessions and higher unemployment.

It is precisely this track record of being right on most of the key policy calls of the last decade that makes Krugman unacceptable as a candidate for Treasury Secretary. To be a serious candidate for this position it is necessary to have been wrong on most or all of these issues.

This should make the public very angry.

.....





But, Paul Krugman's name is missing from the Treasury Secretary short list. And Wall Street likes that immensely.



Meet Jack Lew: Tim Geithner's (likely) Replacement


Jack Lew: Obama's OMB Pick Oversaw Citigroup Unit That Shorted Housing Market, May 25, 2011




And the beat goes on.







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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-09-13 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. truly uninspired by O's pick, that's for sure! what is it with him that he picks great people for
social/law programs/institutions, but picks insiders nearly always (Warren was an exception, but her assignment was less managing policy, and more overseeing) for all the financial crap?
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-09-13 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. What I simply cannot grasp...
... is that with so frustratingly many of his decisions, regardless that Obama is buoyed by massive public support for solving our problems in very logical and straightforward ways, he continues to surround himself with those who represent Big Interests, who have his ear, who have outsized say over policy, and leaving the concerns of regular people like us outside in the cold.


Things such as solving the health care affordability crisis---

Yes, it is still a crisis when even though preexisting conditions prohibit health insurance companies from denying a policy to a person, it is no deterrent to that insurance company from jacking up exorbitant rates for access to that coverage. 'Carte blanche' for Big Insurance. 'Out of luck' for the person. Medicare for everyone is the solution that is purposefully ignored. Many people are being paid to ignore it.


Things such as solving the Social Security viability issues---

Instead of taking away people's benefits, or even callously toying with the prospect and upsetting people in the first place, simply raise the cap on income subject to Social Security/Medicare taxes. Even better, make all income subject to Social Security/Medicare taxes. The program would be safely funded forever.


Things such as recognizing the relentless threat of Privatized Profit Seekers who are aiming at our public education, our infrastructure, our resources, our prisons, our health care system, our financial system, our public lands, our labor force, our international policy, our very government---

Our PUBLIC infrastructure must be preserved and strengthened. It levels the playing field for everyone. The Profit Seekers must be turned back.




Big Finance has crippled our nation and robbed people of their homes, but we are 'not looking back'.


The Plutocrats/Globalists have stolen our jobs and largely escaped paying American taxes, but we are 'not looking back'.


The War Machine has endangered us beyond comprehension, destroyed lives and families, but we are 'not looking back'.


Traitors have assaulted our right to vote and manipulated elections with billions of dollars, but we are 'not looking back'.


Charlatans are tearing down public education in our country, bu we are 'not looking back'.


We are poisoning our air, water and earth by the relentless push by Big Oil and Gas, but we are 'not looking back'.




Obama has had a stratospheric opportunity to solve these problems in ways that would have improved the lives of millions.


It remains to be seen whether he will fully utilize it.














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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-10-13 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. "It remains to be seen whether he will fully utilize it."
Like he utilized a truly spectacular opportunity for single payer?

Or even a meaningful public option?

In 2008, he could have declared it the only way to save the economy after the bailout.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-09-13 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. Wall Street dictates.
Period.
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-09-13 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. yeah, E, I guess that's the lesson for all of us. Moneychangers are the deciders about $ policy.
Whether we like it or not. Makes ya wonder how much say O really has in all of it. It's amazing that Congress is able to get any money out of their cold hands...
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-10-13 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Wall Street can make this call only if Obama wants them to.
Edited on Thu Jan-10-13 07:09 AM by No Elephants
Notice, Krugman is not even on the short list. Wall Street may care a lot who gets the appointment, but they do not give a rat's tail who is on the short list. No one but the White House cares who is on the short list.

IMO, by not even putting him on the short list, the WH is punishing Krugman for something. Just my opinion on that.


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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-10-13 07:16 AM
Response to Original message
7. Sing it, Seafan!
But I think our infrastructure, environment, etc. have much bigger problems that whom Obama appoints to be Secretary of Treasury.

Geithner was Secretary because Obama nominated him. He stayed Secretary because Obama did not want to fire him. He reported to Obama. None of his recommendations were binding upon Obama, nor was Geithner Obama's only source of financial advice. Ultimately, Obama did want he wanted to do.

The same will be the case no matter who Obama chooses to replace Geithner.

Not only that, but Obama is not the problem either.

The next person who is the Democratic nominee will be a lot like Obama, or to his right.

The Democratic Party is not in the business of being liberal.

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