Great Recession

Goolsbee Late Hit: Great Liberaltarian Hope Did Big Nothing

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Hot and not.

Kremlinology is a waste of time whether you're trying to read the White House, the Syrian president's palace or in fact the Kremlin

So I don't blame L.A. Times D.C. correspondent Peter Nicholas for the credulity he shows in this farewell to Austan Goolsbee, the Obama Administration economic advisor who announced his resignation Monday. Separated by only a paragraph are two sharply contrasting claims: that Goolsbee is leaving because he didn't want to lose his position at the University of Chicago by overstaying his leave; and that Goolsbee took the job of chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors just nine months ago, when he replaced the morally bankrupt Christina A. Romer. Was the president's top economic advisor incapable of planning any of this stuff ahead? 

Nicholas chooses not to reconcile the tension here. One Michael Hirsh is more ambitious in this National Journal piece on Goolsbee's resignation. We learn from Hirsh that Goolsbee had initially been "marginalized by Larry Summers" and now is cut down just as he's coming into his own as the administration's "chief economic voice." In Hirsh's telling the administration killed the finest hopes of this popular intellectual:  

But therein lay a deeper problem: the chief voice of what? Of policies that, frankly, no economist worth his Ph.D. would want to tout, occurring in an intellectual vacuum in which good economic thinking was no longer welcome.

Brrrr! But that's just Hirsh opening the fridge. Dig this gust of Arctic wind: 

The inmates have taken over the asylum, in other words, and Mr. Goolsbee is simply ducking out the back door for his own safety. The numbers on jobs, housing, and manufacturing are scary, as are the "headwinds" from abroad, particularly Europe and Japan. But there simply is no room left for a real economic discussion about remedies. The Treasury and Fed both have had their day. The economy, limping along with 9.1 percent unemployment, will have to fend for itself.

But here's the interesting part: Hirsh says Goolsbee was not the voice of less irrational spending policies, market-clearance, exit strategies, or any other free-market-aware solutions. If you were one of the many libertarians who believed that version of events, Hirsh (and it's not clear whether he's citing factoids or engaging in the same kind of identification/projection cosmotarians went through a few years ago) stands athwart history shouting Spend

Goolsbee's precise role in those early debates was not clear. What is known is that Goolsbee, an empiricist, had usually aligned himself with more progressive voices despite his tenure at the University of Chicago. He is believed to have sided with Volcker on the tougher regulation of Wall Street and economist Joseph Stiglitz and others on the need for much more stimulus. But "I didn't have much influence and neither did Austan," Volcker told National Journal on Tuesday.

Today, all those hopes are gone with the wind of the tea-party movement. The GOP is in charge of the House and the tea partiers, despite being a minority faction of a minority party, are effectively dictating Washington's economic agenda, which is focused only on cutting spending despite the wavering recovery.

Ah, that damn spending-cut agenda again! It's why they have to keep raising the debt ceiling. 

It's no secret that I welcome any and all firings of the Obama economic team. But the big fish is still out there:

They're coming to get you, Timmeh!

NEXT: Global Temperature Trend Update: May 2011

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  1. How TurboTax Timmy has managed to keep his job remains a complete mystery to me.

    1. He's willing to tow the company line. Remember back in early 09, just after Obama took office, and TurboTax Timmy went before Congress and tried to link reducing green house gases with economic recovery?

      1. tow the company line toe the company lion

        FTFY

      2. That should be: "tow the company lion," I believe.

        1. Everyone's wrong: Toe the line

          1. Paint the lyin' one's toes. Pink.

          2. We don't tow that lion round these parts.

      3. Speaking of which: you didn't hear many of these stories back when the Northeast and Midwest were freezing their asses off in April:

        Heat grips much of US; get used to it

        WASHINGTON ? The mercury climbed into the 90s across more than half the country Wednesday in an early-June blast of August-like heat, forcing schools with no air conditioning to let kids go home early and cities to open cooling centers. And scientists say we had better get used to it.

        A new study from Stanford University says global climate change will lead permanently to unusually hot summers in the coming years.

        They never flesh out that claim at all during the rest of the article, which is odd because it's not clear how even a 3 K increase in avg global temperatures would produce noticeably higher frequency of hot summers.

      4. Speaking of which, how come we didn't have stories like this back when Northeasterners and Midwesterners were freezing their butts off all the way into April?

        Heat grips much of US; get used to it

        The mercury climbed into the 90s across more than half the country Wednesday in an early-June blast of August-like heat, forcing schools with no air conditioning to let kids go home early and cities to open cooling centers. And scientists say we had better get used to it.

        A new study from Stanford University says global climate change will lead permanently to unusually hot summers in the coming years.

        Of course they never flesh out that last claim, which is odd because even a 3 K increase in avg global temperature would barely be directly noticeable on a daily basis.

      5. Speaking of which, how come we didn't have stories like this back when Northeasterners and Midwesterners were freezing their butts off all the way into April? Heat grips much of US; get used to it

        WASHINGTON ? The mercury climbed into the 90s across more than half the country Wednesday in an early-June blast of August-like heat, forcing schools with no air conditioning to let kids go home early and cities to open cooling centers. And scientists say we had better get used to it.

        A new study from Stanford University says global climate change will lead permanently to unusually hot summers in the coming years.

        Of course they never flesh out that last claim, which is odd because even a 3 K increase in avg global temperature would barely be directly noticeable on a daily basis.

      6. Speaking of which, how come we didn't have stories like this back when Northeasterners and Midwesterners were freezing their butts off all the way into April?

        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/201.....ot_weather
        Heat grips much of US; get used to it

        WASHINGTON ? The mercury climbed into the 90s across more than half the country Wednesday in an early-June blast of August-like heat, forcing schools with no air conditioning to let kids go home early and cities to open cooling centers. And scientists say we had better get used to it.

        A new study from Stanford University says global climate change will lead permanently to unusually hot summers in the coming years.

        Of course they never flesh out that last claim, which is odd because even a 3 K increase in avg global temperature would barely be directly noticeable on a daily basis.

      7. Speaking of which, how come we didn't have stories like this back when Northeasterners and Midwesterners were freezing their butts off all the way into April?

        WASHINGTON ? The mercury climbed into the 90s across more than half the country Wednesday in an early-June blast of August-like heat, forcing schools with no air conditioning to let kids go home early and cities to open cooling centers. And scientists say we had better get used to it.

        A new study from Stanford University says global climate change will lead permanently to unusually hot summers in the coming years.

        Of course they never flesh out that last claim, which is odd because even a 3 K increase in avg global temperature would barely be directly noticeable on a daily basis.

    2. Being CEO of Goldman Sachs has a way of opening doors, I guess.

    3. Who fires "yes" men?

    4. He's actually Obama's half-brother.

  2. You'll take my Geitner from my cold, dead hands.

    1. Okey dokey.

  3. Hot and Not

    Which one is which?

    1. Be fair, she has nice skin.

      A few weeks at the gym and that sleeveless number would actually be quite flattering on her.

      1. The carpet/drapes question is still open.

        1. And one notes the intriguingly large mouth.

      2. A few weeks at the gym and that sleeveless

        Orly? We don't want them looking like they came straight out of Auschwitz.

        1. Yeah, she just needs to eat something. I'd hit it either way.

      3. You're nuts. She's fine the way she is, except for that massive, unsightly growth attached to her arm.

      4. She works for me. That is until I realized she had slept with someone in the Obama administration. Then I would have to shower five times a day for a week after sleeping with her.

    2. She's way below my standards. Like all liberterian internet geeks, I only sleep with lingerie models.

      1. "Look, yes, I have banged hundreds of broads, internationally, but know this: I wrap my rascal TWO times 'cause I like it to be joyless and without sensation as a way of punishing supermodels."

        1. How are you gonna clean the kitchen with cheese, Shake?

          1. "We don't...look, that room is dead to me now. How about we make the living room the new kitchen? Huh? Now, I know what some of you may be thinking: Shake, where's the stove? Here it is!"

            1. Damnit, I missed the ATHF reference thread!

      2. sort of a lesser version of a young (or at least pre-op) Marilu Henner

    3. I'd hit it.

  4. The economy, limping along with 9.1 percent unemployment, will have to fend for itself.

    Fend for itself? Maybe I missed the context of an alternate universe.

    1. We must nurture and coddle the nascent recovery.

    2. No, Virginia, there is no economic Santa Claus.

  5. But, Tim, The Washington Post just did a story today talking about how deficit fightin' Geithner's star is rising! He even plays basketball with Obama! Surely no red X will be descending upon his picture anytime soon, right?

  6. That last pic should be set to Little Green Bag for the worst alternate opening to Reservoir Dogs ever imagined. I guess Timmeh would need some Wayfarers, but you get the idea.

  7. ...the tea partiers, despite being a minority faction of a minority party, are effectively dictating Washington's economic agenda...

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Oh shit. You were serious?

    1. To democrats stopping, hell even slightly slowing, their own agenda is tantamount to controlling the agenda.

      "What?!?! You want $800 billion and not 2 trillion in stimulas?!?!

      Stop controlling the agenda!!!!

      What?!?! You want to audit the FED to see where all the TARP money went?!?!

      Stop controlling the agenda!!!"

    2. I got a laugh out of this too. In case this writer didn't notice, Rand Paul's budget didn't pass (none did, in fact).

      The fantasies that partisans indulge in to explain their own party's failures ("We needed to spend MORE.") are sort of amusing, though. This writer thinks we can regulate our way out of this recession.

  8. Those red X's incite violence against my economic team.

    1. Will no one save us from troublesome Reason editors and their eliminationist rhetoric?

    2. Eliminationist semiotics.

    3. I was thinking the same thing. I blame Palin.

  9. Goolsbee lost all credibility with me when he was arguing on Colbert how if we didn't raise taxes on the rich, we would lose like $600B over a decade or something. You'd think a UofC economist would know how little difference that would make with $1.3T yearly deficits and the growth killing properties of increased taxation. He was clearly just a government sock puppet.

    1. Taxing the rich is like eating a donut. Not very nourishing, but (for liberals) it just feels so good.

  10. It is just me or does he kind of look like Anthony Weiner with a receding hairline?

    1. Uh, excuse me, but I believe some dudes shave, or trim, down there voluntarily.

    2. He looks more like he is about to go on a series of adventures to get back his bike.

  11. Goolsbee is leaving because he didn't want to lose his position at the University of Chicago by overstaying his leave;

    What utter horseshit. Yeah, the U of C is going to fire one President's economic advisers if he doesn't get back by a date certain.

    Christ, just say you want to spend more time with your family and be done with, Gools.

    1. He should have surveyed the wreckage, said "My work here is done.", then twirl his cape and fly back to Chicago.

    2. Christ, just say you want to spend more time with your family and be done with, Gools.

      You know who else wanted to spend more time with family and pursue other opportunities?

      1. Ernst Rohm?

  12. Power-worshipping lewinsky economist flees the listing Good Ship Hope and Change. Geitner is a bs-ing mafia goon with no where better to go at the moment. He feels safer where he is.

  13. How TurboTax Timmy has managed to keep his job remains a complete mystery to me.

    The entrance to that rathole can be found at Obama's mom's Wikipedia page. But heed, Seeker! The Truth is boring, yet unspeakable. It's a mad, paranoid Conspiracy Theory?which holds that something that everyone knows happens all the time...happened one time.

    (Short version: Turbo's the boss.)

    1. What's the theory? Timmy's father was banging Obama's mom? And that make's Obama loyal to Timmy?

  14. That picture is the sort of eliminationist anti-government propaganda which led Jared Loughner to go on a killing spree.

    1. Fucking Loughner ruined everything. My Obama economic team advent calendar was good clean fun at the expense of all the worst people on earth: Obama's economic team and The New Yorker (which published the original photo as the illo for a shameless group fellating by the shameless Ryan Lizza). Now every time I update it with a new victory for the American people, I have to worry that Janet Napolitano's going to have me disappeared.

  15. I saw Goolsbee on the teevee a few days ago, towing the Obamanomic lion. I kinda thought his heart wasn't really in it.

    1. Short-timer syndrome.

  16. I certainly hope Tax Cheat Timmy is the next to go.

    I am getting sick of listenting to him trying to unilaterally redefine the meaning of the word "default" when he's scaremongering about the debt ceiling.

    The government has more than enough revenue to make the interest payments on the current debt outstanding if it prioritizes that first.

    Cutting spending on anything other than debt service payments is not a "default".

    1. He's the only one left, so unless he lives forever, he's got to be the next one to go.

      1. Timmy won The Prize and now he's mortal.

        1. There can be only The One

  17. Speaking of which, how come we didn't have stories like this back when Northeasterners and Midwesterners were freezing their butts off all the way into April?

    Heat grips much of US; get used to it

    WASHINGTON ? The mercury climbed into the 90s across more than half the country Wednesday in an early-June blast of August-like heat, forcing schools with no air conditioning to let kids go home early and cities to open cooling centers. And scientists say we had better get used to it.

    A new study from Stanford University says global climate change will lead permanently to unusually hot summers in the coming years.

    Of course they never flesh out that last claim, which is odd because even a 3 K increase in avg global temperature would barely be directly noticeable on a daily basis.

  18. and it's not clear whether he's citing factoids or engaging in the same kind of identification/projection cosmotarians went through a few years ago

    Fuck those fucking fucks!

  19. It's nice to witness deathbed conversions, though they always smack of hypocrisy. Two-thirds of our debt is attributable to Republican administrations that ran up huge budget deficits by cutting taxes while increasing spending. (Not to mention our last President's choice to conduct an unprovoked war.) I know this must drive you guys crazy, but now we're paying for it.

  20. Not surprising. I knew Goolsbee would be a copout the minute various beltway pundits said he was a "libertarian" and using that in a positive way for cred with dissenters.

    The moment they all start talking about some "crazy," "irresponsible," "purist" libertarian who believes that free-markets and the price mechanism actually work and that individual persons are more capable of making decisions than a bureaucracy, then I'll be attentive =)

  21. Like rats leaving a sinking ship! They've done so much damage to the nations economy and left us in such a bottomless pit of debt. They really thought massive corrupt spending was the way to prosperity, and now with disaster looming they want out so they won't be holding the bag! Tens of millions are suffering because of Obama and these folks. Tens of millions more of us will have to suffer before we can fix their damage!

  22. IMHO, the Obama economic team has been co-opted by Goldman and the big banks from day one, just as the previous administration had been, and nothing will change, even if the Republicans take over in 2012. Bernanke has been pouring hundreds or thousands of billions into the big banks and accomplished nothing but fattening their balance sheets and the bonuses of the officers. The bankers will pour campaign contributions into the coffers of both parties, and they will be protected whoever wins.

  23. Although it is not brand name,wholesale lingerie can be very sexy. Most companies offer a variety of lingerie including bridal lingerie, chemise, thongs, bras, garters, corsets, panties, and others. Wholesale lingerie companies generally provide products for resale businesses. Some companies will not sell to you unless you give them proof that you have a business.

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