The Right Opinion

Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue

By Cal Thomas · Sep. 1, 2011

In advance of a “major speech” on the economy and jobs, President Obama has selected Princeton University professor Alan Krueger to be chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Krueger is no relation to the horror film character Freddy Krueger, though if his ideas are implemented, they might further “slash” the economy.

Alan Krueger is the latest in a long line of professors and academics to populate this administration. Few, if any, have held real jobs in the private sector. They are mostly theorists, whose theories are often proved wrong, but in academia, as well as in government, being wrong rarely disqualifies one from a leadership post. Intentions are all that matter.

As an economic theorist, Krueger’s record for accuracy is not a good one and doesn’t produce confidence that adding him to the Obama team will revive an economy in the doldrums.

Krueger, writing for The New York Times blog in 2009, proposed as an object of discussion, instituting a 5 percent consumption, or value added tax (VAT), on top of the income tax, which he said would “raise approximately $500 billion a year, and fill a considerable hold in the budget outlook.” He acknowledged, though, that a consumption tax would “reduce economic activity” and be a “greater burden for the poor, who spend a relatively high share of their income.”

How many of those working in the private sector think government deserves more of our money when it has done such a dreadful job of spending what we have already provided it?

In May 2011, Krueger said he wanted to raise taxes on energy producers (meaning an end to tax breaks for “big oil”), but he assured us that “because the U.S. is such a small producer (of oil), eliminating the subsidy would have very little effect in the long run and no effect in the short run on gas prices.”

America would have more oil if the administration lifted restrictions on drilling in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico and other places in our backyard. If Krueger thinks raising the cost of energy production by eliminating tax breaks that encourage more exploration would not lead to higher prices, he’s been spending too much time in the faculty lounge.

As if all of these new taxes weren’t enough, Krueger has also said he wants to raise taxes on some employers to help fund unemployment benefits. If employers have to pay more to pay for the unemployed, won’t they be forced to lay off more workers? It becomes a vicious cycle.

Krueger favors a national cap-and-trade program, which he says would produce green jobs. He has claimed the $825 billion stimulus was growing the economy, which can’t be taken seriously given the jump in the unemployment rate from 8.2 percent when the stimulus was passed, to the current 9.1 percent. Previous economic advisers Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein predicted that, after the stimulus, unemployment wouldn’t rise above 8 percent.

As The Washington Post fact checker, Glenn Kessler, noted last week, “Unless the economy turns around in the next 18 months, Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any president in the modern era.”

In May 2001, when President George W. Bush had been in office just three months and unemployment was at 4.5 percent, Krueger told Jim Lehrer on PBS, it was hard to find a “silver lining” in the number since “the loss in total employment was almost a quarter of a million jobs” and that it was “quite a grim report.”

Who wouldn’t settle for numbers like that today?

The naming of Krueger is another indication that President Obama is not likely to adjust his “spread the wealth around” philosophy in light of the facts. With the words “fanatic” and “extremist” being applied by liberal Democrats to some of the Republican presidential candidates, the Obama administration continues to engage in economic extremism with its fanatical policies that don’t have a chance of producing jobs in the private sector, much less win congressional approval.

Freddy Krueger terrorized his victims in their dreams. If Alan Krueger has his way, the dreams of too many Americans will soon become nightmares.



BWR said:

So much for government-backed green jobs. Solyndra, a major manufacturer of solar technology in Fremont, has shut its doors laying off 1000 workers. The President was celebrating $535 million in federal promises from the Department of Energy to the solar startup in 2010.Solyndra Filing a Disaster for Obamawww.nbcbayarea.comThese guys just aren't going to learn regardless of how much damage they do.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 9:20 AM

PDK said:

Good point Cal.If those in the democrat party, those of the liberal mindset, simply had to swallow their own medicine instead of "experimentinting" on the rest of America while they remain aloof and immune to their own remedy, they would rid themselves of their illusion quite quick. But alas they always have a pass somewhere somehow.In a way they remind me of Dr. Mengala, the Nazi Dr. at Auswitchz, or some other concentration camp, where he performed "experiments" upon humans with impugnity. He never felt their pain, and could justify his abomination as research.The democrats brought down Americas economy, and the stock market, with Fannie and Freddie, then they blamed Bush and McCain. This allowed them to steal the Presidency and now they, having been in charge since 08 have continued their assault on Americas economy. Ruining the economy and blaming Bush, or now republicans, that is their strategy, that is their accomplishment, ruining the economy and blaming someone other than themselves.Will the American voting citizery ever learn. The promise of something for nothing from someone who wants something for nothing is a payed for by all, the big and the small. Thank you

Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 9:44 AM

MoeLarryCurly said:

Who is it that doesn't understand that the end of tax breaks for big oil only means price increases at the pumps? The Dems "Let's stick it to the MAN." theories only make us poorer.PDK,The Dems have been in charge since 2006. The final nail driven in 08. Give the Dems credit where credit is due regarding the ill economy...they started it and Bush got the blame.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Richard Ryan said:

Even at this moment the Obama administration and it`s goons and thugs in the DOJ are actively engaged in the act of destroying an iconic American company;Gibson Guitar Company.The DOJ has gone in and at gunpoint stolen one million dollars of wood from that company and has effectively shut down that company`s operation.In a pleading the DOJ has written regarding a 2009 case pending with Gibson Guitar over wood purchased from Madagascar they have stated that if Gibson would have their labor done in Madagascar they would have no more problems.Gibson employees hundreds and hundreds of American workers.I would like to ask where are these American workers supposed to find jobs?I wonder if there is any connection to the fact that Martin Guitar,who purchases the same wood from the same sources as Gibson,is a union shop,while Gibson is a non-union ship located in a right to work state.Also does the fact that C.F.Martin the 4th has contributed thousands of dollars to the Democrap party have any bearing on this action.Does any one but me smell rank political persecution in the air.Oh that we had some congressmen with spines who would reign this rogue,out of control government.Richard RyanLamar,Missouri - Birthplace of Harry S Truman

Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 5:06 PM

ph said:

First Boeing, now Gibson. Wonder where all those in the music industry are hiding ? I have been reading this story about Gibson for three days now & I have yet to see one comment by any music entertainment person. Where is Dylan or Petty or Springsteen who is supposedly all for the blue collar working stiff ? Come on boys put your money where your mouth is or are you so liberal that you don't care that this govt is going to shut down another American factory & put more people out of work. Ya'all just a bunch of phonies & hypocrites

Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 5:59 PM

karl anglin said:

I could be wrong, but I think Dylan, Petty,and Springsteen all showed up at Obama'sinauguration.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Richard Ryan said:

Karl, I for one wouldn`t expect Dylan,Petty or Springsteen to step forward on this issue.They are all three left wing,over hyped idiots.I would expect however; the general public out here,a lot of whom enjoy real music, to raise their voices in outrage.I have done so in messages to my two senators, and my house representative,for what ever good that may do.The EPA and DOJ are tops on my list of departments that should be abolished.The Federal govt. has absolutely no business sticking their noses into where a company gets it`s materials or where it has it`s labor performed.Richard RyanLamar,Missouri - Birthplace of Harry S Truman

Friday, September 2, 2011 at 11:10 AM