Berkeley economist to head Obama economic council
President-elect Obama plans to name Christina Romer, an expert on tax cuts and recessions who is an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, to chair his Council of Economic Advisers, aides said.
This should come in handy: Romer was once the co-author of a paper called, “What Ends Recessions?”
The three-person council, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, is a part of the White House apparatus designed to give the president policy advice and objective economic analysis.
The Romer selection is to be announced by Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden at a news conference at noon Eastern on Monday in Chicago, where he is to present New York Federal Reserve President Tim Geithner as Treasury secretary and Larry Summers, who was Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, as White House economic adviser.
Romer and her husband David Romer, also a Berkeley economist, were both campaign economics advisers to Obama.
In March, National Journal had this précis on the couple: “As professors at the University of California (Berkeley), they are well-known macroeconomists — experts on the workings of the U.S. economy — who jointly hold one of six spots on the academic committee of economists that decides when recessions begin and end. They are both steeped in the history of the country’s economy and have recently produced a series of papers looking at the causes and effects of most of the major changes in tax policy in the last 100 years.
“At the same time that Obama is calling for higher income taxes on people making $250,000 or more, the Romers have found that tax increases are generally bad for economic growth and that they primarily discourage investment — the supply-side argument that conservatives use to justify tax cuts for the rich. On the other hand, the Romers have shredded the conservative premise that tax cuts eventually force spending reductions (‘starving the beast’). Instead, they concluded that tax reductions lead only to one thing — offsetting tax increases to recover lost revenue.”
Romer’s selection was first reported by ABC’s Jake Tapper.