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Who Is Alan Krueger?

- August 29, 2011

Obama Nominates Advocate For $500 Billion Tax Increase Through Value-Added Tax To Lead His Economic Advisers

“President Barack Obama On Monday Plans To Nominate Princeton University's Alan Krueger To Be Chairman Of The White House Council Of Economic Advisers, A White House Official Said.” (David Wessel, “Labor Economist To Fill Key Post,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/29/11)

ADVOCATE FOR HIGHER TAXES, INCLUDING A VAT

In 2009, Krueger Advocated For A Value-Added Tax That Would Raise Taxes By $500 Billion. “Why not pass a 5 percent consumption tax to take effect two years from now? There are many different ways to implement a consumption tax, but for simplicity think about a national sales tax.” (Alan Krueger, “A Future Consumption Tax To Fix Today’s Economy,” The New York Times’ “Economix,” 1/12/09)

  • Krueger: “In the long run, a 5 percent consumption tax would raise approximately $500 billion a year, and fill a considerable hole in the budget outlook.” (Alan Krueger, “A Future Consumption Tax To Fix Today’s Economy,” The New York Times’ “Economix,” 1/12/09)
  • Krueger: “The main downside of this proposal is that taxes reduce economic activity. But the government must make critical trade-offs, and a consumption tax could be the most efficient means to raise revenue to finance essential government functions” (Alan Krueger, “A Future Consumption Tax To Fix Today’s Economy,” The New York Times’ “Economix,” 1/12/09)
  • Krueger: “Another downside is that a consumption tax is a greater burden for the poor, who spend a relatively high share of their income.” (Alan Krueger, “A Future Consumption Tax To Fix Today’s Economy,” The New York Times’ “Economix,” 1/12/09)

Krueger Advocated Tax Increases On Energy Production. “According to Krueger's analysis, ending tax breaks for big oil will do nothing to increase prices, or produce such infinitesimally small increases as to have no palpable impact whatsoever.” (Susan Crabtree, “Dems: Ending Tax Breaks For Big Oil Will Have No Impact On Gas Prices,” Talking Points Memo5/13/11)

  • Krueger: “Because the U.S. is such a small producer, eliminating the subsidy would have very little effect in the long run and no effect in the short run on gas prices,” (Susan Crabtree, “Dems: Ending Tax Breaks For Big Oil Will Have No Impact On Gas Prices,” Talking Points Memo5/13/11)

Krueger Suggested Raising Taxes On Employers.  “Third, the tax base used to fund U.I. is capped at extremely low levels. In eight states (Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas), employer contributions are limited to workers’ earnings less than $7,000 per year. This cap makes the financing highly regressive. If Idaho uses a taxable earnings base of $32,000, can’t California?” (Alan Krueger, “Reforming Unemployment Benefits,” The New York Times “Economix,” 9/27/08)

WANTS CAP AND TRADE TO BE “CENTRAL ROLE” IN ECONOMY

Krueger Said Cap And Trade “Would Be One Of The Most Important And Substantial Pieces Of Environmental Legislation In Our Nation’s History.” “As you know, one of the President's top priorities is to develop a comprehensive energy and climate change plan to invest in clean energy, address the global climate crisis, and create new jobs. In turn, we believe that a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program should play a central role in our effort to achieve these goals at the lowest possible cost. We are very appreciative of the work being done in both Houses of Congress to this end, and look forward to working together to craft successful legislation. An economy-wide GHG cap-and-trade program would be one of the most important and substantial pieces of environmental legislation in our nation's history.” (Alan Krueger, Committee On Finance, U.S. Senate, Testimony, 5/7/09)

Krueger Said The Country Should Take “Dramatic Steps” Towards A Green Economy Through In Part A Cap And Trade System. “The Administration believes that it is no longer sufficient to address our nation's energy needs by finding more fossil fuels, and instead we must take dramatic steps towards becoming a clean energy economy. These include encouraging the use of, and investment in, clean energy infrastructure and energy efficient technologies. … In addition to direct investments in clean energy, the Administration's Budget proposed a cap-and-trade program that would provide incentives for firms to reduce GHG emissions and to invest in new, cleaner lines of business. The proposed cap-and-trade program holds the promise of creating new industries and jobs; decreasing our dependence on oil; and limiting the release of pollutants that threaten the health of families and communities and the planet itself.” (Alan Krueger, Statement On Energy, Natural Resources, And Infrastructure,” Treasury Department, 9/10/09)

WRONG ON STIMULUS AND JOBS

Krueger Claimed The $825 Billion Stimulus Was Growing The Economy. KRUEGER: “Well, the way the stimulus was designed was to break the fall in the economy. And I think we're seeing that that's occurring. The economy had contracted for four quarters in a row -- (inaudible) -- and now has grown for three in a row. We're seeing a turnaround in job growth. And that's all the -- that's in large part due to the recovery act.” (Alan Krueger, Press Conference, 7/2/10)

NOTE: Since President Obama’s $825 Billion Stimulus Bill Passed, The Unemployment Rate Has Increased From 8.2 Percent To 9.1 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov, Accessed 8/24/11)

In March 2011, Krueger Predicted A “Continuing Decline In The Unemployment Rate.” “While many jobless workers have indeed given up on the search, I’m going on record as a contrarian. I suspect a large rise in the labor force won’t cause the unemployment rate to jump. Instead, I suspect we’re going to see a continuing decline in the unemployment rate, though there surely will be some blips along the way.” (Alan Krueger, Op-Ed, “Why Unemployment Rate Rose So Much, Is Falling So Fast: Alan Krueger,” Bloomberg, 3/30/11)

Krueger: “The Economy Is Continuing To Recover.” “In sum, the economy is continuing to recover from the most severe recession of the post-war period.   Evidence at the close of the year suggested the recovery was beginning to pick up steam.   It will take time for the pickup in economic activity to translate into renewed hiring, but labor market conditions should improve with sustained and solid economic growth.” (Press Release, “For The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee Of The Securities Industry And Financial Markets Association,” Treasury Department, 2/2/10)

  • Krueger: “Administration Policies Have Played An Important Role In Jumpstarting Economic Activity And Restoring Stability To Markets And Will Continue To Provide Support In The Months Ahead.” “In addition, the President has proposed measures to spur job growth in the near term, including the newly announced Small Business Jobs and Wages Tax Credit.   Administration policies have played an important role in jumpstarting economic activity and restoring stability to markets and will continue to provide support in the months ahead.” (Press Release, “For The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee Of The Securities Industry And Financial Markets Association,” Treasury Department, 2/2/10)

FLASHBACK: In 2001 With 4.5% Unemployment, Krueger Said It Was Hard To Find The Silver Lining In The Unemployment Numbers.  QUESTION: “Well, Alan Krueger, let me start with you. When you look at today's numbers, what do you see and what do you make of it?” ALAN KRUEGER: “Well, today's numbers were very weak. It's hard to find the silver lining in the numbers that came out today. The unemployment rate increased to 4 1/2 percent; the loss in total employment was almost 1/4 million jobs; manufacturing led to job loss, but job growth was soft outside of manufacturing, temporary help; temporary help sector had a big loss, so this was quite a grim report.” (PBS’ “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer,” 5/4/01)

Obama’s Record

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Said “Obama Is On Track To Have The Worst Jobs Record Of Any President In The Modern Era.” “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. That would be an accurate statement.” (Glenn Kessler, “Rick Perry’s Claim That Obama Has ‘Killed More Jobs’ Than Any Other President,” The Washington Post’s “The Fact Checker”, 8/22/11)

Since President Obama Took Office The Nation Has Lost 2.37 Million Jobs. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov, Accessed 8/5/11)

Since President Obama Took Office, The Unemployment Rate Has Increased From 7.8 Percent To 9.1 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov, Accessed 8/24/11)

LACKS REAL WORLD BUSINESS EXPERIENCE

Krueger Has Little To No Real World Business/Private Sector Experience. (Alan B. Krueger, Curriculum Vitae, Accessed 8/29/11)

Krueger “Another Example” Of Obama White House Favoring Individuals With No Private Sector Experience To Key Economic Positions. “Alan Krueger nod another example that there's nothing this White House prizes like previous administration experience.” (Ezra Klein, Twitter Feed, Accessed 8/29/11)

  • Ezra Klein: “Krueger fits the Jack Lew, Gene Sperling, Bruce Reed, etc model closely, where the White House prefers to go inside than out.” (Ezra Klein, Twitter Feed, Accessed 8/29/11)

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