The White House has announced a key nomination this morning:
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.
If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Krueger, a labor economist, is likely to provide a voice inside the administration for more-aggressive government action to bring down unemployment and, particularly, to address long-term joblessness.
Mr. Krueger, 50 years old, returned to Princeton a year ago after serving as assistant Treasury secretary for economic policy during the first two years of the Obama administration—which means he has recently cleared the sometimes treacherous Senate confirmation process.
Hopefully, he'll be a strong voice for aggressive action, though one doesn't get the sense that he's a "hair on fire" kind of guy when it comes to jobs, though he has argued for increased infrastructure spending.
"I favor the idea of having a new jobs tax credit," he said in a July 1 interview with Bloomberg radio. "If companies increase their payroll by an employee, they could get a $5,000 tax cut to offset their additional hiring costs." [...]
During the debate on the debt ceiling this summer, he argued that businesses were looking for certainty from the political process to start hiring. He also called for patience on the economic recovery and made the case for additional infrastructure spending.
"The recovery does just take time," he said. "There are some things the government can do that also would help like investing in infrastructure."
"That would help to reduce unemployment among construction workers and could lead to an increase in consumption and possible raise confidence and would raise productivity in the future," he said.
Whether he can succeed where others who have argued for more stimulus have failed, like Christina Romer who held the same position early in the administration, remains to be seen. There needs to be voices that counter Geithner right now, someone with new ideas and new arguments. Since Krueger was in Treasury for the first two years of the administration, he might not be that fresh voice. But a labor expert is at least a step in the right direction.
President Obama made this statement in nominating Krueger:
"I am pleased to nominate Alan Krueger to lead the Council of Economic Advisers. As one of this country's leading economists, Alan has been a key voice on a vast array of economic issues for more than two decades,” said President Obama. "Alan understands the difficult challenges our country faces, and I have confidence that he will help us meet those challenges as one of the leaders on my economic team."