On the Economic Team

By November 25, 2008General

As a matter of principle, or at least sentiment, the view around here is that winners of executive-branch elections get to choose whom they want on the roster of administration appointees. Still, it’s a good thing when these appointees are highly qualified, experienced and operate in a world of reality rather than utopia. So…

NAM President and CEO John Engler: “In the present environment, it is critically important that the President-elect convey a clear message that his Administration will be in place and ready to proceed on day one. Geithner, Summers and Romer bring with them extensive experience dealing with complex economic issues and track records of success in difficult situations. They are well qualified to contend with today’s economic challenges and provide the leadership we need to get our economy growing again.”

Larry Kudlow, CNBC, in National Review Online: “Here’s my thought on his team. Summers, Geithner, and Romer will all recommend no tax hikes in a recession. Maybe for Keynesian reasons; maybe a nod to supply-siders. Obama talked about a liberal-conservative consensus. But what’s especially encouraging is the appointment of Ms. Romer, who easily could serve as CEA head in a Republican administration (just like Geithner could have been McCain’s Treasury man).”

E.J. Dionne, Washington Post: “President-elect Barack Obama has now made three things clear about his plans to bring the economy back: He wants his actions to be big and bold. He sees economic recovery as intimately linked with economic and social reform. And he is bringing in a gifted brain trust to get the job done.”

Noam Scheiber, The New Republic: “I was thrilled to hear yesterday about the dream-team pairing that will make Geithner Treasury Secretary and Summers a top White House adviser. Geithner is one of the most able technocrats to have risen through Treasury’s ranks, which makes him the perfect pick to run its sprawling bureaucracy; Summers is one of the top two or three economic minds of his generation, which makes him a guy you want in the room with the president.”

All these statements came before the President-elect’s announcement today of Peter Orszag as his director of the Office of Management and Budget, another appointment of a highly respected, mainstream economic expert.

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