Krugman: 'Frightening' Lack of 'Progressive' Economists in the White House

January 14, 2013 - 12:12 PM

paul krugman

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said it is “frightening” that the Obama administration has never included "progressive" economists. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said it is “frightening” that the Obama administration has never included progressive economists, who have “been right about everything so far.”

“I think it's frightening that at no point in this administration have there been any serious representation of what you might call the progressive economist wing, which is a pretty big part of Obama's support,” Krugman said Sunday in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

“Maybe Jared Bernstein,” Stephanopoulos said.

“You've now exhausted the list,” Krugman said.  “And that's a little surprising both given who brought him to the party, and also the fact that that wing has been right about everything so far, right?”

“It's been right about interest rates,” Krugman aid. “It's been right about monetary policy.”

“So it is odd,” Krugman added.  “And I don't have a problem with Jack Lew, who seems like he's a tough negotiator, which is what you need in the Secretary of Treasury job.”

Krugman, a Keynesian economist, has long advocated for more stimulus spending, saying the  $833-billion stimulus package of 2009 did not spend enough.

Alan B. Krueger, an economics professor at Princeton University, currently serves as chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.  Last year, Krueger called for a “more fair distribution of income” to “hasten economic growth.”

Krueger also proposed levying a 5 percent consumption tax to “fix the economy” in 2009.

Jared Bernstein, described by Krugman and Stephanopoulos as a progressive, formerly served in the White House as chief economist and economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.  Like Krugman, Bernstein also has argued that the stimulus was not big enough.

Bernstein co-authored the January 2009 report, The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, urging the passage of the stimulus plan.  The report projected that unemployment would never rise above 8 percent if it was adopted.

President Obama nominated his chief of staff Jack Lew to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary on Jan. 10.

Lew, the former Director of the Office of Management and Budget, has been described by Time magazine as a “passionate progressive on the issue of wealth disparity and programs for the poor.”