New Chairman of CEA, Austan Goolsbee Shines on Fox News Sunday!

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Austan Goolsbee
Barack Obama appointed Austan Goolsbee as the new Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers on Friday. Goolsbee did an outstanding job of defending the administration’s economic policies with the cagey Chris Wallace (on Fox News Sunday). Especially sharp, were his ideas on smallbusiness tax cuts and tax cuts for the middle class.

Goolsbee had to admit that the unemployment rate will not go down appreciably for the remainder of the year. He said this was due to the headwind from the European economic crisis this last summer, as well as the difficulty of recovering from the deepest recession since the Great Depression. Austan did acknowledge positive growth for the GDP, while only tepid.

Chris Wallace questioned the Vice President’s claim that this would be a sweeping ‘Summer of Recovery.’ Chris cited job losses in June came to 175,000 as an example that undermines Biden’s optimistic claims. Goolsbee countermanded Wallace with the fact that census workers were laid off in large numbers and this skewed the job numbers downward. Also, Goolsbee observed that actually the ‘Summer of Recovery’ refers to an implementation of policy reform, not so much the proof of the reform in statistics. It’s in an early stage of reform.

Austan Goolsbee defended the Obama Administration’s stimulus act by indicating there have been 8 straight months of private sector job growth. He also clarified that there are other independent economists and sources of data that indicate we are above where we would have been if the recovery act hadn’t been enacted. Again, he cited the problems with the European economy as a wrench in the works.

Chris sharply questioned the sensibility in eliminating the Bush Tax Cuts in conjunction with the current deteriorated state of small businesses. That is, Wallace cited that 900,000 small businesses would be hurt by the elimination of the Bush Tax Cuts, which primarily benefit wealthier Americans. Goolsbee sharply exposed the shams of Wallace’s cooked figures. Austan clarified that lobbyists and lawyers, who set up shops, are not really small businesses, by definition.

The best portion of the interview comes into focus with the issue of small businesses. Austan made clear that tax cuts for the wealthy will not ‘trickle down’ (Reaganomics) to small businesses. Obama’s new small-business bill will cut taxes 8 times and allow them to deduct expenses (money invested back in their business) from their income tax. Goolsbee adds that this will give direct help for 4 million small businesses.

In closing, Goolsbee implied that the squeeze on the middle class, caused by the last administration, is why we are in the worst recession since the 1930s. The emphasis must be on growing the middle class, and granting them the tax cuts. Austan said that we can’t afford 700 billion in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. The small-business bill would also set up a $30 billion fund for local banks to give loans to small businesses.

I thought that Austan Goolsby held his ground to Chris Wallace’s grueling interrogation. I’m convinced that this new small-business bill must be passed in this current Congressional session. If small businesses get these tax cuts, they will be encouraged to hire new workers. This will, of course, lower unemployment. And if millions of middle class Americans get tax breaks, this will encourage them to spend more of their money in the retail market. I don’t buy the notion of the ‘trickle down theory of economics.’ Nothing has ever trickled down my way!