Geithner is the only economic advisor I can think of that’s been there from the start, and with the departure of others his influence has likely increased. If you are unemployed, that’s not good news:
Geithner: Stimulus is ‘sugar’ for the economy, by Ezra Klein: From Zach Goldfarb’s excellent profile of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s success inside the Obama administration:
The economic team went round and round. Geithner would hold his views close, but occasionally he would get frustrated. Once, as [then chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers Christina] Romer pressed for more stimulus spending, Geithner snapped. Stimulus, he told Romer, was “sugar,” and its effect was fleeting. The administration, he urged, needed to focus on long-term economic growth, and the first step was reining in the debt.
Wrong, Romer snapped back. Stimulus is an “antibiotic” for a sick economy, she told Geithner. “It’s not giving a child a lollipop.”
In the end, Obama signed into law only a relatively modest $13 billion jobs program, much less than what was favored by Romer and many other economists in the administration.
So Geithner argued against job creation and for deficit reduction? Quoting from a tweet from Andy Harless on a different topic (Bernanke’s speech), “depressing (pun intended).”
This post originally appeared at Economist’s View and is reproduced here with permission.