Thursday, September 1, 2011

Krueger Embodies Business-Government Collusion

By Timothy P. Carney

Tim Geithner's deputy, Alan Krueger, is a fitting pick to lead President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers -- which is to say he believes in the same noxious collusion of Big Business and Big Government that has dominated the Obama administration's economic policy.

The Wall Street bailout, cash for clunkers, the stimulus, subsidized municipal bonds, an infrastructure bank: Anytime you find the big business lobby rallying behind a proposed expansion of federal spending, you're likely to find Krueger's fingerprints, or at least the sound of his hands clapping.

Krueger's pet policy at Treasury, a convoluted program called Build America Bonds, amounted to a taxpayer subsidy for big banks and other corporate giants that increased public indebtedness. In other words, typical Obamanomics.

Next week, expect to see President Obama start banging the drum for an "infrastructure bank." Krueger testified in favor of the bank at a Senate hearing where he insisted this new government program wouldn't just be a Fannie Mae for roads and mass transit. But the "bank" Krueger wants is a quasi-governmental agency that puts taxpayer money at risk in order to finance activity that profits big companies.

It's the same formula as another Krueger special, cash for clunkers: A taxpayer subsidy launched in the name of stimulus, with some benefits for special interests and no apparent long-term gain.

The pinnacle of Big Business-Big Government collusion, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, is Krueger's model of good legislation. "Our legislative system does best in a crisis," Krueger said in 2010 at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. His example was the Wall Street bailout.

Read the rest here.

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