Longtime economic advisor Austan Goolsbee has been appointed as head of the CEA to replace Christina Romer.
Despite his pedigree from the historically conservative University of Chicago, Republicans aren’t likely to cheer his stance on taxes. During the 2008 presidential campaign he strongly backed the president’s plan to increase taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year. Meanwhile, much of his academic research has attempted to counter arguments that tax cuts pay for themselves and that raising taxes on high-income individuals reduces long-term government revenue.
At the same time, Goolsbee has been an advocate of free trade. During 2008, he took some lumps when a Canadian government memo surfaced, citing Goolsbee saying that Obama statements on scaling back the North American Free Trade Agreement amounted to “political positioning.” Obama took a hit from then-opponent Hilary Clinton, but many economists were relieved.
Taxes. That’s the battle we fight now and one of the better features of Goolsbee becoming a higher profile figure is that he is solid on TV. If you have been paying attention the last three Augusts, you know that’s way more important than it should be. Here is Goolsbee on Rachel Maddow discussing the expiration of Bush’s Tax Cuts and the Obama Middle Class (<$250K income) tax cut.