With reports now surfacing that Tim Geithner is retiring at the end of January, now eyes are fishing about to determine who will replace him. When Obama first took office, he filled his cabinet using a principle of it being a “Team of Rivals.” Now, Obama’s appointments of John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, it is clear Obama is changing gears dramatically for his second term. Knowing the kind of shakeup he is doing, the list for who is potentially to replace Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary shrinks dramatically.
The Guardian newspaper is now suggesting that the candidate to fill Tim Geithner’s shoes might be none other than Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman. This would be in line with Chuck Hagel’s appointment, a well-known opponent of the military-industrial complex who does not want war with Iran, and wants us out of Afghanistan as soon as possible. Krugman as Treasury Secretary would be bringing onboard the man who identified the causes of the great recession before it ever happened. He is no friend to Wall Street, and would be the right kind of oversight needed at the Treasury Department. His common sense solutions to financial problems are sorely needed in Washington.
Unlike many in the nation’s capital, Krugman understands the benefits of Social Security, Medicare, and other services. He understands that these are not hand outs, but instead necessary economic tools, the very tools which helped ensure our strength and growth over the years. He understands that attacking these does not bring about fiscal responsibility, and is in fact irresponsible and counter-productive.
Furthermore, he accurately predicted the results of the now three sessions of quantitative easing, dismissing critics who claimed they would cause runaway inflation and stagnant growth. He understands the system better than most other men. However, he understands not only the hows, but the whys. Some have called him a Keynesian, and it is a badge he wears with honor.
And in this day and age, it is clear a Keynesian is what we need. For too long we have been enslaved to the neo-laissez-faire from the likes of Milton Friedman and Herbert Stein. They claimed when Reagan took office in 1981 that we would see the largest growth of jobs in the history of the United States. Instead, job growth and wages have effectively stagnated, leaving us with the mess we are in today.
We need bold action Mr. President. If you were to nominate Paul Krugman to the cabinet, that would be a clear sign of bold, decisive action which the American people have been craving. There may be others who are more politically safe, or would have an easier time passing through the Senate, but nobody has the economical star power of Paul Krugman. He is the right man for the job at the right time, Mr. President.
If you agree that this is the right move, make your voice heard. There is now a petition drive started by actor Danny Glover asking the President to nominate Paul Krugman. Sign it, and let the President know that you believe Paul Krugman is the right man for the Department of Treasury.
Nathaniel Downes is the son of a former state representative of New Hampshire, now living in Seattle Washington.
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