Bad news: Krugman won’t take Treasury job

posted at 11:21 am on January 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Well, it’s bad news for Danny Glover and MoveOn, anyway.  They started a grassroots movement to get the New York Times columnist an appointment to Barack Obama’s Cabinet in replacement of the departing Tim Geithner.  MoveOn even sent a petition request to its large e-mail list, demanding a Paul Krugman nomination:

Hollywood actor and liberal activist Danny Glover is trying to send a message to President Barack Obama: “Nominate Paul Krugman for Treasury Secretary.”

Obama has yet to tap anyone to fill the slot, soon to be left vacant by outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. On Sunday the liberal advocacy group Moveon.org blasted out an email message from Glover encouraging members to sign a petition to Obama urging Krugman’s nomination.

“Press speculation has centered on candidates likely to support the Wall Street agenda of cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits and other domestic spending rather than government policies to create jobs,” the “Lethal Weapon” actor wrote.

“We want President Obama to nominate Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who opposes austerity and wants the government to focus on creating jobs,” he added. …

“We urge you to nominate Paul Krugman for Treasury Secretary,” the petition reads. “Krugman will protect Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts, promote policies to create jobs, and help defeat the austerity dogma in Washington and around the world.”

As for Krugman himself, he seems a little more tied to reality than Glover or MoveOn — and that’s saying something for a man who proposed faking a space-alien invasion in order to overcome opposition to government work projects.  In a blog post this morning, Krugman withdrew his name from consideration, mainly because it would “actually reduce my influence”:

So first of all, let’s talk frankly about the job I have. The New York Times isn’t just some newspaper somewhere, it’s the nation’s paper of record. As a result, being an op-ed columnist at the Times is a pretty big deal — one I’m immensely grateful to have been granted — and those who hold the position, if they know how to use it effectively, have a lot more influence on national debate than, say, most senators. Does anyone doubt that the White House pays attention to what I write?

Now, officials inside the administration can of course have even more influence — but only if they’re good at a very different kind of game, that of persuading the president and his inner circle in behind-closed-doors discussion. And everything I know about myself says that I’m not very good at that game.

By my reckoning, then, an administration job, no matter how senior, would actually reduce my influence, leaving me unable to say publicly what I really think and all too probably finding myself unable to make headway in internal debates.

Well, I did say Krugman was a little more tied to reality.  At any rate, we’ll have to just be satisfied with the occasional space-alien column, while Obama and his new Treasury Secretary pursue redistributionism somewhat less purely than MoveOn, Danny Glover, and Paul Krugman prefer.

More seriously, that’s beginning to look more like current White House chief of staff Jack Lew, writes Nancy Cook at National Journal:

As early as this week when President Obama returns to Washington from his Hawaii vacation, he’s expected to name his next Treasury Secretary—with all signs pointing toward the nomination of Jacob ‘Jack’ Lew.

Lew possesses the impeccable resume of a long-time Washington insider. He now works as the White House chief-of-staff and has earned the trust of the president in a very short period of time for no-drama approach and deep knowledge of fiscal matters. His previous tours of duty include stints in two administrations as budget director and as a former top policy advisor to the Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill.

Any major landmark budget legislation of the past 20 years has involved Lew. He helped to cut the 1997 balanced budget deal under President Clinton and the 1983 Social Security legislation, which has kept the entitlement program solvent for the past two decades.

But it won’t be easy:

House Republicans strongly dislike Lew. GOP members and staffers negotiated with him on the debt ceiling deal in the summer of 2011: an experience that left them with deep-seated, raw feelings of disdain for a man they view as condescending, too liberal, and unable to get to “yes” in a negotiation.

“Always trying to protect the sacred cows of the left” was the way Speaker Boehner’s former chief-of-staff, Barry Jackson, described Lew in Bob Woodward’s book, The Price of Politics. Republican sources in the book also characterized Lew as someone “who tried to explain why Democrats’ view of the world was right and the Republicans’ wrong.” That bad blood still exists.

That won’t matter in Lew’s confirmation, but it will add to the combative character of Obama’s Cabinet in the second term.

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And he could have been the first Ferretian-American to hold a cabinet level position. What a shame.

forest on January 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Can we lynch that crazy bastard instead?

rayra on January 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM

I said earlier it would be Schmidt. I stand by thar.

nobar on January 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Nice to know Krugman has it let it go to his head. /

And no, no one doubts the WH reads your column, Paul. Evidence abounds they do, which is the problem.

changer1701 on January 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

*that (damn cold is throwing off my otherwise excellent typing).

nobar on January 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

If you’ve read The Price of Politics, you’ll know Lew is basically a jerk. His idea of negotiating is condescendedly lecturing Boehner and company. He even knows more about Republican primary voters than actual Republicans.

Illinidiva on January 7, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Crazy cat lady with a beard.

CurtZHP on January 7, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Another example of those diabolically clever Martian lobbyists controlling American policy.

Damned neo-Martians.

SteveMG on January 7, 2013 at 11:30 AM

He doesn’t have a record of cheating on his taxes, so he’s unacceptable to the prez.

PattyJ on January 7, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Bad news: Krugman won’t take Treasury job

Oh noes!!!!! How will we fix the economy without this genius at the helm?

I guess the best we can hope for now is an alien invasion.

UltimateBob on January 7, 2013 at 11:31 AM

What a turd.

Tater Salad on January 7, 2013 at 11:31 AM

He’d actually have to work and produce, he can’t do that.

Speakup on January 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

By my reckoning, then, an administration job, no matter how senior, would actually reduce my influence, leaving me unable to say publicly what I really think and all too probably finding myself unable to make headway in internal debates.

Modesty is definitely Krugman’s problem. The only thing absurd is this idea that he independently writes op-ed columns. The reality is that he gets his talking points directly from the White House and manufactures a series of lies supporting whatever the agenda dictates. He is as much of a fraud as any other parasite in the profession of “journalism.”

Happy Nomad on January 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Who deserves their Nobel Prize least? Four way toss up: Obama, Gore, Arafat, and Krugman.

WordsMatter on January 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Krugman would never take a job that would expose him to the world as a charlatan and a fraud.

That’s why he’s still working at the NY Times.

Red Cloud on January 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Crazy cat lady with a beard.

CurtZHP on January 7, 2013 at 11:29 AM

I’ve always said, leftists like Krugman and Paul Begala wear beards because they are so crooked they can’t even look at themselves in the mirror long enough to shave.

UltimateBob on January 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Is Erskine Bowles in the running at all? While still a Dem, he’s not a lunatic.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on January 7, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Krugman, because Willie Sutton is not available.

rbj on January 7, 2013 at 11:39 AM

He already is a chief obama economic advisor anyway.

Joey24007 on January 7, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Right now Krugman gets paid like a king for a couple hours of writing every week. You really think he’s going to leave a cushy gig like that for a position which would actually require him to work?

tommyboy on January 7, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Paul “We need an alien invasion to save American economy” Krugman is a poster case for compassionate mental care.

Archivarix on January 7, 2013 at 11:40 AM

The Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’ Paul Krugman Edition Stimulus Programme:

“If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack, and we needed a massive build-up to counter the space alien threat, and inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months.”

- Paul Krugman, theorising how a manufactured crisis about how an alien invasion threat would bring a worldwide recovery

Even Greg Mankiw scratches his head over Krugman:

The Krugman Zone

M2RB: The Church

Resist We Much on January 7, 2013 at 11:41 AM

and help defeat the austerity dogma in Washington and around the world.”

At what point did being austere go from being a virtue to being a vice?

JohnGalt23 on January 7, 2013 at 11:41 AM

In a blog post this morning, Krugman withdrew his name from consideration, mainly because it would “actually reduce my influence

LOL… Not only he is one the dumbest economists on the planet, not only that he is a communist scum, but the delusion is so strong with him…

mnjg on January 7, 2013 at 11:42 AM

“Is Erskine Bowles in the running at all? While still a Dem, he’s not a lunatic.”

Then he can’t be a dem.

Joey24007 on January 7, 2013 at 11:43 AM

“actually reduce my influence”

chuckle.

CW on January 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

I’ve always said, leftists like Krugman and Paul Begala wear beards because they are so crooked they can’t even look at themselves in the mirror long enough to shave.

UltimateBob on January 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

The beard thing is very common among the communists… I am nost saying that all communists scums grow beards or all with beards are communists but it is my observation that many communists grow beards… It all began with their founder Karl Marx…

mnjg on January 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Paul “We need an alien invasion to save American economy” Krugman is a poster case for compassionate mental care.

Archivarix on January 7, 2013 at 11:40 AM

LOL, I’d forgot about that gem.

MelonCollie on January 7, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Erskine Bowles actually produced a grown up bipartisan deficit reduction plan and believes in math. He has even said nice things about Barry’s evil arch nemesis Paul Ryan. These all totally disqualify him for DoT in bizarro world.

Illinidiva on January 7, 2013 at 11:48 AM

An intellectual actually let his ideas be tested by reality?
Yeah – I’d say that would reduce his influence.

gwelf on January 7, 2013 at 11:52 AM

…the inmates are trying hard to run the nuthouse!

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Lew possesses the impeccable resume of a long-time Washington insider.

Only in this #*cked up government, could this be considered a resume enhancement.

BigWyo on January 7, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Dammit!

(I hear Bernie Madoff is available though – they share many of the same theories)

Tim_CA on January 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Any major landmark budget legislation of the past 20 years has involved Lew.

So this guy is a major part of the problem. It makes sense that Obama would want him in a position to wreak yet further havoc on the U.S. economy.

ROCnPhilly on January 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Krugman withdrew his name from consideration, mainly because it would “actually reduce my influence”

Or, as he said to Glover, “I’m too important for this s#!*.”

calbear on January 7, 2013 at 12:03 PM

An intellectual actually let his ideas be tested by reality?
Yeah – I’d say that would reduce his influence.

gwelf on January 7, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Yeah, look how successful Christina Rhomer (sp?) was…

ROCnPhilly on January 7, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Danny Glover…lol.

CW on January 7, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Would love to see the confirmation hearings.

besser tot als rot on January 7, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Paul Krugman as Treasury Secretary would have been like Michael Moore as President of The Motion Picture Association Of America!

pilamaye on January 7, 2013 at 12:35 PM

He’d actually have to work and produce, he can’t do that.

Speakup on January 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Boom!

Fallon on January 7, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Why would Krugman take a job that would prove his theories to be lies?

portlandon on January 7, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Friedman and Krugman are two insane morons. Krugman also c/b Mehpistopheles.

Schadenfreude on January 7, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I hope Krugman doesn’t have access to any guns. He’s nuts!

HotAirian on January 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM

If the NYT is the nations paper of record, could someone explain why the comment sections on their most fantabulous writers are always closed?

More influential than US Senators?…LOL… Krugman has confirmed that he is not only delusional but a narcissist as well.

DevilsPrinciple on January 7, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Danny Glover is a clown. I won’t watch his movies,TV shows or advertisements. I love the movie Silverado but when he comes on I go take a leak. I suggest everyone else do the same.

Hummer53 on January 7, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Does anyone doubt that the White House pays attention to what I write?

They’re the only ones who do. The ‘low information voters’ don’t read your writings, and anybody to the right of Bernie Sanders can’t stand them.

By my reckoning, then, an administration job, no matter how senior, would actually reduce my influence, leaving me unable to say publicly what I really think and all too probably finding myself unable to make headway in internal debates.

I cannot imagine how having an administration job would leave you unable to say what you really think. There is no daylight between the two of you. When the NYT et al report how 15 economists agree with the White House opinion, I assume that you are one of those 15. I further assume that all 15 of you are clones of each other.

ss396 on January 7, 2013 at 2:40 PM

New Year Resolution:

Stop feeding the Beast

Do not feed the NYT and Krugman, and ANY other Liberal Local Paper syndicating this Class A, A-Hole

Do not feed the UAW and Demoncrats- anymore

Do not feed Hollywood and their BS (well only Red Box, maybe)

No mas. Austerity is necessary.

Stop feeding the Liberal Beast money.

FlaMurph on January 7, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Krugman withdrew his name from consideration, mainly because it would “actually reduce my influence”

He’s wrong most of the time but he’s not an idiot. He’s figured out if he took the job, he’d prove without a doubt he’s the quintessential example of the Peter Principle. Those that can…do, those that can’t…teach.

TulsAmerican on January 7, 2013 at 3:14 PM

That is kind of bad news.

The position has no particular autonomy (the way the Fed does) and it would go a long way to remove ambiguity, which after the last election, should be a core goal of the GOP.

HitNRun on January 7, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Hummer53 on January 7, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Ditto. I’m always disappointed when actors who play such wonderful characters never learn a damn thing frpm the characters they play.
………………
And I’m surprised that the racist Glover, who pretends he is an african prince in his ‘off screen’ time, actually supported a white guy for the job.

Maybe he doesn’t read Hot Air and know of the brilliant African economist who posts as “Libfleeorlie”.

LegendHasIt on January 7, 2013 at 4:47 PM

He just doesn’t want to live under his own policies. d:

S. D. on January 7, 2013 at 6:47 PM