6/07/2009

Austan Goolsbee, Hussie

If there is a better example of an academic economist prostituting himself for the sake of partisan politics I would like to see it. On Fox News Sunday Austan Goolsbee, in response to Chris Wallace’s question regarding the Obama administration’s micromanaging the auto industry, dutifully pounded the administration’s “it’s all Bush’s fault” line by asserting the Bush administration “kicked the can down the road” and “shook up the can, opened the can and put it our laps”. Neither Chris Wallace, who is usually on his game, Richard Shelby, whose game seems to be picking dandelions in center field, nor Fred Malek (Fred who?), whose game was over 30 years ago, had the wits to remind viewers that Obama not only voted for the $15 billion GM/Chrysler bailout bill, but he publicly advocated for it. On December 7 on Meet the Press, for example, Obama said, "I don't think it's an option to simply allow [the auto industry] to collapse." Indeed, to the extent there was any bona fide opposition to the bill, it was solely on the part of several Republican senators. If the December 2008 bailout was a mistake, there was no reason the Obama administration could not have imposed a structured reorganization when it assumed power rather than do so $50 billion later. If the (Sen. Obama-supported) December 2008 bailout made no sense, why has the current administration doubled and tripled-down on that policy? It would have been nice if one of the other panelists sleep-walking his way through the discussion (including Eric Schmidt whom Chris Wallace failed to identify as a strong Obama campaign-supporter) had mentioned that the individual who was among the first to advocate the policy that Goolsbee seems to think would have been the correct one was Mitt Romney who called for a structured bankruptcy of GM in November (though in fairness to Goolsbee, his responses were so mushy it’s not at all clear what he thinks should have been done other than whatever it was that Bush didn’t do). Goolsbee’s intellectually dishonest performance was a disgrace to his profession and to my alma mater.
Update: For a far more extensive treatment of the same subject, go to http://keithhennessey.com/2009/06/07/dr-goolsbee-gets-it-wrong-on-the-auto-loans/

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't get me going on Willard. He spent his career as a vulture capitalist, stripping wealth from the industrial heartland. Now, he wants to be an expert on the auto industry? If he's such an expert, he should have worked in the industry and kept his daddy's company from going under.

Johnny Keynes said...

Here here! The man spoke at my commencement from the then GSB and I am extremely disappointed in his positions and unflinching support for the Obama line.

How many friends do you think he'll have in the b-school when he gets back?

Fergie Jenkins said...

Goolsbee is the same guy Obama deputized to undertake a secret mission to tell the Canadians not to pay any attention to Obama's (insincere) campaign promises regarding NAFTA. Goolsbee's spoon fed drivel blaming Bush had nothing to do with Chris Wallace's question. I hope you're right and he is indeed an embarrassing anomaly on campus. I'm not close enough these days to know.