Monday, June 09, 2008

Jason Furman named top economic adviser to the Obama campaign

I count this as very good news, not just because I know Jason but because he has, in my experience over quite a few years, been consistently fair-minded and intellectually honest, even when he took shots for this (an example being the Walmart dust-up a couple of years back).  Among other virtues, Jason has a good understanding of a wide range of tax reform issues, and also of healthcare issues as mediated through the fiscal system (tax and otherwise).  Accordingly, subject to the myriad other factors that would determine the proposals and accomplishments of a hypothetical Obama Administration, the appointment speaks well for what tax and healthcare policy would look like in that state of the world.

I probably agree less with Jason about international tax policy (i.e., the taxation of outbound investment by US multinationals) than about other leading issues, but that's fair enough.

It's my understanding, by the way, that reputable economists on the right generally share my high assessment of Jason.

To be sure, economists and other policy types on the left used to, in bygone days (i.e., until a couple of months ago) think similarly well of Doug Holtz-Eakin.  But that was before Doug either sold his soul for one of the nine rings for mortal men or was placed under the Imperius Curse, depending on whether your taste runs to Middle Earth or Harry Potter.

Jason, however, has previously been through a general election campaign for president.  So I am very hopeful that he, unlike Doug, will sail through again with his reputation intact.  There is also strong reason to hope that the Obama campaign will (continue to) be much more fiscally responsible and intellectually honest than the lost-cause (from this standpoint) McCain campaign.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

In a counter the the accusation that McCain would be a Bush third term, Doug Holtz-Eakin claimed last week on Bloomberg TV that Obama, if elected, would be like a Bush third term with regard to the budget.

roger said...

David, I too have met Jason a few times. He is indeed highly intelligent, very honest and extremely knowledgeable. If anyone needs another good reason to vote for Obama, then knowing that the economy has the best chance of survival with Jason aboard, should be reason enough.

Roger R

roger said...

Sorry, I meant Daniel.

Roger R