I am he and he is she and she is me and we are all together. (That’s the Beatles, kids.)
Anyway, the reason I’m offering such nonsense is to rope you into listening to the ABC News Shuffle Podcast with an economist!
And not just any economist — but one of the President’s three economists on the Council of Economic Advisers: Austan Goolsbee.
(Can you name the other two?)*
You can listen to it on iTunes or HERE. The Shuffle was produced by Lindsey Ellerson and Sunlen Miller.
Some choice moments: as he also told Ben Smith of the Politico, Goolsbee — one of the chief authors of the president’s plan to stem home foreclosures, was exasperated when CNBC personality Rick Santelli criticized the plan unfairly, in his view.
"That was driving me a little nuts," Goolsbee said. "I thought Robert Gibbs’ quote, he was like, ‘Well, I would advise Mr. Santelli to read the plan,’ and that that’s the main thought that I had was, ‘He didn’t even read the plan, that’s the opposite of what the plan was doing!’ So, you know, it was a little frustrating, but all and all, I think it was a good policy. I think it was well thought through. It wasn’t just me working on it, there was a wide team of people from all across, all across the government and, and I think that it was fairly well received."
We spoke about the skepticism President Obama faces among some European leaders as he heads to the G-20.
"There has been some skepticism among the Europeans, though Europe is certainly not of one mind on that," Goolsbee said. "I think there are two issues at hand. One, you’ve seen most of Europe 3-6 months behind the U.S in terms of economic conditions. So, to the extent that there is reluctance to engage in larger stimulus efforts, I sort of think they might be where we were six months ago, where people were thinking stimulus that was going to be relatively modest in size compared to what we ended up needing. So, I think 3-6 months from now, you may see a lot of leaders in Europe singing a different tune as it were. The second is, it’s been the view for a long time of Secretary Geithner, of the president, of Larry Summers and others that for both stimulus, regulatory changes and a series of other things of dealing with financial rescue, we really have to do this stuff as a, as a team. It doesn’t mean everybody has to do the same thing, but we have seen a number of areas where one country takes an action that has a huge negative impact on all of its neighbors."
Goolsbee, who has known President Obama since his state senate days, confesses that it’s still a little odd on occasion seeing his pal be President.
"Our kids are about the same age and I’d see them around at, you know, birthday parties at the Lab School kind of thing and now the guy’s sitting in the Oval Office!" Goolsbee said, "He’s president of the United States. So it’s pretty interesting."
Again, you can listen to it on iTunes or HERE.
* Dr. Christina Romer and Cecilia Rouse.