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Media Say Little about Policy Failures of Obama's New Top Economist

President Obama announced liberal Princeton economist Alan Krueger as his new pick to chair the White House Council of Economic Advisers, as the president prepares for a speech on jobs after Labor Day.


The broadcast networks said nothing about the Aug. 29 announcement on the evening news programs (stories about Hurricane Irene ate up most of the time). The next day according to Nexis, only CBS mentioned Krueger's name in three news briefs about the appointment. None of those mentioned the failures of policies Krueger already worked on for Obama.


The White House is hoping that appointing Krueger as the replacement for Austan Goolsbee will help convince a public that doesn't approve of Obama's handling of the economy that something will be done. But will that something be anything other than the failed policies the administration has already pursued?


Not likely with Krueger at the helm. He's already worked for the Obama administration at the Treasury department. While there he was involved with two huge failures of the Obama administration: the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) and "Cash for Clunkers" programs.


He's also a member of Center for American Progress's Economic Academic Advisory Committee, to which left-wing billionaire George Soros has given $7.3 million. Krueger has also argued for a value-added tax (VAT) in a post on The New York Times' Economix blog.


In contrast to the three broadcasts networks' relative silence and failure to mention Krueger's history working for Treasury, CNN mentioned "Cash for Clunkers" in five stories about Krueger, Aug. 29 and 30.


But those mentions were not critical of the program with one exception. In one "American Morning" conversation, Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal called Krueger the "architect" of "Cash for Clunkers" a program that "[hadn't] worked out so well."


Krueger Already Presided over Failed Obama Stimulus Policies


The SBLF was a $30 billion fund to foster lending to small businesses through community banks. But CNNMoney.com reported on July 20, 2011, the SBLF "misses the mark." Why? Because demand for the program fell way short of government expectations. According to that article, only slightly more than 13 percent of eligible community banks applied to join the program.


An op-ed in The Daily Caller criticized the program further, saying that almost a year and a half after being proposed by President Obama, "Treasury has yet to use a single dollar to actually help banks make loans."


As noted above, Krueger was also involved with another government program that the mainstream media loved, but was extremely inefficient: "Cash for Clunkers."


Clunkers was supposed to be a boon to the auto industry and to the environment, so of course the mainstream news media loved it. The networks praise the "wildly popular" program and called it "too successful." Yes, the $4,500 vouchers towards a new car if you traded in your clunker and allowed it to be disabled were popular. But that didn't make the program economically sound.


The government program wildly underestimated the willingness of people to take free money, and the $1 billion for Cash for Clunkers was spent in one week. Those funds were supposed to be last longer than three months. The government then devoted $2 billion more to the program.


Americans for Tax Reform condemned the waste of taxpayer dollars saying: "[A] new report from Edmonds.com found that the real subsidy for each car sold as a result of Cash for Clunkers is much higher than $4,000. During the program 690,000 new vehicles were sold, however, Edmonds found that 565,000 would have been bought even if we hadn't done Cash for Clunkers. Only 125,000 vehicles were purchased as a result of Cash for Clunkers, meaning each car cost the taxpayers $24,000."