Not another economic council!
On Monday I made the humble suggestion that one way to help the U.S. economy get out of the current panic/slump would be to abolish the "National Economic Council," which to a large extent duplicates the functions of the Council of Economic Advisors. Well, guess what? President-elect Obama has taken the opposite approach, deciding to create yet another such governmental body, the "President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board." This [new entity] seems to be just a way to make room in the Obama administration for former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, who will head the unit. See BBC, which noted without a trace of irony that Obama "also said he will cut billions of dollars in 'wasteful spending'." By creating more government agencies?? This sounds like a job for the folks at The Onion.
On the other hand, I suppose we should give credit to Obama for choosing Paul Volcker to a top advisory position. Volcker was chosen by President Jimmy Carter to head the Federal Reserve Board in August 1979, at a time when the U.S. economy was experiencing a second major bout of inflation. Volcker was known as a "monetarist," a devotee of Milton Friedman's "Chicago School" of economics, which holds that the money supply is the most important factor in determining the general rate of price increase. It was one of the very few smart choices that Carter made as president. Volcker's strong will and intellect made a huge difference as the U.S. economy was painfully weaned off the steady, intoxicating flow of new currency. That is why President Reagan kept him for several years, even though Reagan sometimes criticized Volcker's tight-money policies. I always thought Volcker deserved more credit for reducing the inflation rate, and somehow his successor Alan Greenspan ended up with a better public image.
Obama girls at school
No doubt about it, the Obama girls Sasha and Malia are two of the cutest and sweetest things you'll ever see on television. But after their dad was elected president, everyone started asking where they would go to school next semester, after they move into the White House? The Obamas just announced they will be going to the elite Sidwell Friends School, where Chelsea Clinton once attended. See newser.com. In The Mud Pit, there are complaints about Barack Obama's liberal hypocrisy in having opposed school choice proposals because they would undermine public schools. That is certainly a valid point. I don't mind so much the decision on where to send the girls to school, which is a practical matter, after all. That being said, I positively despise the lame excuses from Obama and others in the liberal establishment who pander to the teachers' unions and obstruct desperately-needed reforms, thereby perpetuating mediocrity in public education.