Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's often said that when it comes to the economy and financial matters, neither presidential candidate possesses particularly impressive knowledge. I happen to believe Obama towers over McCain in this regard, but perhaps it's best to look at some of the people enlisted by each campaign to serve as experts on this front.

The current Time magazine listed three such people for both sides. As "Team McCain" is Phil Gramm, Carly Fiorina and Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Let's start with "The Turtle," Phil Gramm. He is the godfather of the push for deregulation of the financial system and much of the blame for our current problems lay at his feet. Do I have to say anything about Fiorina? She's made one gaff after another and is currently MIA from the campaign. And Holtz-Eakin is the guy who said McCain invented the Blackberry. Quite a stellar group of individuals, indeed.

For "Team Obama" there's Austan Goolsbee, Laura Tyson, and Larry Summers. Goolsbee is an economist at The University of Chicago, graduated summa cum laude from Yale, earned a PhD at MIT and went on to become an Alfred Sloan Fellow and Fulbright scholar. He's described as a centrist and is an expert on tax policy. Laura Tyson was head of the National Economic Council under Bill Clinton and as Time describes her, "an expert on trade, globalization and the tech economy, she helped devise Clinton's economic policy during the '90s boom." Finally, Time describes Summers as "brilliant, blunt and abrasive, he favors free trade and globalization. His experience managing the Mexican and Asian financial crises is valuable now."

Ok, so you make the comparison. Which team appears not just more impressive, but more appropriate for the country given the problems we're facing? Mr. Deregulation who called us whiners not too long ago, an ex-CEO who misspeaks on a regular basis, and Bush's ex-chief economist (need I say more). Compared to a tax expert, a trade policy expert, and a former Treasury Secretary who has successfully dealt with crisis situations.

Hmm, let me think, this is a tough one....

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