Friday, September 9, 2011

Rick Perry’s Absent Economic Staff

More details emerge about GOP candidates as the field of contenders gets tighter, with focus finally beginning to shift from the individuals’ sound bites to their planned policies and the staff they are assembling to carry them out. Economist Tim Iacono notes that GOP frontrunner Rick Perry does not have one economist on his staff and relies on the economic successes of Texas to support his proposed performance in the White House, meaning to suggest he does not have anyone to help him craft the economic policy he will use to replace the one currently being used by the Obama Administration – a plan for which Perry and Republicans have no shortage of criticism. For more on this continue reading the following article from Tim Iacono.

There’s a lot not to like about Texas Governor and GOP candidate Rick Perry, but, clearly, two of his redeeming qualities are his disdain for the Bernanke Fed and, based on the fact that his campaign team is, so far, devoid of economists, a seeming dislike for the entire dismal set. Prior to last night’s GOP debate, this story in Fortune discussed the latter.

The governor relies on the Lone Star State’s economic performance under his leadership over the last decade to make his case. But where is his economic plan for the nation? Or, at least, where is the economic team that will help him craft it?

So far, apparently, neither exists.

As he stands up his campaign, there is evidence Perry is reaching out to private-sector leaders for economic advice. He brought a handful of Washington hands who lead small business trade associations down to Austin last month for a lunch meeting that one participant described as a “pure policy session” on job growth.

And it may be that Perry would like to hold off on hiring economic eggheads for as long as he can. The governor has cultivated an anti-elitist image, distancing himself from his predecessor in the Texas governor’s mansion, George W. Bush, by noting the 43rd president went to Yale, while Perry was a Texas A&M man. On Fox News, he recently blasted Obama for surrounding himself with academics who claim prestigious degrees and no real-world experience. “They are intellectually very, very smart but he does not have wise men and women around him,” Perry said.
As for Tuesday night’s debate, according to this Housing Wire story, the nation’s chief economist – Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke – isn’t too popular with this crowd, both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney saying they would not reappoint Bernanke to another term as the Fed chief if they were elected president, Gingrich saying he’d “fire him tomorrow”.

Based on Newt’s position in polls, Bernanke can rest easy until the end of his term.

This post was republished with permission from Tim Iacono.

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