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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/22/09

If Krugman Doesn't Have the President's Ear, Here's What He Should Do

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Is it possible that Paul Krugman --just-awarded Nobel-prize-winning economist, columnist in the most prominent location in the world-- cannot get his ideas in front of President Barack Obama?

Krugman said on Saturday that "the Zombie ideas won," implying that there'd been a contest. So maybe --hardly certainly-- that implies that he knows that the ideas that he (and various other prominent, progressive economists) propose did have a chance to compete for the president's allegiance, but lost.

On the other hand, Robert Kuttner recently worried that such ideas were NOT reaching the president, save through the filtering of the economic team that's advancing the "Zombie" ideas (i.e. the ideas about pumping more money into "Zombie banks).

So I'm left wondering: is it possible that neither Paul Krugman, nor anyone else of like mind, has been able to make a pitch directly to Obama?

If that is the case, here's my thought about what Krugman could do.

He writes, as a column for the New York Times, an open letter to the president. In it, he asks for 15 minutes of face time.



"No one wants you to succeed more than I do," Krugman declares. "America desperately needs for you to succeed. And to succeed in your presidency, you've got to succeed first on the economic, and to succeed on the economic crisis, you've got to succeed first on the crisis on the financial system.


" If you blow this, you'll likely have to kiss your whole agenda good-bey.

"But I fear you're about to make a big, possibly irretrievable, mistake in your strategy for fixing the financial system. And it doesn't seem that you've heard directly from any of the many serious economists --people who support you-- who see it that way.

"So, please, before your administration announces its plan, could I please meet with you for 15 minutes in the Oval Office? I could come alone, or I could come with others who see, with dread, what I see.

"If you want your economic team to be there to debate and refute what I've got to say, that would be just fine. (But then we'll need more than 15 minutes.)

"You've said on various occasions that you're open to hearing better ideas, from outside your administration as well as from within. Here's the one situation where it seems you really do need some of those better ideas."


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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
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