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Ear to the Ground

Obamanomics = Rubinomics?

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Posted on Nov 24, 2008
Obama and the economists
AP photo / Chris Carlson

Barack Obama confers with Paul Volcker, left, as Robert Rubin looks on Sept. 19 in Coral Gables, Fla., during a meeting of the president-elect’s top economic advisers.

Judging by the new additions to Barack Obama’s economic squad, the president-elect appears to be borrowing heavily from Robert Rubin’s ranks, but here’s an argument as to why Obama’s approach will differ from Rubin’s (but consider the source here).

For his part, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says, “During the campaign, the kind of change that the president-elect promised was so undefined it made me nervous. Now that he’s appointing familiar faces from the Clinton administration to very high-level positions, I’m less concerned.”

But before anyone expects a return to the deficit-cutting, moderate-spending, government-shrinking, deregulating third way world of Rubinomics, listen to this: “Those who are making more than a quarter-million dollars a year can afford to pay a little more.” Obama said that at the Chicago press conference where he announced several nominees to his administration, which takes office Jan. 20.

Then there are the other folks on the team. He nominated University of California, Berkeley, economist Christina Romer to be director of the Council of Economic Advisers, the panel that helps the president prepare his annual economic report (released in February) and examines the performance of the administration’s spending programs.

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