Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Meet Jason Furman, Economic Policy Advisor to Obama

This is Jason Furman -------------------------------------------->

According to his bio at the Brookings Institution:

Jason Furman has conducted research and policy work on issues that include taxes, health care and Social Security. He is the former director of The Hamilton Project, an initiative that develops policy proposals to achieve shared economic growth. Dr. Furman is currently on a leave of absence from Brookings.

The Right will shriek that the Brookings Institution is leftist, when in my opinion it has moved from Left to Center, and in some cases even Right. For instance the odious and ever wrong war hawk Michael O'Hanlon is a Brookings scholar.

Here it comes: Furman is a defender of Wal-Mart! From the New York Sun:

Just days after clinching the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator
is naming as his economic policy director an economist who has clashed
with critics of Wal-Mart by defending the company as a boon to poor Americans.

The appointment of Jason Furman, 37, a former Clinton administration official who is a visiting scholar at New York University, immediately met with skepticism from some who have faulted Wal-Mart for being stingy toward its workforce.

"It's surprising because this guy seems to feel that Wal-Mart's low-wage,
low-benefit business model is good for America. That's just flat-out wrong," the
executive director of Wal-Mart Watch, David Nassar, said. "This guy helped to
lend credibility to the Wal-Mart business model. That was disappointing then and
it's disappointing now given this position," said Mr. Nassar, whose group is
backed by a board that includes the president of the Service Employees
International Union, Andrew Stern. Mr. Nassar quickly added that he was "not
critiquing the Obama campaign."

Hang on a second here - why not criticize the Obama campaign? He challenged Hillary Clinton for being on the Board of Wal-Mart and has criticized the company before saying they should pay a living wage. So what's his real position? It is my opinion that since Obama is now the de-facto head of the Democratic Party, he needs to be reminded to hold close to Democratic ideals and principles.

And this is controversial advisor #2 - the first one I was appalled by was John Brennan, Obama's Foreign Policy and Intelligence advisor who agrees with the Bush administration that Telcos should have immunity for illegal warrantless wiretapping. (BTW, both Clinton and Obama left the Senate floor just before the crucial FISA vote in December, for which I am still pissed at them both.) Brennan's firm, The Analysis Corp, is responsible for the passport breach scandal as well.

I think I understand what's going on here. Having secured the left-based candidacy, the well known tactic of swinging to the center-right in order to win more votes is the campaign's strategy. I think he can win without going that far, I really do. People are sick of the status quo, and to invite some of that status quo right into your campaign is, I think, a big mistake.

Call the campaign gurus, and tell them:

David Axelrod ( Advisor – Media & Ads, )
David Plouffe ( Campaign Manager, )
Email : ( David Axelrod ) , ( David Plouffe )
Tel : 202-224-2854 ( Washington – Obama’s office )
312-664-7500 ( Chicago )
212-529-5775 ( New York )
Addr : 730 N. Franklin Suite 404 Chicago, IL 60610
928 Broadway, Suite 505 New York, NY 10010