Friday, August 26, 2016

The Silence Is Deafening: Zero Support for Trump Among Former Presidential Economic Advisers

Today's Wall Street Journal (Friday 26 August 2016, p. A5) published a survey of all former members of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) going back to the Nixon administration.  The CEA was created by the Employment Act of 1946 to advise the President on economic policy and consists of three members appointed by the President.

None of the 45 living former members are willing publicly support Donald Trump.  That is NONE as in ZERO, as in NADA, as in ZILCH. (The results do not indicate whether the non-living former CEA members are, or are not, rolling over in their graves at the prospect of a Trump presidency.)  

While no former member supported the opposition party's candidate, the silence on Trump by economists serving under Republicans is deafening.  Among the Republican-appointed CEA members, all were silent except six, who all opposed Trump.  These six included former CEA chairs who served under Reagan (Martin Feldstein) and Bush #43 (Greg Mankiw).  It is very unusual for advisers to state opposition to the candidate of the party whose President appointed them.

“I have known personally every Republican president since Richard Nixon,” said Harvard University economist Martin Feldstein, who chaired the council under President Ronald Reagan. “They all showed a real understanding of economics and international affairs….Donald Trump does not have that understanding and does not seem to be concerned about it. That alone disqualifies him in my judgment.”  


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