President-elect Barack Obama announced the key members of his economic team on Monday, including his pick for Treasury Secretary, New York Federal Reserve president Timothy Geithner.
Geithner (pictured) had been widely discussed as a Treasury pick. His close involvement with the department's controversial $700 billion rescue plan had been seen as a negative in some quarters, but his familiarity with the workings of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury counted in his favor. Geithner has also served in senior roles at the Treasury and the International Monetary Fund.
"We'll need to bring together the best minds in America to guide us - and that is what I've sought to do in assembling my economic team," said Obama.
Lawrence Summers, a former Harvard University president and a Treasury Secretary during the Clinton administration, will become director of the National Economic Council. A key member of Obama's economic advisory team during the presidential campaign, he was also reportedly under consideration for the Treasury Secretary post. However, he was a controversial pick because of comments he made at Harvard speculating on why few women were leaders in the science and engineering professions.
That apparently is not a problem in the economic field. Obama also named two women as prominent members of his economic team. Christina Romer, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, has been selected as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. Since 2003, she has been co-director of the National Bureau of Economic Research Monetary Economics program. She is also a "leading economic historian, perhaps best known for her work on America's recovery from the Great Depression," according to Obama.
Melody Barnes will become director of the Domestic Policy Council. She has been tasked with working on health care reform with incoming Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Daschle, a former Senate minority leader. Barnes has been executive vice president for policy at the think tank, the Center for American Progress. She has also served as chief counsel to Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., a long-time proponent of health care reform.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has reportedly been chosen as Secretary of Commerce, but no official announcement was made Monday. He also served in the Clinton administration as Secretary of Energy. The new team will begin working immediately, before the administration formally takes office. Obama also said that he plans to introduce an economic stimulus package that would create and save 2.5 million jobs, concentrating on projects such as rebuilding roads and bridges, modernizing schools and creating a clean energy infrastructure. "I have asked my economic team to develop recommendations for this plan, and to consult with Congress, the current administration and the Federal Reserve on immediate economic developments over the next two months," he said.
Obama and several of his advisers also indicated that he might delay raising income taxes for taxpayers who earn more than $250,000 per year. Instead of raising them next year to pay for health care reform and other proposals, he would instead let the Bush tax cuts simply expire as planned at the end of 2010.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access