America

Obama's New Economist Favors Tax Credits For Companies That Hire

President Obama and economist Alan Krueger at the White House this morning (Aug. 29, 2011). i i

hide captionPresident Obama and economist Alan Krueger at the White House this morning (Aug. 29, 2011).

Susan Walsh/AP
President Obama and economist Alan Krueger at the White House this morning (Aug. 29, 2011).

President Obama and economist Alan Krueger at the White House this morning (Aug. 29, 2011).

Susan Walsh/AP

Alan Krueger, who President Obama today nominated to lead the White House Council of Economic Advisers, favors "the idea of having a new jobs tax credit" as one way to get the labor market moving again, he told Bloomberg radio last month.

"If companies increase their payroll by an employee, they could get a $5,000 tax cut to offset their additional hiring costs," Krueger said.

Reuters adds that Krueger's selection "signaled a fresh attempt by Obama to make good on his promise to focus on the U.S. economy and jobs with Americans deeply dissatisfied with his handling of those issues. Krueger, an expert on unemployment, would succeed Austan Goolsbee."

The Wall Street Journal's David Wessel writes that "if confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Krueger, a labor economist, is likely to provide a voice inside the administration for more-aggressive government action to bring down unemployment and, particularly, to address long-term joblessness."

As our colleague Jacob Goldstein over at the Planet Money blog reports, the Democratic president's choice has already been endorsed by two economists who served under Republican presidents:

"His nomination drew praise from Greg Mankiw, who chaired the CEA for a few years under the second President Bush, and from Martin Feldstein, who held the job during the Reagan administration."

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