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Oh, The Rich Irony Of Hiring Friendly Economists

Back in November, Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, ripped the US Chamber of Commerce for shopping around for an economist critical of health care reform. The Chamber was offering $50,000 for the services of a “respected economist.”

“Now I know the price for a tenured economist,” Rahm Emanuel chuckled. “I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re firm in their opinions. It’s their principles that are flexible.”

One day later the White House released a letter in support of health care reform.

A day after White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel took a shot at the Chamber of Commerce for shopping around for an economist that would be critical of health reform, the White House released a letter of more than 20 health economists supportive of Democratic reforms.

(Read the letter here.)

One of the biggest economists to sign the letter was Jonathan Gruber, an economist very supportive of reform. The Obama Administration hired Gruber to do consulting on the “President’s health reform proposal,” and paid him roughly $400,000. The administration has been very aggressively promoting Gruber’s research all year. Oh, the rich irony.

It makes you wonder, was Rahm upset at the Chamber Of Commerce for trying to oppose health care reform, or because they might have gotten a much better deal on their economist?

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at