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Austan Goolsbee Dismisses Harry Reid Over Obama Tax Deal

Yesterday on NPR’s All Things Considered, Austan Goolsbee brushed off Harry Reid and Congressional Democrats as if they were little more than a gaggle of unimportant beltway pundits. The topic of discussion was Obama’s plan to extend the Bush tax cuts.

Who’s Austan Goolsbee?  He’s chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. A recent addition to the Obama admin, replacing Larry Summers who has returned to Harvard. The full transcript of the interview is available at   The relevant portion of the NPR interview:

 RAZ: So what explains so much opposition from congressional Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has said that from his perspective, the framework needs work, that this is not a done deal?

Mr. GOOLSBEE: Well, I mean, obviously you’re selectively picking opponents. There are people who…

RAZ: Well, Harry Reid is the Senate majority leader.

Mr. GOOLSBEE: Well, as I say, you are – you can select any individuals you want to select. What I would say is there are some people who would have preferred to have a fight.

“Selectively picking opponents”!  Has Austan Goolsbee forgotten that the Congress is required to pass bills into law?  Or that the Senate Majority leader is perhaps the most significant person in that body when it comes to passing critical legislation such as taxation?  Is there anyone more central to the process than Harry Reid?  Apparently so, because Mr Goolsbee just waves Harry and the rest of the Congressional Democrats off with a quick pish posh.  There’s a deeply disturbing level of arrogance in Mr Goolsbee’s statement.  It makes me wonder if he’s dismissing Harry Reid or if he’s dismissing the institution of Congress itself.  If so, I suppose it would be just one more unwelcome continuation of Bush policy.

And since Mr Goolsbee brings up the topic of fighting, I’ll point out that it wouldn’t be difficult to craft a video montage of candidate Obama pledging to fight for an end to the Bush tax cuts for the rich.  For example:

Ah memories!  I bet our politicians can’t wait for digital forgetfulness software to release them from the gulag of well documented campaign promises.

As for Senator Reid, he made a brief statement on Obama’s tax deal the other day(youtube):

I’m not a big fan of what has been negotiated.

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