President Obama should appoint a new Citizen's Economic Advisory Board comprised only of liaisons from the working wounded and take less advice from the "upper crust." According to NBC.com, the president's first term advisors were led by former Federal Reserve Chairman, Paul Volcker and staff director Austan Goolsbee. The committee was comprised primarily of people who were not personally impacted by the great recession. Let's review the list.
William H. Donaldson, SEC Chair, 2003-05; Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO, TIAA-CREF; Robert Wolf, chairman and CEO, UBS; David F. Swensen, CIO, Yale University; Mark T. Gallogly, founder and managing partner, Centerbridge Partners L.P.; Penny Pritzker, chairwoman, Pritzker Realty Group; Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO, GE (parent company of NBC News); John Doerr, partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers; Jim Owens, chairman and CEO, Caterpillar Inc.; Monica C. Lozano, publisher & chief executive officer, La Opinion; Charles E. Phillips, Jr., president, Oracle; Anna Burger, chairwoman, Change to Win; Richard L. Trumka, secretary-treasurer, AFL-CIO; Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Dean, Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley; Martin Feldstein, professor of Economics, Harvard.
A similar crowd has been trotting in and out of the White House recently to weigh in on tax cuts and entitlement reform when 2/3 of the American population is living paycheck to paycheck. Of these, almost 50 million live in poverty and 20 percent of those are children. Instead of facing this ongoing American tragedy, Washinton's most powerful allies in business and academia debated tax rates. Give me a break!
Too often, the rich and powerful try to insulate our presidents from the pain and suffering which results from unemployment or under-employment. They shower the president with political contributions, undeserved accolades and a lot of "happy talk." Their privileged lifestyle devalues their advice. This is evident in the discussion about tax cuts for the wealthy which had no impact on the vast majority of Americans. The continuous flow of their irrelevant advice to our president is contributing to America's slow recovery.
Therefore, as the president begins his second term, we should pressure him to reach out for advice beyond the wealthy and privileged, and to seek counsel from a real citizen's committee comprised of Americans who live and labor among that 2/3 of the population who live paycheck to paycheck, because the advice he is receiving from the "job creators" leaves too much to be desired.