If you are looking for Barack Obama’s new Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee to be anything but a political hack who will twist the truth to advance the President’s agenda, you may be disappointed. Mr. Gooslbee was the man behind one of the most oblivious lies made by the President’s staff during the campaign season.
During the Ohio Democratic Primary season, then Senators Obama and Clinton took turns declaring who hated the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) more (placating the Ohio steel industry). Obama said that he would renegotiate the NAFTA treaty but at the same time, Austan Goolsbee was telling the Canadians not to worry, Obama’s anti-NAFTA stance was just for show.
During the campaign, Canada’s CTV television network reported that, in early February,Mr. Gooslbee then and adviser to the campaign told Canadian officials that they need not take Obama’s NAFTA threats seriously, that those threats were just political rhetoric intended to win Midwestern primaries. At first both the campaign, and the Canadian government, denied everything. Obama himself, asked about the story the next day, said, “It did not happen.” Gooslbee also lied about the meeting.
Obama didn’t realize there was a memo written as a record of the February 8 meeting between Goolsbee and a man named Georges Rioux, the Canadian consul general in Chicago. The document was written by Joseph DeMora, a consulate staffer who was in the meeting.
As Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee will be making press appearances telling the public what to expect out of the economy in the future. As he has lied to us before, can we trust him to tell the truth now?