Prior to his recent run as BFF with Chuck Schumer, President Trump liked to occasionally lash out at the Senate Democratic leader and his caucus for keeping him from Making America Great Again by slowing the confirmation of the people who’d be doing the Making. As will no doubt come as a surprise, this was never actually especially true, what with the president still, eight months into his term, having failed to so much as nominate someone to more than half of the jobs requiring Senate confirmation for Senate Democrats to obstruct.
This, of course, never really applied to the Council of Economic Advisers, the three-member body of which only one, the chairman, requires confirmation. Incredibly, the president got around to nominating said chairman back in April, but didn’t both filling out the ranks until this past month. The final member, Cornell economist Richard Burkhauser, got the nod today.
Perhaps it was difficult to get the president to focus on any one thing long enough to get him to pick three people to yell at and ignore. Perhaps, until recently, the president didn’t need any more economic advising than he was getting from Gary Cohn. Perhaps he was reminded about things by the aforementioned NEC chairman, Kevin Hassett, who was finally confirmed this week. Whatever the reason, the NEC now has an expert on income inequality and vulnerable economic populations spitballing with the commander-in-chief. Really. And his takes on the above are exactly what you might expect.
Mr. Burkhauser’s research has focused on how government tax and spending policies address income inequality and how public policies shape economic behaviors and the well-being of vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities and the elderly. Among his conclusions has been that raising the minimum wage doesn’t help the poor.