from Follow the Money

Misdiagnosing the problem

April 3, 2006

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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Rumors of John Snow's departure from the Treasury have been old news for over a year.  In some ways, it is rather amazing that John Snow hasn't walked out already.   It sometimes seems like every major Republican financial executive in New York has already been offered his job ...

The White House seems to think the problem with Snow is that he cannot communicate about the economy:

... White House and Republican officials are not so diplomatic. "You've got an economic team that can't communicate about the economy. You've had two terrible secretaries. He's seen as really bad," an official said.

Some might say the problem isn't entirely one of communication.   The product ain't so great either. 

Stagnant real wages for most folks - including the disaffected Jacksonian base of the Republican party.   A large gap between government revenues and expenditures.   And between exports and imports.   And - at least according to some - rising risks.

Traditionally, the Treasury Secretary has had a role in conceptualizing policy, not just its communication.  But the White House doesn't seem to want to go back to that model.    Too bad.

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