Thursday, November 27, 2008

We Already Have a CEA And An NEC, So Do We Need An ERAB?

I guess we should all be thankful for having so many teams of ecnomists. Must be nothing to worry about.

Obama has created a new President‘s "Economic Recovery Advisory Board" or ERAB. You can read about it here and here and here. Here is the general idea:

"President-elect Barack Obama announced Wednesday that he is creating a new economic recovery board to provide a "fresh perspective" for his administration. The board will advise Obama on how to revive the ailing economy, offering independent, nonpartisan information, analysis and advice to the president as he formulates and implements his plans for economic recovery, Obama's transition office said."

But we alreay have a Council of Economic Advisers. Here is what the CEA is all about:

"From the "Employment Act of 1946":

"There is hereby created in the Executive Office of the President a Council of Economic Advisers (hereinafter called the "Council"). The Council shall be composed of three members who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and each of whom shall be a person who, as a result of his training, experience, and attainments, is exceptionally qualified to analyze and interpret economic developments, to appraise programs and activities of the Government in the light of the policy declared in section 2, and to formulate and recommend national economic policy to promote employment, production, and purchasing power under free competitive enterprise. The President shall designate one of the members of the Council as Chairman.

It shall be the duty and function of the Council--

to assist and advise the President in the preparation of the Economic Report;

to gather timely and authoritative information concerning economic developments and economic trends, both current and prospective, to analyze and interpret such information in the light of the policy declared in section 2 for the purpose of determining whether such developments and trends are interfering, or are likely to interfere, with the achievement of such policy, and to compile and submit to the President studies relating to such developments and trends;

to appraise the various programs and activities of the Federal Government in the light of the policy declared in section 2 for the purpose of determining the extent to which such programs and activities are contributing, and the extent to which they are not contributing, to the achievement of such policy, and to make recommendations to the President with respect thereto;

to develop and recommend to the President national economic policies to foster and promote free competitive enterprise, to avoid economic fluctuations or to diminish the effects thereof, and to maintain employment, production, and purchasing power;

to make and furnish such studies, reports thereon, and recommendations with respect to matters of Federal economic policy and legislation as the President may request."

Now, what about the NEC or National Economic Council? It sure sounds like the ERAB and the CEA:

"Keith Hennessey is Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council (NEC). The NEC was established in 1993 within the Office of Policy Development and is part of the Executive Office of the President. It was created for the purpose of advising the President on matters related to U.S. and global economic policy. By Executive Order, the NEC has four principal functions: to coordinate policy-making for domestic and international economic issues, to coordinate economic policy advice for the President, to ensure that policy decisions and programs are consistent with the President's economic goals, and to monitor implementation of the President's economic policy agenda.

The purview of the NEC extends to policy matters affecting the various sectors of the nation's economy as well as the overall strength of the U.S. and global macro-economies. Therefore, the membership of the NEC comprises numerous department and agency heads within the administration, whose policy jurisdictions impact the nation's economy. Director Hennessey works in conjunction with these officials to coordinate and implement the President's economic policy objectives. He is also supported in his capacity as an adviser to President Bush by a staff of policy specialists whose expertise pertains to the council's specific areas of decision-making.

Included on this staff are a Deputy Assistant to the President and several Special Assistants to the President who report on a variety of economic policy issues including: agriculture, commerce, energy, financial markets, fiscal policy, healthcare, labor, and Social Security."

Don't forget that we also have The Domestic Policy Council. Here is what they do:

"The Domestic Policy Council coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House and offers policy advice to the President. The DPC also works to ensure that domestic policy initiatives are coordinated and consistent throughout federal agencies. Finally, the DPC monitors the implementation of domestic policy, and represents the President's priorities to other branches of government."


"Under President Bush, the Domestic Policy Council oversees major domestic policy areas such as education, health, housing, welfare, justice, federalism, transportation, environment, labor and veteran's affairs. The Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), USA Freedom Corps (USAFC), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) are also affiliated with the Domestic Policy Council. The Domestic Policy Council’s formal membership includes the cabinet Secretaries and Administrators of federal agencies that affect the issues addressed by the DPC."

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