[Guest post by DRJ]
Harvard Economics Professor Greg Mankiw has four suggestions for Barack Obama:
Listen to your economists.
“Pay close attention to what they have to say. They will often give you advice quite different from what you will hear from congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.”
Embrace some Republican ideas.
“Your best chance of delivering what they want requires that you abandon some of your past positions and pursue a more moderate, bipartisan course [as Bill Clinton did].”
Mankiw also recommends that Obama embrace McCain’s refundable health insurance tax credit. Mankiw describes this as the Furman-McCain plan because it was advanced by Jason Furman, a former student of Mankiw’s and Obama’s director of economic policy, before McCain ever proposed it.
Pay attention to the government’s budget constraint.
“[D]uring the campaign, you promised that you would cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans, that you would vastly expand health insurance coverage, and that you would never cut Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age. You will almost surely have to renege on some of these promises.”
Recognize your past mistakes.
“Your economists can explain to you why these [isolationaist] positions [you voted for] were wrong-headed. Economic isolationism is not in the national interest.”
Good advice that I suspect will fall on deaf ears.