President Barack Obama’s selection of White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew as his Treasury secretary represents a continuation of his quest for a nanny state, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial
In putting together his cabinet, Obama is “assembling a team of personal and ideological loyalists whose job will be less to offer independent advice than to advance and implement his agenda for a larger, more redistributionist government,” Journal editors write.
Lew is all about politics, they say. “He brings no special knowledge or experience in economic policy, private industry, or global finance.” As White House budget director for President Bill Clinton, Lew was seen as a liberal who could engage with Republicans.
“But as budget director and chief of staff in the Obama White House, Mr. Lew has been the president's most partisan and implacable negotiator,” the editorial says. “Our sources who have been in the room with the 57-year-old say he is now a fierce defender of entitlements in their current form, resists all but token spending restraint, and favors higher tax rates.”
Lew's selection indicates the Treasury's traditional role as the voice for pro-growth policies is fading, the editorial says.
“Mr. Lew is not the economic general you choose if you're looking for tax reform or a bold growth agenda. He's the man you pick if you expect months of political trench warfare over taxes and spending. He's the partisan you nominate if your overriding political goal is to destroy House Republicans in the midterm elections.”
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