Things just are not getting better for the Obama White House. Obama’s Top economist who has been telling America things are getting brighter every day is jumping ship.
Top White House economist Austan Goolsbee said on Monday he was stepping down, marking the exit of one of President Barack Obama’s top aides at a time when new signs of weakness have emerged in the economy.
Less than a year after he was named chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Goolsbee plans to return to his teaching job at the University of Chicago, the Obama administration said in a statement. He will be back in Chicago in time for the start of the next school year.
Goolsbee’s departure leaves Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as the sole remaining senior member of Obama’s original economic team, as the president is under pressure to persuade Americans that he has a plan to boost growth.
Obama could be vulnerable on the economy as he fights for re-election next year and must convince voters his policies will succeed. Analysts say that recent disappointing data has called the vigor of the economic recovery into question.
Goolsbee has been one of the administration’s more visible spokesmen on the economy. Lately he has emphasized his view that the recovery remains solidly on track, despite a report on Friday showing tepid jobs growth and a rise in the unemployment rate in May to 9.1 percent from 9 percent in April.