Hollywood actor and liberal activist Danny Glover is trying to send a message to President Barack Obama: “Nominate Paul Krugman for Treasury Secretary.”
Obama has yet to tap anyone to fill the slot, soon to be left vacant by outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. On Sunday the liberal advocacy group Moveon.org blasted out an email message from Glover encouraging members to sign a petition to Obama urging Krugman’s nomination.
“Press speculation has centered on candidates likely to support the Wall Street agenda of cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits and other domestic spending rather than government policies to create jobs,” the “Lethal Weapon” actor wrote.
“We want President Obama to nominate Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who opposes austerity and wants the government to focus on creating jobs,” he added.
Krugman is best-known as an economics columnist for The New York Times.
Glover’s petition to Obama, which was posted at MoveOn’s grassroots organizing arm SignOn.org and accompanied his email push for Krugman, reiterated his desire to prevent cuts to government entitlement programs.
“We urge you to nominate Paul Krugman for Treasury Secretary,” the petition reads. “Krugman will protect Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts, promote policies to create jobs, and help defeat the austerity dogma in Washington and around the world.”
“While I have no insider information here, I’ve had the sense that Geithner has consistently been a voice urging the president to cave in for fear of upsetting the markets, with no real concern for the dangers of giving in to blackmail,” Krugman wrote. “His departure makes it at least somewhat more likely that Obama will stand his ground.”
At time of publication, the petition had more than 166,600 signatures, with a goal of 175,000 — a target MoveOn raised from 150,000 earlier in the day.
MoveOn’s endorsement notwithstanding, reports indicate that a more likely choice to succeed Geithner at the Treasury Department is White House chief of staff Jack Lew.