The Council of Economic Advisers celebrates its 70th anniversary this week. You can read a great history of CEA from its soon-to-be-released Economic Report of the President.
CEA has helped develop many beneficial policies through the years. It also helps kill bad ones:
For instance, the [CEA under Walter Heller] argued against a proposal during the Kennedy Administration to use nuclear explosives to widen the Panama Canal. In the Nixon Administration, CEA played a leading role in the analysis that led to the conclusion that the government should not subsidize the development of a supersonic transport or SST plane, dubbed the “sure-to-be-subsidized transport” (Schultze 1996). Under President Ronald Reagan, CEA participated in a Gold Commission, which investigated the feasibility of returning to the gold standard, and ultimately advised against doing so.
The Hutchins Center at the Brookings Institution gathered past and current members and chairs for a celebration last week. That’s me on the left end of the photo, doing my part to combat DC’s tie culture.