Former Obama and Clinton aide takes his own life at age 58, reaction rolls in

(FILE PHOTO video screenshot)

On Monday the family of Alan Krueger, a prominent Princeton University economics professor and registered Democrat who served in the administrations of former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, revealed that he’d been found dead from suicide at his New Jersey home on Saturday.

“The cause was suicide, according to a statement by his family released by Princeton University, where Mr. Krueger taught for more than three decades. The Princeton police said they were called to the home on Saturday morning and found Mr. Krueger unresponsive,” The New York Times reported.

Krueger previously served as the chief economist at the Department of Labor from 1994 to 1995 and as the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 to 2013.

His policy prescriptions were invariably decidedly left-wing. To this day the left still cites his research as evidence for the thesis that raising the minimum wage doesn’t lead to layoffs.

As noted by a columnist at The Washington Post, “His finding that a higher wage floor could actually increase jobs for low-wage workers has become a staple of Econ 101 syllabuses.”

Except that real-world evidence has and continues to disprove this “finding.”

Both Obama and Clinton responded to the announcement Monday by issuing statements.

“He saw economic policy not as a matter of abstract theories, but as a way to make people’s lives better,” Obama said to the media. “He believed that facts, reason, and evidence could make government more responsive, and his enthusiasm and curiosity was truly infectious.”

Clinton published his own statement to Twitter:

The former president’s statement referenced Krueger’s recent work “exploring the link between opioids and lower labor-force participation.”

“Alan Krueger taught me about economic policy for more than two decades,” Harvard University professor Jason Furman, who took over on the CEA from 2013 to 2017, said in a statement. “His convincing empirical research on the most important questions is a lasting legacy. A devastating loss.”

When the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office warned Obama in 2014 that his proposed minimum wage hikes would spur mass layoffs, Furman dismissed the research, telling reporters, “Zero is a perfectly reasonable estimate of the impact of the minimum wage on employment.”

While the reason that Krueger tragically took his life remains unknown, of note is the peculiar timing with another former Obama ally making news. His death occurred amid reports that fellow Democrat Gregory B. Craig, an attorney who served as Obama’s White House Counsel from 2009 to 2010 and as Clinton’s director of policy planning from 1997 to 1998, may soon be charged for violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

During a stint in 2012 as a partner at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, the former Obama era lawyer was recruited by Paul Manafort to perform work on behalf of then-Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych. However, just like Manafort his failed to register his work with the feds.

Though this lack of registration was originally ignored by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s Department of Justice, it became a focal point when special counsel Robert Mueller began digging into Manafort’s past lobbying efforts.

“The special counsel had subpoenaed or requested documents from Skadden Arps and two lobbying firms recruited by Mr. Manafort’s team to help build support for Mr. Yanukovych’s government, and Mr. Mueller’s investigators had interviewed people who worked with all three firms, including Mr. Craig,” the Times reported Monday.

The case involving Skadden Arps was eventually transferred to federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C. Two months ago prosecutors reached a deal with Skadden Arps in which the firm agreed to register retroactively with the Justice Department as a foreign agent of Ukraine, pay a $4.6 million fine and essentially throw Craig under the bus.

“The settlement accused Mr. Craig of working with Mr. Manafort to hide the funding from the Ukrainian oligarch for Skadden Arps’s work, and of making ‘false and misleading’ statements to other partners at the firm and the Justice Department,” the Times noted, adding that federal prosecutors may announce charges against him soon.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

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