Math Destruction


Bush has one economic adviser who understands which numbers really count.

Last May 5, MIT economist Kristin J. Forbes contributed $5,000 to the 2003 President’s Dinner Committee, one of the GOP’s most powerful fund-raising tools. This was Forbes’s first-ever campaign contribution to any presidential or congressional candidate or committee, according to FEC records. But her timing was good.

Ten days later, Bush announced the appointment of the 33-year-old Forbes to his three-member Council of Economic Advisers, the supposedly independent thinkers who serve at his pleasure, and who, by the way, almost never give campaign contributions to the people they serve.

Six days after that, on May 21, came the $2,500-a-plate dinner in D.C., which raised a staggering $22 million for GOP congressional campaigns. Nobody’s reported her campaign donation until now, and Forbes, the youngest ever CEA member, hasn’t replied to our request for comment.

Slate’s Daniel Gross nailed Forbes’s particulars last year when he noted that her most prominent journal article argued that income inequality was good for a country’s economic growth. So when Forbes and her colleagues, Chair Greg Mankiw and Harvey S. Rosen release a statement saying, “The economy appears to have moved into a full-fledged recovery,” as they did on February 10, check your wallet.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting the Village Voice and our advertisers.