What are the responsibilities and authority of the Council of Economic Advisors?
The council of economic advisors is an agency within the Executive Office of the President. This agency is one which has a large impact on economic decisions made by the President. It was established by Congress with the passage of the Employment Act of 1946. The council is comprised of a chairman and one member. While there are only two individuals on this important council they are supported by several individuals with distinct responsibilities. Below are the staff positions that support the council.
Chief of Staff
Director of Macroeconomic Forecasting
Above are the main focal points for the support staff for the council. In addition to these there is also a statistical office. Every government agency seems to have a statistical office or function within their organization. The fact that this council has one makes sense. This council like others collects data and in that respect there must be some statistical analysis of that data. Those individuals who are either members on the council or staff supporting the council have an important responsibility. The information that is provided as part of this council can impact the policies and decisions made by the President. This responsibility is identified in five basic duties and functions listed below:
1. “to assist and advise the President in the preparation of the Economic Report;
2. to gather timely and authoritative information concerning economic developments and economic trends, both current and prospective, to analyze and interpret such information in the light of the policy declared in section 2 for the purpose of determining whether such developments and trends are interfering, or are likely to interfere, with the achievement of such policy, and to compile and submit to the President studies relating to such developments and trends;
3. to appraise the various programs and activities of the Federal Government in the light of the policy declared in section 2 for the purpose of determining the extent to which such programs and activities are contributing, and the extent to which they are not contributing, to the achievement of such policy, and to make recommendations to the President with respect thereto;
4. to develop and recommend to the President and economic policies to foster and promote free competitive enterprise, to avoid economic fluctuations or to diminish the effects thereof, and to maintain employment, production, and purchasing power;
5. to make and furnish such studies, reports thereon, and recommendations with respect to matters of Federal economic policy and legislation as the President may request.”
Some activities the staff addresses for the council include focusing on international trade, small business, entrepreneurship, and innovation policy of the council. Other support functions in labor and education of the council, economics related to the environment and health, industrial organization and regulation of the council, housing, retirement, and tax and budget.
Today with the unemployment rate this group is kept busy addressing the employment situations for the country. Economics affects everything and as such if economics is involved this council will be a part of the activity to address it. There is much information associated with the economic council and much if not all of it can be found on the council web site. Everyone wants government to be less involved with their lives but the economic council serves a valuable purpose. It addresses and makes economic recommendations to the President regarding economic issues. In these economic times we as voters must be kept informed of recommendations being made to the President and on what data their conclusions or recommendations are based. This information is on the council web site.