|Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers|
September 13, 2017 - June 28, 2019
|Tomas J. Philipson (Acting)|
Kevin Allen Hassett
|Education||Swarthmore College (BA)|
University of Pennsylvania
Kevin Allen Hassett (born March 20, 1962) is an American economist who was the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. He is known for his work on tax policy and for coauthoring the book Dow 36,000, published in 1999. On June 2, 2019, President Trump announced Hassett's impending departure from the Trump Administration.
Prior to becoming Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Hassett was the State Farm James Q. Wilson Chair in American Politics and Culture and Director of Research for Domestic Policy at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. He was John McCain's chief economic adviser in the 2000 presidential primaries and an economic adviser to the campaigns of George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election and McCain in the presidential election of 2008. He was among Mitt Romney's economic advisers for the 2012 presidential campaign.
In early 2017, Hassett was nominated by President Donald Trump to become the 29th Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. The United States Senate confirmed him in an 81-16 vote on September 12, 2017. He was sworn in on September 13, 2017. He announced his departure on June 2, 2019; to be finalized in the proceeding weeks.
Hassett is a native of Greenfield, Massachusetts, where he graduated from Greenfield High School and played for Turnbull's in the Greenfield Minor League. He received a B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania under supervision of Alan J. Auerbach.
Hassett was an assistant professor of economics at Columbia Business School from 1989 to 1993 and an associate professor there from 1993 to 1994. From 1992 to 1997, Hassett was an economist in the Division of Research and Statistics at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He served as a policy consultant to the United States Treasury Department during the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.
Hassett joined AEI as a resident scholar in 1997. He worked on tax policy, fiscal policy, energy issues, and investing in the stock market. He collaborated with R. Glenn Hubbard on work on the budget surplus, income inequality, and tax reform. Hassett published papers and articles on capital taxation, the consistency of tax policy, returns on energy conservation investments, corporate taxation, telecommunications competition, the effects of taxation on wages, dividend taxation, and carbon taxes.
In 2003, Hassett was named director of economic policy studies at AEI. During his tenure at AEI, he became an increasingly prolific popular writer, penning articles in major newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He writes a monthly column for National Review and, since 2005, a weekly column for Bloomberg.
Hassett is coauthor with James K. Glassman of Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market. It was published in 1999 before the dot-com bubble burst. The book's title was based on a calculation that, in the absence of the equity premium, stock prices would be approximately four times as high as they actually were. In its introduction, Glassman and Hassett wrote that the book "will convince you of the single most important fact about stocks at the dawn of the twenty-first century: They are cheap... If you are worried about missing the market's big move upward, you will discover that it is not too late. Stocks are now in the midst of a one-time-only rise to much higher ground-to the neighborhood of 36,000 on the Dow Jones industrial average." The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10,273.00 on the day of the book's publication on October 1, 1999, peaked at 11,722.98 105 days later, then declined 37.8% through October 9, 2002.
Nobel laureate Paul Krugman argued on his faculty website that the book contained basic arithmetic errors and was "a very silly book" but regarded Hassett's role as co-author as a "youthful indiscretion." Statistician and blogger Nate Silver described the book as "charlatanic" and suggested on empirical grounds that the authors had failed to notice that at the time of writing stock prices were "as overvalued as at literally any time in American history".
According to The New York Times, Hassett's nomination by Trump to lead the Council of Economic Advisers was met with opposition by some anti-immigration groups such as Breitbart News, American Renaissance, InfoWars, the Center for Immigration Studies and "leaders of the white nationalist 'alt-right' movement". Hassett--"like most economists ... believes that immigration spurs economic growth". Prior to Hassett's nomination, President Trump "broke with recent tradition and removed the council's chairman from a cabinet-level position".
On September 5, 2018, Hassett released new analysis indicating that real wage growth under Trump was higher than reported, despite figures indicating that wage growth had not picked up.
On September 13, 2018, on an official visit to Ireland, when questioned if the U.S. considered Ireland as a tax haven, said that: "It's not Ireland's fault US tax law was written by someone on acid". Hassett had labeled Ireland as a tax haven on several interviews in August-December 2017, when advocating for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ("TCJA"). In July 2018, Seamus Coffey, Chairperson of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council and author of the Irish State's 2016 review of the Irish corporate tax code posted that Ireland could now see a "boom" in the onshoring of U.S. intellectual property, via the Irish Capital Allowances for Intangible Assets (CAIA) BEPS tool which is enhanced by Hassett's TCJA legislation. In February 2019, Brad Setser from the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote a New York Times article highlighting the failings of Hassett's TCJA in addressing use of tax havens by U.S. corporates, and why the TCJA incentivised U.S. corporate use of tax havens.
On June 2, 2019, it was announced that Hasset would be stepping down from his role within the coming weeks.
Hassett is married to his wife Kristie and has two children.
A mystery of the current economic recovery is why wages are stuck in neutral while economic growth revs faster. On Wednesday, the Trump administration tried to solve the puzzle by producing its own measure that shows wages are, in fact, growing
The economist [Kevin Hassett], who has previously referred to the Republic as a tax haven, said there had been a need to introduce reforms in the US, which have brought its corporate rate down to 21 per cent.
IP onshoring is something we should be expecting to see much more of as we move towards the end of the decade. Buckle up!