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Robert Gibbs: Obama’s Economic Team ‘Exhausted’

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By Doug Powers  •  August 7, 2010 01:13 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Imagine how tired they’d be if they were actually doing a good job.

From The Hill:

President Obama’s economic team is exhausted, according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, and that is one the reasons Christina Romer announced her departure Thursday.

Gibbs dismissed reports that Romer, the outgoing chairwoman of the president’s council for economic affairs, was leaving because of conflicts with Larry Summers, the director of the National Economic Council.

The press secretary told The Hill on Friday that Romer and the rest of the economic team have worked the equivalent of six years during the 18 months they’ve been in office, and Romer wanted to return to her normal life.

What a load of Pelosi that claim is. So a member of the economic team who stays with the administration through a full four-year term will have worked the equivalent of about 16 years? That’s certainly a quicker way to qualify for your pension.

Let’s assume for argument sake that a hard-working economics staffer under “normal” conditions works five days a week and 14 hours a day (could be much more, could be much less). That’s about 260 working days a year — times six years is 1,560 days. At 14 hours a day, that’s 21,840 working hours in six years. Subtract three weeks worth of time for vacations every year, and that’s about 20,580 working hours.

To pack the same thing in 18 months — about 547 days — the economics staffer would have to work seven days a week and 37.6 hours a day. I know such a number is possible in the world of Beltway accounting (“you get half, I get half, and he gets the other half”), but not in the real world.

Even if we consider a “regular” 40-hour work-week over six years, include three weeks worth of vacation time per year, and pack that far less aggressive schedule into an 18 month time frame, the worker in question would have to put in almost 22 hours a day, seven days a week in order to perform that six years worth of work in a year and a half.

We know Gibbs has a flair for the ridiculous, but he’s somehow managed to out-do himself. Besides, who cares how hard Obama’s economists are working? Gilligan worked hard to get off the island too — so what?

And if my math is a little off here, all I know is that it’s a lot more accurate than any administration economist working for a boss who once reminded everyone that accounting is an “inexact science.” I’ll say.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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