The Washington Note was the first to get out the news that Douglas Holtz-Eakin was leaving his post to accept a position at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Today, a talk that he recently gave at the New America Foundation was highlighted by the New York Times editorial writers as being the sort of “straight talk” that has largely disappeared from government agencies — particularly from Republicans like Holtz-Eakin.
The Times writes:
As director of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Holtz-Eakin has been Congress’s top economist, handpicked by the Republican leadership. Recently, he had some advice for lawmakers – mostly Republicans – who insist that more tax cuts will foster economic growth and raise tax revenue: “Don’t even think about it.”
The occasion was the release of the agency’s long-term outlook, which shows huge unending deficits. “You can’t grow yourself out of this problem,” said Mr. Holtz-Eakin. “It’s just too big.”
That’s startlingly straight talk, given that Republicans are determined to pass tens of billions in unpaid-for tax cuts come January. But it is typical of Mr. Holtz-Eakin, who is retiring this week after three years as the director. In those years, he has delivered nonpartisan, data-driven research on some of the most controversial issues.
I’m glad that the New America Foundation was host to Holtz-Eakin’s last major policy address in his official position.
However, he will be working on significant international economic policy questions at the Council on Foreign Relations and attempting to synthesize thinking about America’s classic military, political, and economic dimensions of U.S. foreign policy — much like the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation is doing. I suspect that Holtz-Eakin and New America will continue to work closely together to generate sensible policy proposals for future governments.
— Steve Clemons