Holtz-Eakin: Honest CBO Director a “Thorn in the Side of the Bush Administration”


The New York Times has its piece out this morning on the end-of-year departure of CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin. (Mine from yesterday is here.)
Holtz-Eakin spoke truth about fiscal matters and often irritated weak-minded Congressional leaders who wanted political rather than empirical responses from the CBO Director and his team.
From the Times:

Within weeks of his appointment by Republican leaders in early 2003, Mr. Holtz-Eakin declared, to their dismay, that Mr. Bush’s tax and spending plans would do little or nothing to stimulate long-term economic growth.
Subsequently, the budget office released a report that found that Mr. Bush’s tax cuts were heavily skewed in favor of the wealthiest Americans.
Mr. Holtz-Eakin rejected Republican demands that budget forecasts take account of strengthened economic activity from tax cuts without analyzing the drag caused by increased spending.
Under his direction, the budget office often took issue with the political goals of Republicans. It raised doubts about proposals to partly privatize the Social Security system, concluded that abolishing estate taxes would reduce charitable contributions and calculated that allowing same-sex marriages would slightly increase federal revenues.

I admit that I had not read the CBO report that permitting same-sex marriages would increase the treasury. But good for Holtz-Eakin for telling things as they are.
For a bit more on how “terrified” Holtz-Eakin and other economists on the right and left are about America’s economic portfolio, this will wake you up. this article
— Steve Clemons