Let’s blow this pop stand!
White House budget director Peter Orszag is reportedly on his way out in July. He’ll depart from the Beltway with a beautiful ABC News reporter on his arm — and an ever-swelling ocean of debt at his feet.
Mr. Orszag, an economist who previously spent nearly two years as director of the Congressional Budget Office, somewhat reluctantly accepted Mr. Obama’s invitation to join the Cabinet after the 2008 election and never planned to stay more than two years. Typically, budget directors do not.
While the president recently urged Mr. Orszag to remain, the calendar for drafting the next budget weighed in favor of Mr. Orszag leaving sooner. So did Mr. Orszag’s personal calendar: He is getting married in September.
By fall, as Congress is taking final action on the budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, the Office of Management and Budget is busy preparing the next year’s budget request to be released next February. Mr. Orszag argued inside the White House that his successor should be in place to put the next budget together from the start.
Six months into the Obama administration, it should now be clear to all Americans: Hope and Change came to the White House wrapped in brass knuckles.
Ask the Congressional Budget Office. Last week, President Obama spilled the beans on the Today Show that he had met with CBO director Douglas Elmendorf – just as the number-crunchers were casting ruinous doubt on White House cost-saving claims. Yes, question the timing. The CBO is supposed to be a neutral score-keeper – not a water boy for the White House. But when the meeting failed to stop the CBO from issuing more analysis undercutting the health care savings claims, Obama’s budget director Peter Orszag played the heavy.
Orszag warned the CBO in a public letter that it risked feeding the perception that it was “exaggerating costs and underestimating savings.” Message: Leave the number-fudging to the boss. Capiche?
President Obama issued an even more explicit order to unleash the hounds on Blue Dog Democrats during his health care press conference. “Keep up the heat” translated into Organizing for America/Democrat National Committee attack ads on moderate Democrats who have revolted against Obamacare’s high costs and expansive government powers over medical decisions.
Looks like there won’t be a health care beer summit any time soon.
Who will take Orszag’s place? Here’s a depressing look at the Clinton-era retreads, left-wing think tankers, and Democrat cronies in the running.