WH Budget Muppet Peter Orszag About to Deploy Parachute

Oh, fvucking Hallelujah – maybe.

Another one who’s going to get his life back from what the London School of Economics taught him. https://www.docudharma.com/diar…

Of course, the announcement was made Annonrahmously so they can then poll furiously to see if this pre election maneuver stokes the proper response from the 50% of the electorate which doesn’t know who he is nor what he does.

WASHINGTON – White House Budget Director Peter Orszag plans to resign, a Democratic official said Monday night, positioning him to be the first high-profile member of President Barack Obama’s team to depart the administration.

Orszag is expected to leave in the coming months. The exact timing is not known.


The New York Times Blog claims he is out of there by July and is getting married in September.

Keyboard Spew Alert:


Mr. Orszag argued inside the White House that his successor should be in place to put the next budget together from the start.

In recent months, Mr. Orszag, 41, espoused deficit reduction strategies in administration debates against those who pressed for more stimulus spending and tax cuts to keep the economy from slipping back into recession. He will leave before the bipartisan debt-reduction commission that Mr. Obama formed earlier this year – and which Mr. Orszag championed – is due to report its recommendations by Dec. 1.

A longtime scholar of health policy economics, Mr. Orszag also helped devise and sell the president’s signature initiative overhauling the health insurance system. He privately has told associates that having worked on two budgets, a stimulus plan and the health care law, it is time to leave while he is ahead.

From Reuters, we receive hints that we aren’t going to get much of a policy change,  


Potential successors include Laura Tyson, an economist of the University of California at Berkeley, and Gene Sperling, counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Both are former White House economic advisers who served in President Bill Clinton’s administration.  

Another candidate is Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Orszag announced in a speech earlier this month that government agencies were being asked to plan for 5 percent cuts in an array of domestic programs.

Some short bios on the 3 mentioned in the Reuters story:

•Laura Tyson b. 1947-   BA Smith, PhD MIT, first at Princeton, current Professor Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley


From 2002 to 2006, Tyson was the first female Dean of London Business School. From 1998 to 2001, she was Dean of the Haas School of Business. She served in the Clinton Administration as Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1993 to 1995 and Director of the National Economic Council from 1995 to 1996. Tyson has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1987, a board director of Morgan Stanley since 1997, a board director of AT&T Inc. since 1999, a board director of Eastman Kodak and is a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation. In December, 2009 it was announced that Tyson will join CB Richard Ellis Board of Directors on March 4, 2010.[5] Tyson also sits on the QFINANCE Strategic Advisory Board.

CB Richard Ellis is a Fortune 500 company based in Los Angeles and the “world’s largest commercial real estate services firm in terms of 2008 revenue”  according to the Dec 2009 press release when they announced Tyson was joining the board.   http://www.cbre.com/EN/AboutUs…   Always good to have a Presidential advisor hanging around during a complete commercial real estate mortgage meltdown.

It also mentions she is on the board of directors of the Silver Spring Network, the Peter G. Peterson Institute of International Economics  Here’s what the Peterson Institute thinks about the deficit http://www.iie.com/research/to…

But more must be done to address the serious fiscal challenges posed by the ever-escalating costs of health care and retirement. These challenges will exist even when the markets stabilize and the economy improves, posing a threat to the nation’s economic and national security interests, and should be addressed once the economy begins to grow again. Failure to take remedial fiscal action will virtually guarantee a dramatic erosion of the US international economic and financial position.

Sound familiar ?  More of that neoliberal- prog gunk.  I read thru the Peterson policy paper front page link by C Fred Bergsten.  Totally ignores the cost of the war and the Pentagon and military spending, totally blames the temerity of of the Baby Boomers for having the nerve to get to retirement age and needing medical care, which is too expensive.  Throws in a little China- bashing for good measure.


The root of the United States’ problem is domestic, however.  As soon as recovery from the current crisis permits, the United States must implement a responsible fiscal policy. It should adopt new measures in the near future-while the economy is still recovering-that can be implemented over the medium and long terms, as growth resumes and the country can accommodate fiscal tightening without risking another recession. Enacting such measures now would work to generate confidence as the United States continues to emphasize recovery and thus minimize the risk that both US Treasury securities and the dollar will come under suspicion in the markets-something that could, if it happened, jeopardize the recovery itself.

Such a policy must include a meaningful down payment in addressing the structural problems at the heart of the United States’ perilous financial outlook. There are at least three reforms that fall under the category of “decide now and implement later.” The most important is containing long-term medical costs, an integral component of overall health-care reform that could save several percentage points’ worth of GDP.  The second is comprehensive Social Security reform, including gradual increases in the retirement age and an alteration of the benefits formula to reflect increases in prices rather than in wages. When fully phased in over a couple of decades, such changes could take another one to two percent of GDP off the deficit. The third measure is raising taxes on consumption, which would both generate needed revenue and provide new incentives for private saving. Consumption could be taxed with a retail sales tax or a value-added tax, or with a gasoline or broader carbon tax that would limit energy usage and have the additional benefit of helping control global warming.

I would be curious if the President of the United States actually holds these views, because there is nothing better than setting up an inter generational fight over resources when a younger President takes office and his stupid (yes, I meant you, Orszag, just in case you didn’t get it on your way out the door ) advisors suggest that it’s a good idea to set up your economic systems to shiv the slightly older voters in the back.   Since we see that the advice of Plouffe has been to go for the youngest adult voters this election cycle.

We can go there if you want.

Taxes on consumption will increase private saving ?  What planet are you on, again ?   Why don’t you ask what the banks did with people’s private savings during the last few years ?   The neocons told people to invest in real estate and most people were not planning on job loss and foreclosures, two things nearly beyond their control.

And get a load of the “and have the additional benefit of helping control global warming”  in the above quote.  An add- on.  Like free french fries with your Happy Meal.

Clinton era people who forgot that Clinton wasn’t running 2 mid eastern wars with private contractors, another one here with HomeLand Security, and trying to drone its way into a third in Pakistan.   Now, what are you really spending your money on to cause deficits and get back with us.

New America Foundation.

New America Foundation is a non profit think tank in DC and Sacramento.

Currently the CEO of New America Foundation is Steve Coll of the New Yorker Magazine, (who says he’s taking a break fr there to write another book)  and the chairman of the board of directors is Google’s Eric Schmidt.

Oh, you’re going to love this. Francis Fukuyama is on their board.

per Sourcewatch,

Francis Fukuyama is a professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. He is best known as the author of The End of History and the Last Man, which proclaimed that the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War marked “the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”

Published in 1992, The End of History was popular in neo-conservative circles and made him something of an intellectual celebrity.

Fukuyama is one of the signers of the January 26, 1998, Project for the New American Century (PNAC) letter sent to President William Jefferson Clinton. [1]

Fareed Zakaria (Newsweek, which is part of WAPO, and which is looking for a buyer) is also on the board of this think tank.


bio on

•Gene Sperling (current advisor to Tim Geithner and to Hilary Clinton, also on Council on Foreign Relations) b. 1958   BA , U of Minnesota, JD Yale, attended Wharton School at U of PA

Sperling was a former National Economic advisor to President Bill Clinton

wiki bio on Sperling says he was the chief economic advisor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. ( Which finished in debt. Hmmm…  )  

Sperling has written a book published in 2005, “The Pro Growth Progressive: An Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity”  reviews here http://www.amazon.com/Pro-Grow…

You can read the first page here: http://www.amazon.com/Pro-Grow…

Sperling’s book intro:

Sperling describes how both parties offer the American public impoverished choices: Democrats in the sky is falling party too often pretend that the way to promote progressive values and expand the American middle class is to slow the pace of the global economy, stop all outsourcing, and intervene in the market. Republicans of the don’t worry be happy party hold fast to the bankrupt vision that the best thing for economic growth is the smallest government possible, and have made the conservative deficit hawks of the 1990’s an endangered species.

But the Pro Growth Progressive is neither an all out assault on the Bush agenda nor a partisan call for the Democrats to move further left.   …..    Sperling lays out a third way on the issues that are dominating the news and Bush’s second term….

Well, now that it’s 5 years later and nearly 4 years since the Democrats took back the House,  and we are definitely in a very large recession with a “jobless” recovery,  is anyone else now wondering at this point in time, June 2010,  why bother holding an election to replace one party with another if the primary goal of the new party is to continue the policies of the old one, irregardless of rhetoric  ?


bio on

•Robert Greenstein ( current, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities http://www.cbpp.org/about/ , which he founded in 1981)  

appointed by President Clinton 1994 to serve on Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and and Tax Reform.  Also in USDA (Admin of food & nutrition) under President Carter  http://www.cbpp.org/experts/in…


Robert Greenstein is founder and executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities CBPP, a Washington, DC, think tank that focuses on federal and state fiscal policy and public programs that affect low and moderate income families and individuals.


While the words “think tank” sound depressing, this one actually does something useful.  Besides studying the interactions of Federal and state policies,  it helps eligible families apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit (tax rebates for lower incomes).


The header stories on the CBPP homepage today:

“Senate Moving Backwards on Jobs Bill. ”   read the blog post   http://www.offthechartsblog.or…

“The nation’s short- and long-term challenges call for an aggressive policy response to encourage the nascent economic recovery without aggravating out-year deficits. By weakening the jobs bill’s measures to stimulate the economy and close egregious tax loopholes, the Senate has got it backwards.”


“Extending Jobless Aid and State Assistance”  read the blog post   http://www.offthechartsblog.or…

…. below is our top 10 list of reasons why Congress needs to find the courage to pass a serious jobs bill that (among other things) extends key pieces of last year’s Recovery Act that would provide additional unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, especially for the long-term unemployed, and fiscal assistance for states.

These provisions helped the Recovery Act provide jobs for as many as 2.8 million workers as of the first quarter of this year, and extending them would give the economic recovery a needed boost over the rest of this year

A wealth of recent statistics demonstrate the importance of extending the Recovery Act’s assistance for the unemployed and for states, as Congress is now considering.

Robert Greenstein’s views on “implementing a balanced approach to long term budget deficits”  here, an interesting read, testimony before the Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures March 23rd:


Summary:  Can’t sustain what we’re doing. Requires action on both future spending and revenues.  Congress should try to get deficits down to about 3% of GDP by mid decade.   Alas, Greenstein still blames rising federal expenditures on the health care system (govt and for profit) and the aging US demographic, which will “drive up spending for the big three”  Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Nor are federal spending programs other than the “big three” responsible for the long term imbalance.  Total spending for all federal programs other than Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security is projected to shrink as a share of the economy in coming decades.  

(ARC note:   Aaaaaiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.  I just had to get that out of the way. )   Greenstein, while ignoring that pesky elephant in the room,  blames the Bush era 2001 and 2003 tax cuts as part of the problem.  He would like to let them expire.   But he doesn’t think that would fix things all the way.    He wants to slow the rate of growth in health care spending.   He says Social Security costs will be about 1/5 larger in the year 2050 than now, and that a blend of revenue increases and benefit reductions should fix that easily.

So, do these leftover Clinton era people and the current President, think that if we just go back to the Clinton tax era, we can cure this little domestic problem we have with not having money for any domestic needs ?    Did they not notice

The 2009 U.S. military budget is almost as much as the rest of the world’s defense spending combined and is over nine times larger than the military budget of China (compared at the nominal US dollar / Renminbi rate, not the PPP rate). The United States and its close allies are responsible for two-thirds to three-quarters of the world’s military spending (of which, in turn, the U.S. is responsible for the majority)  

During Fiscal Year 2009, the US Federal Government collected $2.1 trillion in tax revenue.  400 billion less than 2008.

During Fiscal Year 2010, the US Federal Government will be spending about $1.03 trillion on defense spending.

A trillion here, a trillion there, a few supplementals,  and pretty soon you’re talking real money.

What planet are these people on ?  Why not make the Pentagon, DOD, and the military contractors and Homeland Security pay- go and self sustaining while you’re at it ?   Whoops but that would destroy the entire planet!


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  1. ….  killing all the fish.


    “deficit hawks” from the flyover zone and CT my @®$$

  2. …but beyond that, there’s a lot in this story to be studied, and i hope folks do.  

  3. a trillion a year to destroy a dusty, broken down training camp in Afghanistan ten years ago supported by cavemen in secret tunnels planning the end of civilization as we know it. pulp fiction at its best at a nice 5th grade level of believability for maximum effect.  

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