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Orszag Out at OMB

Anthony Randazzo
June 22, 2010, 10:45am

Rumored to be leaving for months, the political news lines are hopping today on news that Office of Management and Budget director Peter R. Orszag will be leaving in July. He will be the first cabinet level member of the Obama administration to leave, though this appears to be more a simple career move than some political struggle.

His tenure at OMB hasn't exactly been a passioned championing of true fiscal responsibility. He repeatedly argued that health care reform was vital to fiscal responsibility—which is absolutely true. But he also advocated for, and played a role in shaping, the ObamaCare overhaul that is likely to add to the budget fractures down the time. To be fair, while the tones of his positions shifted slightly coming from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to the OMB at the start of the Obama presidendcy, he has remained largely consistent. Yet, he still was a primary author of the massive $3.8 trillion budget proposal from the administration. He will be leaving without a final version passed by Congress, which is completely stalled on the issue.

According to a handful of reports, Orszag is leaving because its basically just time and he didn't plan to stay the whole administrative term in the first place. He is also getting married in three months and leaving now will allow the next OMB director to have full control over the 2012 budget drafting process. He has spent nearly four intense years between CBO and OMB, and will be able to make three to four times his current salary in the private sector, likely at one of the big name think-tanks. Jake Tapper has also reported that 18 months is the median amount of time OMB directors stay in office anyway.

Ed O'Keefe lists some possible successors.


Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research


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