Clinton-Era Budget Guru Is Orszag's Replacement

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Jul 13, 2010 12:03 PM
OMB head Peter Orszag is being replaced by Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew, who actually headed up the office for three years during the Clinton administration. It was a lot different then -- the Clinton years saw budget surpluses after record deficit spending, and Lew will have a totally different ballgame to referee this time around.

Conventional wisdom holds that Orszag is leaving because of the timing of the budget cycle -- after implementing health care reform, it was hard to see what greater budget gymnastics could have gratified Orszag's wonky inclinations. But there's the side story of Orszag looking to cut federal budgets -- that he clashed with Obama's belief that we can spend our way out of a recession. Regardless, Lew is in the hot seat, and will serve as Obama's right-hand budget man for the foreseeable future.