Alice Rivlin, queen of Washington's budget wonks
Published May 17, 2016
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54 min
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    There is no budget wonk in Washington with a resume as thick as Alice Rivlin's. She was the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office. She was the director of President Bill Clinton's Office of Management and Budget. She was vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board. She was a member of the Simpson-Bowles Commission. She's co-authored policies with Paul Ryan, served as president of the American Economic Association, and, in 2008, was named as one of the greatest public servants of the last 25 years by the Council for Excellence in Government.It's a helluva career.In this podcast, I talk with her about that career, including:- Why she became an economist in the first place- How economists think about problems- How a sexist senator almost blocked her appointment to the Congressional Budget Office, and how an angry stripper saved her nomination- What the Congressional Budget Office does, and why it's so quietly powerful- What she's learned working with Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Paul Ryan- Why Washington's policy discussion has become more sophisticated in recent decades, and whether that's even a good thingAnd, as always, much more. If you're interested in how policy is really made in Washington, you should listen to this interview.
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