Last night, I had the honor of being asked to attend and give some brief thoughts at a celebration of Bob Reischauer's retirement from the Urban Institute. Bob served as the Institute's president for the last 12 years, and for several of those years I served as his research assistant.
When Bob got to work on policy and research issues, he mainly dealt with the budget, particularly as it related to Medicare and long-term budget problems.
- Here is a video of Bob speaking at the University of Arizona in 2008 on the politics and economics of health care.
- Ezra Klein discusses an interesting proposal by Bob to tie the employer provided health insurance tax break to cost reduction measures. I hadn't heard this before, and I've always fallen in the camp of "just end the tax advantage" that Klein describes.
- Paul Krugman discussed Bob's views on the deficit in this article.
- And here, Bob advocates additional fiscal stimulus (an issue he did not usually jump into). Bob was always deeply concerned about long-term deficits (indeed, he's been a big influence on my own long-term-deficit-hawkery). In this call for additional short-term stimulus, he advocates the Christina Romer plan to include long-term deficit reduction measures in any additional stimulus bill. I agree strongly.
I never spent too much of my time to working with Bob - it varied between 10 and 20 percent of my time for the first three years I was at the Urban Institute. But he's been a big impact on me. Bob was director of the CBO, a MedPAC member, chairman of the Harvard Corporation, and a Senior Fellow at Brookings. An impressive career. An impressive guy.
Thanks for twelve great years of leadership at the Urban Institute, Bob! Enjoy your well-earned retirement!