Friday, February 24, 2012

A Toast to Bob Reischauer!

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!

1 comment:

  1. Three cheers for Bob!

    I'll check out that video of Bob at Arizona - yesterday, by coincidence, Art Caplan was at my local small-town University giving a lecture about rationing and health care, and while he didn't treat the economics as in depth as others, he did use it as a good starting point. I have that recorded and hope to get something up on my blog about it soon.

    It will be interesting to see how much ground is shared between the economist and the philosopher on this one. Caplan's on Bill O'Reilly today, not that I want to give that show any market share, but it ought to be interesting.


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