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Why does Rahm Emanuel want a budget wonk all to himself?

Guess we're going to find out:

The deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, Rob Nabors, is leaving the agency for a White House post, with a longtime Obama adviser, Jeff Liebman, moving up to take his place in an acting capacity.

Nabors, an administration source said, will become senior adviser to Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for special projects.

By Ezra Klein  |  February 24, 2010; 2:25 PM ET
 
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Comments

Maybe Emanuel wants to get a jumpstart on determining how a national policy requiring school uniforms might affect the budget? Those plaid outfits don't buy themselves, you know.

OK. Even I'm not that cynical. Seriously, I don't know. You tell us.

Posted by: slag | February 24, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

So what upcoming legislative issues require a lot of number crunching? Economic impact of immigration reform? They won't try entitlement reform in an election year, so I don't know what "special projects" they might be working on. Maybe they're going to get some better stimulus results numbers. This is why I love this blog however- this isn't going to show up anywhere else on the net.

Posted by: Owen_Truesdell | February 24, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"what upcoming legislative issues require a lot of number crunching?"

One might be budget reconciliation: if the CBO determines that an individual measure in the health care tweaks package (not the bill as a whole) increases the deficit, the Senate rules require that it be stricken from the bill, without the potential to be re-added via amendment.

Posted by: rmgregory | February 24, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Tax reform? I wonder if we'll see some sort of VAT-like thing or the Gregg proposal once the Dems lose some votes in 2010.

This would probably be easy to do via budget reconciliation (I think?), and there seems to be a willingness on the left to move away from the income tax (and its progressivity) in order to raise more funds overall ... this would be hard to paint as "socialism," but w/ HCR now a supposed "government takeover" I guess you can't go broke underestimating the craziness of Teabaggers.

Posted by: Chris_ | February 24, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

In every organization I've ever worked for, moving someone to a "special projects" job was a way of shunting them aside. Does this new job come with an actual West Wing office, or will he still be in the OEOB?

Posted by: thehersch | February 24, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Sullivan totally read my earlier comment ... http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/02/the-tax-reform-man-commeth.html

This would be good for Dems. It's a way for the party to talk about the deficit without the debate being 100% about slashing entitlements. And reform would likely attract some GOP support. I'm really hoping this is the next substantive thing......

Posted by: Chris_ | February 24, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

What thehersch said.

Is this about Nabors' moving laterally or of Liebman moving up?

Liebman was with Goolsbee the Obama campaign's first two economic hires and so was assumed to have Obama's ear, which was very worrying because he was lead author of the truly horrible SS privatization plan formally called the Liebman-MacGuineas-Samwick Non-Partisan Social Security Reform Plan aka LMS
http://www.hks.harvard.edu/jeffreyliebman/lms_nonpartisan_plan_description.pdf

MacGuineas is currently the President of the Committee for a Responible Federal Budget and the Peterson-Pew Budget Commission and so a wholly owned subsidiary of Peter G Peterson, and previously top economics aid to McCain. Samwick was a top economics advisor in the Bush White House. That Liebman even co-authored a Social Security plan with them is worrisome enough, having him be promoted coincident with Obama forming his Budget Commission with Entitlement 'Reform' friendly leadership and membership (Simpson, Bowles, Rivlin) makes me worry that LMS is pushing its way to the policy table.

Lets hope that Rahm's 'Special Project' is not 'Repealing the legacy of the New Deal'.

Posted by: BruceWebb | February 25, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

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