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Why is Orszag leaving?

I've got an article that just went up at Newsweek on Peter Orszag's tenure, so I'll hold my comments on that till my next post. First, I figured I'd say something on why I think he's leaving, but Noam Scheiber already wrote a post that reads right to me. So I'll just quote it:

As I understand it, the reason Orszag has decided to step aside now is that the upside to sticking around just wasn’t that great after he’d successfully overseen two budget cycles and helped manage a once-in-a-generation healthcare reform effort. (To say nothing of that stimulus bill …) What you have to understand about Orszag is that he’s an extremely bright guy who’s excited by intellectual, as opposed to, say, managerial, challenges.

What you have to understand about being OMB director is that it’s an incredibly taxing job — there’s a huge amount of work that has to get done in a short period of time, year in and year out. Put that together and what you had was a grueling job that Orszag found pretty exhilarating when the learning curve was steep, and which became a little less exhilarating but no less grueling once the learning curve flattened out. Between that dynamic and his impending wedding in September, which roughly coincides with the start of the new budget season, it makes perfect sense for him to hang his slide rule elsewhere.


By Ezra Klein  |  June 22, 2010; 2:29 PM ET
 
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Next: What Peter Orszag accomplished -- and what he failed to do

Comments

Gee, and only yesterday I was musing about former Goldman-Sachs co-chairman Robert Rubin, President Clinton's Treasury Secretary who took a job with Citicorp mere days after his role in the elimination of the Glass Act allowed the company to pursue the profitable interests which led to the recent global financial collapse. Who knows: perhaps Orzag will be a unique player in the revolving door game.

Is anyone mentioning the potential of coming subpoenas regarding Orzag's office's calculations of "savings" due to the PPACA and the various bailouts? Honestly, I can't blame anyone for running from the Administration.

Posted by: rmgregory | June 22, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

You know, that's the second time today I've read/heard a story about Orzag that mentions sliderules. Does he actually have a reputation for using sliderules or are people's nerdery indicators horribly out of date? I mean, I'm in my 30s now and I don't think I've ever even seen a sliderule up close.

Posted by: MosBen | June 22, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Guys and Girls, I think Orzag leaving reflects that this ship of state is going down. I am not talking about politically, although they are having some political problems to deal with as well. I am talking about budget projections.

OMB is required to give a Summer budget projection and it is going to be horrible. Orzag leaving appears to me to show that those in the know on the scale of the budget deficit are leaving for the lifeboats before their reputations get too stained.

Posted by: lancediverson | June 22, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

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