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Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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Douglas Holtz-Eakin is president of the American Action Forum. Previously, he was former director of the Congressional Budget Office and former chief economist of the Council of Economic Advisers.

He has a distinguished record as an academic, strategist and policy advisor, including his recent role as a commissioner on the congressionally chartered Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. In 2007-2008 he was director of domestic and economic policy for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. Previously, Holtz-Eakin was director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and the Paul A. Volcker Chair in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. Holtz-Eakin serves on the boards of the Tax Foundation, the National Economists Club and the Research Advisory Board of the Center for Economic Development.

Entries by Douglas Holtz-Eakin

The Future of Medicare

(4) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 2:35 PM

Co-authored by Tara O'Neill

Seemingly forever, a debate has raged about Medicare reform -- not just about how to do it but about whether Medicare needs reforming at all. That debate should end. The latest Congressional Budget Office report indicates that despite the current (and likely temporary) slowdown...

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Going, Going...

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 2:11 PM

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released the 2015 version of its Budget and Economic Outlook. This year's edition contained no real budget surprises: The federal budget remains on an unsustainable course driven by rising spending in mandatory (entitlement) programs despite rising revenues (including as a...

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Midnights and Medicare

(1) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 10:24 AM

Co-authored by Brittany La Couture, AAF's Health Care Policy Analyst

It can be dangerous to put important life decisions on a clock. Medicare has proven that it is even worse to make decisions solely by the clock.

It costs more for a hospital to admit a patient...

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Innovation Is Not an "Extender"

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 2:38 PM

The end-of-year legislative rush is on, with Congress juggling Keystone XL, funding the government, internet access taxes, authorizing defense activities, terrorism risk insurance, and tax extenders - the roughly 50 tax provisions that expire and are extended annually for one year at a time. Among the extenders is the Research...

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Modernizing Medicare

(2) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 12:24 PM

Modernizing Medicare is the most important domestic policy challenge facing the United States. Medicare is at the heart of the spending explosion built into the federal budget over the next decade, rising from $603 billion in 2014 to $1.04 trillion in 2024 -- a rise of 72 percent, or an...

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The U.S. Labor Market: Recovery?

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 10:03 AM

In the aftermath of the latest jobs report from the Labor Department, there is a disturbing tendency to declare the recovery a success. After all, the economy created 248,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent. Fabulous. On top of that, the weak August number of...

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Common Core: A Solid Policy Behind an Unpopular Name

(3) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 12:02 PM

Policy wonks like substance, much as the production division likes shiny new products and technical innovation. But substance doesn't sell itself, and successful global brands have extensive marketing efforts designed to maintain a positive image.

Despite best efforts, however, brands sometimes run into problems - think Malaysian Airlines -...

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The Border Crisis Requires Presidential Leadership

(3) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 12:51 PM

Co-authored by Laura Collins, Director of Immigration Policy at the American Action Forum

The border crisis presents the president with a clear choice between election-year politics and solving real problems. The heartbreaking scenes at the border have been the focus of national attention for the past two...

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In Search of Crony Capitalism

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 10:09 AM

Government programs reshape the economy. Taxes are a cost, and people and firms reflexively adjust to reduce the price shock. Tax retail purchases, but exempt those purchased online, and the mix of sales will shift to the Internet. Tax work and work will suffer as women and...

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Pessimism Economics

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 6:05 PM

There are rumors that national union leaders will soon launch a campaign regarding "prosperity economics." I found the title a bit confusing because I'm unaware of a branch of economics devoted to either "destitution" or "anti-prosperity." Still, I look forward to finding out what the "prosperity" caucus has in mind.

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The Top 10 Reasons the Economic Recovery Is as Dull as a Dead Parrot

(155) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 5:01 PM

It is. Without further ado:

  1. An economy with nobody working is boring. The share of the population that is working simply has not recovered.
  2. 2014-04-28-chart1.png

  3. An economy with nobody looking for work is boring. People have swarmed the labor force exits.
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Reflections on Too Big to Fail

(2) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 7:03 PM

The scars of the financial crisis and Great Recession remain fresh in the public's and policymakers' psyches, and it is natural to search for the villain responsible for such distress. For many, the search is apparently over. In their eyes, a small group of "too big to fail" (TBTF) banks...

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America's Young Need Trade Agreements

(3) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 5:52 PM

Imagine that, in 1800, the 17 states comprising the United States decided that the new territories expanding on their western borders represented an existential economic threat. Those territories were providing competing employment opportunities, threatening established markets, and luring away the entrepreneurial. Why should the established 17 states permit cheaper products...

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The Faulty Inequality Debate

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 9:03 AM

"And that is a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America's basic bargain -- that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead. I believe this is the defining challenge of our time: Making sure our economy works for...

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Happy Holidays to America's Young!

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 2:50 PM

As a former college professor, I can remember the way the holidays used to be. Semesters would draw to a close, the students would stress over finishing finals and turning in papers, and the campus would quickly empty. Students would head home to visit parents, family, and friends. They'd sleep...

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The Mythology of the Minimum Wage

(49) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 6:27 PM

Raise the minimum wage and combat poverty! That sounds like a great idea, but... not so fast. As it turns out, increasing the minimum wage actually hurts the working poor, is a windfall for affluent families, and raises the barriers facing the unemployed. There is growing evidence that increasing the...

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Betraying the Young

(21) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 9:27 AM

The U.S. has a proud tradition of passing to each generation a nation safer and more prosperous than that inherited by its predecessors. The continued meeting of this shared goal has bred a confidence in America's young that they, too, will succeed; that their future is just as bright as...

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The Psychological Price Tag of Government Shutdown

(2) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 6:08 PM

The agency doors are open and Washington has returned to a more normal state of dysfunction. What has 16 days of darkened offices, empty parks, and a powered off panda cam cost?

Putting politics aside - it's obvious Republicans paid dearly - there are a number of possible answers....

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No Reason Debt Limit Debate Has to End in Disaster

(37) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 12:49 PM

To date, watching the government close for the first time in 17 years and witnessing the debate over raising the debt ceiling has been as much fun as reruns of the Hindenburg landing. But there is no reason why this has to end in disaster.

Step one...

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Bridge to Somewhere in the Fiscal Cliff Debate

(25) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 4:16 PM

The two of us might look like an odd couple -- one a labeled Democrat, the other a labeled Republican. We have disagreed on many issues of public policy, and still do. But one thing we agree on, and think everyone should agree on, is that our nation's policymakers should...

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